Sandygate celebrate hat-trick of finalists

Will Smith on the way to victory
Will Smith on the way to victory

Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club’s boxers weren’t put off by the adverse weather conditions, making their way to the ABA North West Schoolboy Semi-Finals at The Boxing School of Excellence, Gorton, Manchester.

Three plucky pugilists pitted their skills against the north’s finest boxers, hoping to join three of their stable mates in the finals.

“Banger” Brett Windle (14) faced S. Coates (Kirkham ABC) for a place in the 50kg final, and straight from the opening bell, Brett controlled the canvas, always on the front foot, connecting well with switches of attack, cutting down the ring and hitting his taller foe throughout.

The second and third once again saw the promising Rosegrove boxer dominate, catching Coates with ease.

Looking for the stoppage, Windle connected with every flurry.

It was no surprise when the Shuttleworth Year 10 pupil’s hand was raised after a unanimous decision.

Will “Fresh Prince” Smith (14) was up next against England International M. Rennie (Manx ABC, Isle of Man) for a shot at the 57kg crown, which was billed as the standout tie of the day.

And the boys weren’t to disappoint.

The first round was a cagey affair, with Rennie showing why he wore the white England vest. Countering well, Smith steadied and found his feet, ending the round the stronger.

The second two-minute round saw Harle Syke’s Smith come off the stool with a game plan, and it paid off in the first exchange, catching Rennie with a rear hand upper-cut, lead hand, rear hand combination.

Boxing with a renewed confidence, Smith started to edge the scoring, punishing every Rennie mistake.

The third ended up being the Blessed Trinity Year 10 pupil’s best, scoring with a straight lead, rear combination, and showing great ring craft, slipping the Isle of Man fighter’s advances and countering once again.

The knowledgeable fistic fight crowd were silenced, awaiting the five judges’ verdict.

And it was smiles all round when the hard-working Sandygate boxer’s hand was lifted as the majority winner.

Reagan “Jock” Driver (13) narrowly lost out to R. Thomlinson (Pool of life ABC) in the young Sandygate ABC fighter’s first championship at 54kg.

“All the boys made a good show of themselves, giving it their all.

“Windle just outclassed his tough opponent, but the biggest result was Will Smith beating a quality fighter like Rennie, but all the lads worked hard over the festive period and deserved it, and they are all focused on next week now,” said club coach Nik Tucker.

Windle and Smith now join James Kimberley, Connor Shaw and Charlie Smith over the weekend boxing for the North West ABA Schoolboy crown, once again in Manchester.

Anyone interested in taking up the noble art can find details at www.sandygateabc.com or via their apple/android app.