Double delight for club.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Double delight for club. thumbnailTwo proud coaches, Bobby and George Lavery with the club’s new Ulster champion, Jack McAvoy.

JACK McAvoy and Mollie Sheppard added two more titles to Rathfriland Amateur Boxing Club's growing list last Friday and Sunday.

Ulster Championship Jack entered the 75kg Ulster Novice Championship along with other club mates Kyle Morgan and Shane McKinley.

The draw was kind to the club and managed to keep the lads apart up to the semi-final.

First up for the club was Kyle Morgan on Monday, 9 October where he met Jordan McVeigh from Skerries BC Portrush in a pre-lim.

Kyle produced a terrific display of boxing to win by a unanimous decision putting him into the quarter finals.

On the same night Jack McAvoy boxed his quarter final against Curtis Bittles of St George's BC, Belfast.

This turned out to be the contest of the night with both lads boxing beyond their ability, producing a super even contest. In the end it was McAvoy's cleaner shots which got him the win putting him forward to the semi-final.

On Tuesday, 10 October Kyle stepped into the ring for the second time for his quarter final against Edward Lynch of Ballyshannon. This was a tough encounter from the opening bell with Morgan having to be at his best to avoid the oncoming Lynch.

This he did to perfection, catching Lynch with stiff shots until the ref eventually called a halt to proceedings in the third round of a great contest.

The win put Kyle into the semi-final where he would be pitted against club mate McAvoy on Thursday, 12 October.

This contest unfortunately didn't take place as Kyle picked up a thumb injury in his last contest giving Jack a walkover to the final.

Our third boxer in the weight Shane McKinley was to box on Monday evening but his opponent pulled out due to an injury leaving Shane to box a semifinal on Tuesday against Cathal Conati of Emyvale Monaghan.

From the opening bell Conati came forward with a barrage of punches giving Shane all sorts of trouble and as much as Shane tried, he was unable to find the feetwork to avoid the rushing Emyvale boxer.

In Shane's own words after the loss "you hadn't even time to think he was on you that much".

Although the defeat was disappointing for Shane, who puts a great effort into his training, his attitude was good and knows this is a learning game and if you are willing to learn success will come your way.

This left Jack boxing his final against the tough come forward Contia on Friday, 13 October.

Jack's instructions were to time his shots as his opponent came forward and to catch him with long stiff back hands.

It took Jack a while to settle into the first round with both lads tying each other up, but once Jack sorted his distance out he began to connect cleanly.

It was a close first round with coaches Bobby and George Lavery hoping the judges leaned to their man. Again Contia started like a steam train with McAvoy on the retreat, but this time Jack was getting his shots off sharper, stopping his opponent in his tracks with a thunderous right.

Both Lavery coaches rose to their feet roaring Jack to press his opponent which he did, forcing an eight standing count which secured the second round for the Rathfriland boxer.

Both lads had tired somewhat for the third round with the Emyvale lad not coming forward as much as he had. We assume he felt what kind of a punch Jack packed and was wary of another count.

Jack boxed smart in the third taking that round also. Although the fight was a surprise 3-2 split, Jack and his coaches were overjoyed with the win giving Jack his second title this season. Well done Jack.

Also in action last Friday night was the club's 12-year-old Antrim champion Odhran Clancy, who boxed an exhibition with Gilford's Mid-Ulster champion, Louis Hill.

Club coach Davie Mawhinny praised both lads for producing three great rounds of boxing for the large crowd in attendance. This was on a charity night bill organised by Tesco and was held in the Belmont hotel.

Esker all female Box Cup Lucan D u bl i n Three of the girl boxers headed south last Friday evening (13 October) with coach Kevin Sheppard to weigh in for the high profile and world-renowned Esker Box Cup.

The weigh in was from 5pm to 9pm but due to a large entry, it ran to 10pm.

The draw was made after the weighin and saw Mollie Sheppard and Georgia Lavery drawn to box in the semi-finals on Saturday (14 October) against Leeds and Newcastle-upon-Tyne opponents respectively.

Morgan McNulty received a bye to the final on Sunday (15 October).

Up first on Saturday was 13-year-old Mollie who boxed a brilliant contest against a smaller aggressive girl.

Mollie controlled all three rounds with back hands and hooks then pivoting off and getting caught very rarely throughout putting her through to the final on Sunday.

Georgia Lavery stepped into the square ring about 15 minutes after Mollie, feeling relaxed and composed.

Lavery started well, picking her opponent off as she went forward. The contest was fought at a super pace with both girls showing a high level of fitness.

It was a close contest but unfortunately Georgia was on the wrong side of a 3-2 split decision. It was a great display from Lavery, whose boxing has went up a level since the start of the season and should not be disappointed in any way This left Mollie and Morgan carrying the flag on Sunday with both girls in confident mood ahead of their bouts.

Up first was 15-year-old Morgan McNulty who was up against Leeds Raging Bull boxer, Kelsey Uscroft.

The Leeds girl had stopped her semifinal opponent in the first round but this didn't phase the tough Rathfriland girl.

Coach Sheppard sent Morgan to her opponent, getting her to stay close and under her rangey left hand. Morgan was getting plenty of success from this in the first.

Uscroft started to show her experience as the rounds went on with good foot movement. The gallant McNulty took the fight to her making her opponent work hard for the win. This will stand by Morgan who works hard and gives 100 per cent at all times.

Mollie Sheppard warmed up and waited patiently for her time to shine and that she did to a tee.

Mollie produced three top notch rounds of boxing, which was even a step up from her semi-final masterclass against Kalie Reynolds from Athlone.

Again it was Mollie's long perfectly timed back hands, feinting at the right time before her attacks which caught the eye of the five judges.

Mollie was crowned an Esker Box Cup champion much to the delight of her proud coach and father, Kevin along with George Lavery who were on duty in Dublin at the weekend.

This was a great weekend for the club and still so early in the season. They hope to add more titles soon with the Belfast Box Cup coming up. The Ulster Novice 14/15/16 years and the Armagh/Down championships in early November.


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