BY CHRIS MCNULTY
DONEGAL had a mixed day in the ring yesterday at the St Patrick’s Hall in Strabane at the Ulster Boy 14, Youth 15 and 16 Championship finals.
Four boxers from Donegal clubs – Leon Gallagher, Liam Callaghan, Ryan Greene and Joseph Reddin – won their respective divisions and will now go onto national competition next month. In addition to this quartet, St Johnston duo Brett McGinty and Callum Toland won their finals – both box out of the Oakleaf ABC in Derry.
Finn Valley’s European bronze medalist Gallagher overcame Jordan Gilloway of Mourne in the Boy 14 66kgs decider. Gallagher, younger brother of ten-times Irish kingpin Michael, has added another title to his tunic and goes onto the National Stadium next month.
Callaghan from Carndonagh has also advanced. He scored an impressive win over Shearnan Kelly from Immaculata, Strabane, in the Youth 16 50kgs final.
There was a double celebration for the Illies Golden Gloves club with titles won by Greene and Reddin.
Greene defeated Eglinton’s Cormac Dillon in the Youth 16 57kgs final while Reddin overcame Eolm McElhill in the Youth 16 66kgs decider.
There were defeats in the ring yesterday for Dungloe trio Mark McMonagle, Matthew McCole and Brian O’Donnell, for the Letterkenny duo Patrick McConigley and Sean Orr as well as Buncrana man Conor McLaughlin.
Donegal boxers have been handed walkover wins: Kevin Quinn (Errigal), Conor Kennedy (Ballyshannon), John Moran (Illies), Brian Elliot (Letterkenny), Stephen Bonner (Letterkenny), Conor McGlynn (Twin Towns), Edward McEleney (St Bridget’s), Bryan McNamee (Convoy), Gavin Johnston (St John Bosco) and Denver Gill (Buncrana).
Also heading for the capital are the in-form St Johnston cousins, McGinty and Toland.
McGinty was red-hot in his final yesterday. Martin McDonagh from Cavan felt the full wrath of the explosive Mongavlin lad. A fiery volley of punches in the opening round forced the referee to stop the contest before the fighters could even return to their corners.
And Toland defeated Shane McClorey from Newry in the Boys 14 54kgs final on a majority decision.
The winners from this weekend advance to the national finals in Dublin on 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th April.
MAJOR INTER-COUNTY TOURNAMENTS
THIS SUNDAY, a Donegal team will travel to Ballina, County Mayo for a major inter-county tournament. They will face the cream of the Connacht crop at the Ardnaree Club Rooms. Boxing will commence at 3pm.
Letterkenny’s popular club coach John Elliot will be the Donegal coach and match-maker for this trip west and John aims to have sixteen quality contests down for decision.
The following week, Sunday March 16, a star-studded County Kildare team under the direction of former Donegal boxer Paddy Gallagher will travel to the St John Bosco Centre in Donegal town for what should be an excellent evening of amateur boxing that will commence at 7pm sharp.
Carndonagh’s John Mulhern will be in the hot-seat for this tournament as he will be tasked with the role of county coach and match-maker.
More details of these tournaments will follow in due course.
THERE are a number of club tournaments taking place throughout Donegal: March 14th Carndonagh; March 22nd Raphoe; March 23rd Convoy; March 28th Illies; March 30th Letterkenny.
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Posted: 6:00 pm March 3, 2014