BY CHRIS MCNULTY
NIAMH Aherne arrived in Stranorlar with a big reputation – but Austeja Auciute ensured that she left it seeing stars.
The third round of their 63kgs bout lasted just 35 seconds as the relentless Auciute pummelled her Olympic BC opponent with a volley of shots from which she couldn’t continue.
Auciute knew it was a round apiece as the bell went for the start of that third round and so the Finn Valley ABC ace set about ensuring that there was no doubt by the conclusion. The contest didn’t even see its ending as Auciute had referee Gerry Wilson shaking his head after giving the dazzled Aherne the count in the corner.
“That just goes to show you what that girl can do. When she hit her at the start of the round she took everything out of her,” Conor Quigley said.
“Austeja is only seventeen and she’s in destroying girls – she actually did destroy her in the last round. That goes to show the levels and the gears that she has when she has to do it. She can really go through the gears and really punish you.”
Auciute is a stylish puncher who can box and fight when the need arises.
Aherne has won an Intermediate title and it was she who took the first round of this contest, thanks to a strong finish where she made the throws count, though there were moments where Auciute reminded us of her own talents, included a right-hander, connecting neatly to the left-hand side of her opponent.
While Aherne landed a left-hander at the start of the second round, Auciute’s counter-punching best came to the fore and it left it all square as they touched the leather for the last instalment.
“I shouted to her heading into the last final round that she had to dig deep,” Quigley said. “She did that. It was over in 30 seconds.”
It’s easy to see why Auciute is so highly regarded at the Finn Valley club. Next month she heads for the National Stadium to compete in the Open Youth box-offs, which will be used to select a three-girl team for the Youth Olympics. Auciute faces stern competition in that, with the likes of Ciara Ginty and Amy Broadhurst expected to compete.
But the Ballybofey woman is in the form of her life, winning an eighth Irish title in October and knocking the highly-rated Aherne for six on Saturday night.
Auciute will box at 60kgs next month, but that is unlikely to be a difficulty.
‘No pain, no gain’ bore the message on her t-shirt. The bit is between the teeth right now.
“She had that from the first day she came in here,” Quigley said.
“I remember thinking: ‘How long will this girl last?’ She was still there after the first year went by – and here she is. She watches everybody and picks things up off everybody.
“I have never seen a girl as hungry to be a winner.
“You do get the exceptional couple who will make it from ordinary to elite level – and she really is one of them.”
SATURDAY’S was as good a show as has been seen in Donegal for some time with each contest drawing the approval of the packed house.
One of the biggest cheers of the night was reserved for Finn Valley ABC iminitable Darren ‘Pocket Rocket’ Kelly, who showed Conor Murphy a clean pair of heels even before the start of their 56kgs contest. Kelly took a 2-1 decision, a blistering final round the key in that one.
Talented all-rounder Eoghan Wright was the comfortable 3-0 winner over Calvin McShane and in a ferocious Intermediate 64kgs bout Orin McDermott had the edge on Mark McCole of Dungloe, again taking the majority decision thanks to his final round.
Paul Kelly had Ryan McMonagle under fire in the second round after the Dungloe man won the first round and while McMonagle battled on it was Kelly who grew in stature to take the 2-1 verdict, while the other local winner was Conor McGurk, who defeated Johnny Myers 2-1.
Boy 2 33kgs Eoin McGarrell (Finn Valley) lost to Brandon Mongan (Olympic BC) 0-3
Boy 3 50kgs Conor McGurk (Finn Valley) beat Johnny Myers (Olympic BC) 2-1
Boy 4 66kgs Leon Gallagher (Finn Valley) lost to Darren Ward (Olympic BC) 1-2
Youth 2 63kgs Davidas Stonys (Finn Valley) lost to Jason Ward (Olympic BC) 0-3
Under 18 63kgs Austeja Auciute (Finn Valley) beat Niamh Aherne (Olympic BC) Tko rd3
Under 18 56kgs James O’Brien (Finn Valley) beat Martin Feeney (Sean McDermott BC) 3-0
Intermediate 50kgs Blaine Dobbons (St Joseph’s, Derry) lost to Francis Cleary (Olympic BC) 0-3
Intermediate 67kgs Paul Kelly (Finn Valley) beat Ryan McMonagle (Dungloe) 2-1
Under 18 57kgs Simon Clarke (Olympic BC) lost to James Cleary (Olympic BC) retired rd3
Under 18 56kgs Darren Kelly (Finn Valley) beat Conor Murphy (Olympic BC) 2-1
Intermediate 67kgs Eoghan Wright (Finn Valley) beat Calvin McShane (St John Bosco) 3-0
Intermediate 64kgs Orin McDermott (Finn Valley) beat Mark McCole (Dungloe) 2-1
Senior 81kgs Niall Gallagher (Sean McDermott BC) beat Bernie McDonagh (Olympic BC) 2-1
Under 18 75kgs Francis Mongan (Finn Valley) beat Colin Whitlaw (Olympic BC) 2-1
Under 18 81kgs Michael Gallagher (Finn Valley) beat Tom McDonagh (Olympic BC) 2-1
No Decision Contests
Orin Taylor (Finn Valley) v Jimmy Sweeney (St John Bosco)
Serena McCrossan (Finn Valley) v Patricia O’Brien (Finn Valley)
Leah Gallen (Finn Valley) v Leona Porter (Finn Valley)
Rory Wilson (Finn Valley) v Ethan McNulty (St John Bosco)
FINN Valley boxer Michael Gallagher travels to Wales this weekend to train and spar with former World Champion Nathan...