BY CHRIS MCNULTY
BRETT McGinty turned in an impressive performance to gun down Leon Gallagher in a battle of two European bronze medal winners in the National Senior Cadet Championships on Saturday.
In a hot-and-heavy 70kgs quarter-final, St Johnston man McGinty – who fights out of the Oakleaf ABC in Derry – had the edge on Finn Valley’s Gallagher in a cracking contest.
McGinty took a unanimous decision and now has a real head of steam as he goes into the semi-finals of what is one of the most competitive weights in these Championships.
Gallagher is a three-time Irish champion who was a bronze medalist at the 2013 European Schoolboy Championships in Dublin, pipped by Ukraine’s Ivan Chubrevichev in a semi-final.
McGinty was a bronze winner at the same Championships in 2012, reaching a semi-final against Russian Havazh Mutsolgv in Anapa.
McGinty is chasing a sixth Irish title and a rematch with Christopher O’Reilly remains possible. In the Youth 1 final earlier this year, O’Reilly scored a controversial win over the Oakleaf man and both have advanced to the Cadet semis.
McGinty will be joined in the semi-finals by his cousin Callum Toland (Oakleaf ABC) and Dungloe’s Matthew McCole.
On Friday night McCole overcame Darren Barnwell (Avona) 3-0 in a preliminary round contest before upping the ante again on Saturday to claim an impressive 3-0 win over Kieran Maguire (Clann Naofa).
Dungloe club-mates Kevin McMonagle and Mark McMonagle lost in the 50kgs division Kevin losing in the preliminary round to Northside’s Nathan O’Connell and Mark beaten by David McDonagh (Arbourhill). Also at 50kgs, Bluestack boxer Martin Ward was beaten 3-0 by Barney Casey (Southside).
Buncrana’s Stephen Bonner lost out at 80+ kgs to Marcus Otede (Olympic), but rising star Toland will be in semi-final action following two fine wins at the weekend. At 57kgs, he wasted no time in defeated Brandon Maguire (St David’s, Naas) on Friday, stopping his opponent inside the opening round. On Saturday, Toland won his quarter-final with Patrick McGlinchey (Mourne GG) by way of a unanimous decision.