After putting in two eye-catching performances in the previous two weeks to book his place in the final decider, the Dealgan camp were fairly confident that the 23-year-old would continue his fine form and lift the 64kg National crown.
Coached in the corner by his Dad Anto and Jim O’Connor, tactics were spot on as Niall gained a three point lead after the initial round with sharp left hooks on the counter attack against a very strong opponent in Olexander Kravtruv (Celbridge BC).
Once the lead had been gained, Niall proved too elusive for the hard hitting Kildare man, picking off two more scores with long right hands to increase his lead to four points going into the final round.
His opponent threw caution to the wind in a frantic attempt to upset the rhythm of the Dealgan man but it proved to be futile as Niall kept his cool and landed the more clinical scores to add to his opponent’s frustration.
With an overall score line of nine points to three, the Dealgan boxer had his hand raised in victory and immediately celebrated with his jubilant coaches.
Niall wasn’t the only Dundalk boxer to take to the ring on finals night as Dealgan boasted two more boxers in the finals. Grainne Garvey (57kgs) and Patrick Lavery (85kg) both unfortunately lost out after producing some fine displays en route to their finals against Lyndsey Doyle (Gorey BC) and Bray’s Jonathan Scanlon respectively.
Irish U21 champion Grainne, who was boxing in a weight above her normal class, could not match Doyle’s strength and size but continued her attacks to the final bell much to the delight of her coaches.
Last week Grainne had a convincing victory against her opponents’ club mate, Sarah Sheridan (Gorey) and will now return to her 52kg division.
Patrick on the other hand was unlucky not to take his first Irish title after forcing his opponent to a standing count in the 2nd round when it looked all over only for his man to regain his composure and make it to the final bell.
With the national crown in the balance both men went for it in the last round only for Patrick to lose out by two points.