Burnley’s Sandygate Amateur Boxing Club played host to a team from Ireland at the weekend.
And what a show it was at The New Era Complex, Accrington.
Eight boxers representing Thurles ABC, Tipperary returned a fixture from last year.
Schoolboy debutant, Padiham’s Brandon ‘Hit-Man’ Hartley, 14, opened the show against H. Khan of Hamer ABC in a cracking fight.
The Shuttleworth Year 9 pupil made his mark in the first, dominating centre and scoring with good combinations. The second and third saw Hartley live up to his nickname with a full-on display of endurance and determinationr, giving Sandygate a perfect start when his hand was raised in a unanimous verdict.
Burnley’s Calum ‘Two-Tone’ Rainey, 14), also making his first appearance, was pitted against D. Dyson (Stockport & Brinnington ABC) in a very short affair.
With the bell still ringing in his opponent’s ears, Rainey rained down a flood of hooks and upper-cuts, giving the referee no option but to administer a standing eight count to Dyson.
The Year 10 S Augustine’s pupil then launched another wave of punches, which Dyson soaked up, but he couldn’t weather a further storm, with the referee calling a halt to the bout within one minute 25 seconds of the first round.
Shuttleworth’s Year 8 Nathan Kennerley, 13, faced James Attenboro Lee (Hope Street ABC) hoping to keep the winning streak running, and he did just that, putting in a cracking display, using all three rounds to display a rigid jab and cracking back-hand.
Kennerley dominated throughout, keeping centre and countering with precision, giving the Holmes Street Club another unanimous verdict.
Nelson’s Charlie Martin, 14, suffered a nasty cut to the eye when a clash of heads in the first seconds had the doctor ringside calling a halt to his return bout against C. Keeler (Beartown ABC), much to Charlie’s disappointment.
Sandygate’s Aidan Whittle, 18, was matched against Darren Heaney (Thurles, Ireland) in a real brawl, with both stocky lads not giving an inch.
Whittle’s wild right hooks finally penetrated Heaney’s defences, with the constant barrage from the ‘Padiham Power Station’ taking a toll on his Celtic counterpart, forcing the referee to call a halt to the proceedings late on in the third round after Whittle forced an eight-count twice.
Alfie Wardle, 15, narrowly lost out to unbeaten A. Jamanzab (Round 1 ABC) in a very scrappy affair.
Barnoldswick’s Jordan ‘Dangerous’ Davies, 14, fresh from a winning debut in Manchester against R. Both (Tameside ABC), proved his performance was no fluke when matched against D. Bunner (Hamer ABC) for his second outing.
The West Craven Year 9 pupil towered above Bunner and used his advantage very well, boxing off the back foot, his straight, long arms couldn’t fail to hit the target.
Cutting off the ring, Davies tagged his smaller foe with increasing regularity, combinations to the head being his main choice of attack, and it was no surprise when judges ringside gave another Sandygate victory.
Harry Magee, 16, lost by the smallest of margins in a cracking bout against the flamboyant Irish boxer Prince Swaile (Thurles).
Clitheroe’s ‘Big’ Tom McBride (17) had the biggest smile of the night after a excellent display against Andrew Donnellan (Thurles), with the Sandygate fighter showing a full repertoire of punching precision, earning a proud McBride a unanimous prize at the final bell.
The well-received show ended with S.Atkinson (Bredbury and Stockport ABC) beating M. O’Gorman (Thurles), J.Lloyd (Pool of Life ABC) out-pointing P.Cronin (Thurles), and D.Mapana (St John’s ABC) out-pointing D.Keenhan (Thurles), while M. Beresford (Thurles) beat D.Arrowsmith (Bredbury and Stockport ABC).
J.B. Hanratty (Thurles) won against Lewis Taylor (Sandygate) in a bout which went one way then the other, and the final bout of the fantastic 15-fight festival saw D. Sanders (Thurles) beat H. Gelaev (Gorton ABC).
Sandygate thanked the travelling Irish team who enjoyed their stay in Lancashire, enjoying the local surroundings while staying at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel, and now the Burnley club look forward to returning to Tipperary next season, as well as Denmark and Sweden.
Anyone interested in joining the popular boxing outfit can contact Nik Tucker 07855505719 or Andy Howcroft 07866073353.