GRANGECON’S Ross Hickey was the last Kildare man standing when the Elite National Championships came to a conclusion at the National Stadium on Friday night.
The former St Laurence’s GAA star claimed the light welterweight crown at the expense of Philip Sutcliffe. Hickey, a 2008 European bronze medalist, finished level (3-3) with his Crumlin BC opponent at the end of the first round. The Kildare boxer delivered two hard hitting right hooks in the second to gain the upper hand. Indeed the second led to a standing count for Sutcliffe.
Sutcliffe then went down under a combination in the third as Hickey posted a convincing 14-4 decision in the battle of the former Elite champions.
Hickey, who found form during the Elite finals was also named boxer of the tournament with Tina Turner’s classic ‘Simply the Best’ blaring from the speakers at Irish boxing’s headquarters.
First time senior finalist Chris Phelan from Ryston was left disappointed when he was beaten by Belfast man Michael Conlon in the flyweight decider.
The St John’s Bosco club man put in a resounding performance to take the title on an 11-7 scoreline but nonetheless young Phelan was one of the success stories of the tournament. Indeed the Kildare man lead after the first round but Conlon’s experience paid off in the end.
The northerner staged a superb comeback to get the better of his young opponent in what was a pulsating contest. As aforementioned Phelan lead (4-1) at the end of the first and extended that lead to 5-1 early in the second. However, Conlon staged a fine comeback and found target with six rights on the trot to open up a 7-5 lead heading into the third and final round. The Belfast man also claimed the final frame to win his first ever Irish Elite championship crown.
Athy’s lone final representative was David Oliver Joyce, who faced Michael McDonagh in the 60kg final, was disqualified for a low blow. At the time his St Mary’s BC opponent was 6-5 up in the third and final round.
In the only Women’s Elite final of the night Drimnagh’s Patricia Roddy took the middleweight crown. Roddy, a Kildare native, beat Sinead Kavanagh 13-4 to claim the title.
Meanwhile, Ryston’s claimed no less than seven titles at the Leinster Boy 4 and Youth 1 and 2 Championships, which were held in Athy last weekend. All seven winners will represent the club in the national finals this weekend.
Ciaran Carty claimed the Boy 4 (48kg) title at the expense of Cloghan’s Hugh Doyle, while Eoin McGrath was handed a walkover to be crowned Youth 1 (39kg champ). Patrick Nevin won the Youth 2 (50kg) final and Robert Carty won the Youth 2 (66kg) final, beating Paulstown’s Troy Holohan in the decider. James Hughes was crowned the 81+g champion and Anne Connors (Youth 1) took the 42kg title. Ryston’s final provincial title went the way of Aurelija Prialgaus Katie in the 60Kg weight division.
The national finals are down for decision this weekend in the National Stadium.