THE Newtownstewart 2 Castles Club proved that they can hold their own with anyone in the country when they came home with two silver medals and one gold medal at the Irish Boxing Championships held over Easter week at the National Stadium in Dublin.
Having fought through to the final, primary school boy Cealan Doherty boxed really well against a strong opponent from Limerick in David O’Neill. Cealan is an aggressive young boxer and pressed his opponent very hard over the three rounds, losing out very narrowly in a bout which really divided opinion on whether red or blue should have won.
On this occasion young O’Neill got the verdict, but Doherty really came so close.
In his final, twelve year old Danny McHugh again was so near to being crowned champion, only losing out on a split decision to Tipperary boxer Hugh Doyle.
In truth the club coaches know that Danny is a much better boxer than he showed in the final with nerves on such a big occasion playing a part. However the future looks bright for young McHugh who will really develop over the next few seasons.
In contrast to Danny Irish champion Tiarnán Mayse who is a year older than Danny is now starting to deal better with his nervousness on big occasions and is developing a more positive approach.
Tiarnán boxed two bouts to get through to the final. In his quarter final he defeated Connaught boxer Charlie Ward and in his semi final he was a convincing winner against a very strong boy from Belfast in Matthew James.
In the final Tiarnán had to overcome a Dublin opponent in his own back yard. Trinity Boys boxer Thomas Doherty who only needed one semi final bout to reach the final, looked very impressive.
Tiarnán would have been underdog going into the final but he did not let this deter him in any way and he boxed superbly in all three rounds, completely dominating his opponent to not only be crowned champion but also to be invited to join the National squad training sessions in Dublin. This is where dedication kicks in as Tiarnán will be travelling to Dublin for regular coaching sessions.
The club is very proud of the achievements of their three young boxers who competed with great confidence all week, presenting themselves well and indeed showing how strong boxing in Tyrone is at the moment.
The people of Newtownstewart can be happy that these young boxers are representing their club with distinction and giving the small town such a great reputation throughout Ireland and further afield in boxing over the last few years.
The young boxers all work really hard at training and are reaping the rewards with the club having lifted many Irish titles as the boys and girls have competed in finals over the last few years.
It is every boxer’s dream to box at the Commonwealth Games and Olympics. With dedication to their sport and hard work it is not impossible that some of these boys and girls can achieve their dream when they come of age.
The Newtownstewart Community regularly see these children pounding the streets, having fun, getting fit. The Boxing Club is open to any young person from the Newtownstewart area who may have a similar dream.
At present the Club is in training for Irish Championships qualification for 14 and 15 year old boxers. Jude Gallagher and Cal O’Brien have won their way through to the Ulster Finals which will be held next week.
If the boys come through this they will qualify to box for Irish titles in Dublin in a few weeks time. Fifteen year old Owen Devine was beaten in Mid Ulster with a split decision. But like all other sportsmen who lose he will get back into training.