DEALGAN Boxing Club was successful once more as their young boxers competed with distinction at the Leinster championships held in Kildare last week. With 11 boxers entered between 11 and 16 years, the Dundalk club took six gold and two silver medals at the provincial qualifiers.
With a very fine record in this event, it didn’t take long for the first Dealgan boxer to show their class when young Ultan Stokes looked every bit a champion in his encounter with David O’Brien (Curragh) in the final of the Boy 4 39kgs.
With smooth footwork and precise combinations Ultan controlled the bout from the very first bell which culminated in his hand being raised on a 5-0 verdict.
Also at 39kg but at boy 1, debutant Tadge McConville, who came up against some taller opponents in his quest for qualification to the Nationals.
Tadge defied all odds when defeating Michael Joyce (Athy) in the prelims and Stephen Tackleberry (St Brigids) in the quarter final, whilst working behind an airtight defence and picking his scores intelligently.
Ruari O’Neill (St Broughans) was his opponent in the semi but proved too big and strong for the Dundalk lad who must have taken so much confidence from his performances in these championships.
Tadge’s sibling Kalum was to fair better in the Boy 3 44kg class, as being the defending champion he proved why he is so highly rated by the Dealgan coaches.
Boxing with his usual southpaw combinations, Kalum stunned Casey Berry (Bray) in the opening round forcing his man to take a standing count. The remainder of the contest was all one way traffic as the Dealgan lad picked his shots with confidence to pave the way to the final against Anthony Stokes (Dunshaughlin).
Stokes, himself a good southpaw, was no match for McConville as he landed with cracking lefts over his opponents jab and prevented his man from closing the gap in the final round with an excellent defence ensuring the defence of his crown on a 6-1 score line.
At boy 3 39kg, former Leinster champion Thomas Quinn was a little ring rusty after a long layoff. He tried in vain to out punch the taller Hugh Nevin (Holy Family) losing out on a 3-1 score after a very tough battle. No doubt Thomas will be back to winning ways as he showed all the hallmarks of a senior boxer in the making.
Former Irish champion Michael Quinn McDonagh won his third consecutive Leinster crown at 70kg Boy 3 as he had little problem accounting for Sean Walsh (St Brigades).
Working to head and body with sharp combinations Michael opened up a sizable lead by the end of the initial round and continued in that vein for the remainder of his final winning eight points to nil to book his place in the stadium later this month.
11-year-old Darren Gonnelly Joyce was taking part in his first competitive bout when taking on Martin Johnston (Drogheda) in the 60kg Boy 1 semi final.
Darren showed plenty of ability and looked every bit a future champ when out boxing the young Drogheda native. Winning each round the Dealgan coaches were delighted when Darren booked his place in the final with 10 unanswered points.
Unfortunately for Darren, Portlaoise’s John O’Reilly proved too experienced in their final bout but he can be proud of his display and will be expected to go on to take titles in the not too distant future.
A very exciting prospect to emerge from the Marian Park club is 16-year old-Patrick McDonagh who is progressing swiftly and adding the youth 2 86kg title to his name he most definitely looks like a boxer with a very bright future.
Dealgan ABC is proving to be a real powerhouse in the world of female boxing, producing female champions each year.
These championships were no different as the Dundalk club were represented by no less than two excellent prospects at 36kg girl 1 in Nicole Agnew and Orla Garvey.
It was the former who came out on top in the final as both club mates traded combinations in a very stylish manner throughout. Both girls did themselves proud showing all the skills needed to excel at the noble art and Agnew taking the title 10-6 with young Orla being the first to congratulate her.
Also in the female section three times Irish champion Amy Broadhurst took the 52kg Girl 3 title and the classy southpaw is looking the favourite to go all the way again in the Nationals.