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Omagh Accies and Mountjoy United players ‘knuckle’ down ahead of fundraising fight night

OMAGH Accies Rugby Club and Mountjoy United Football Club have joined forces to organise a fundraising white collar boxing night, which will see players of the two codes clash in the ring.

The two clubs had planned independent events, but once it became apparent a combined event would pack more of a punch (pun intended!) they decided to pool their efforts.

“We were trying to think of fundraising activities and this is something that has always appealed to me personally,” explained the driving force behind the initiative from an Accies perspective, Stephen Maclaine.

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He added: “It’s something that I thought I’d like to have a stab at and when we heard Mountjoy were planning something similar we felt it would guarantee a big crowd, a sell out on the night and maybe a better chance to make more money for both clubs.

“A few of us have friends in both clubs too so it was a natural thing to do.

“Both clubs have big development plans and both are putting out a lot in terms of maintenance at the minute, so this is all to help with that.”

For the last couple of weeks, a brave few (in more ways than one) from each club have been sparring and training, learning their ring craft under the expert eye of John Gallagher at Newtownstewart’s Two Castles Boxing Club.

“John’s been very accommodating, he has been very keen and I think he and the other coaches have been quite surprised by the standard so far,” Stephen added.

“A few of the boys looks very sharp, like Matty Eccles, who has a bit of natural ability, and Dean Kane, so it’s been good so far.”

While there’s still a long way to go until fight night, Stephen admits the match-making side of the plans could be tricky, but that he’s confident there will be an entertaining 10-fight bill come June 22.

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“It’s all being done on weight and ability, so we don’t now yet what way that match-ups are going to go, but we’ll try to make as many of them football v rugby, but that might not always work with weight!,” he explained.

“That’s the only problem we might have, but all the guys have got into the ring and done sparring without any hesitation with guys who maybe are a bit bigger, so it’s been good.”

A full list of scheduled match-ups between the participants will be released in the coming weeks.

*Tickets for the event, which will take place in Lola’s at the Silverbirch Hotel from 7pm on June 22, can be purchased at the venue or from members of both clubs.

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