A Marble (ous) night of boxing as Ireland take honours

BIG time boxing returned to Kilkenny at the weekend, and it was a smash hit as the Marble City club hosted a tournament in the Springhill Court hotel between Ireland and Scotland that was one of biggest ever.

BIG time boxing returned to Kilkenny at the weekend, and it was a smash hit as the Marble City club hosted a tournament in the Springhill Court hotel between Ireland and Scotland that was one of biggest ever.

Ireland’s schoolboy Elite boxers were on show and the action was fast and furious. First up for Ireland was Thomas McCarthy who took on Dylan Arbuckle in the 35kgs class. Both left everything in the ring with Dylan edging a victory, 10-9.

The exciting action never wavered. By the break the scores was 5-2 for Ireland. The home side started well after the interval, and they drove on. Kilkenny’s Kevin Kehoe took on two time British finalist John Doherty in the 62kgs weight division. The Scot started well, with some heavy combinations but Kevin’s resilience kept him in contention.

Both boxers came out in the second and delivered some explosive combinations. Doherty’s quick reflexes and counter punching seemed to give him the edge going into the third. Kevin had to work hard in the last round, and he did not disappoint, working the ring and scoring some excellent combinations.

At the final bell two tired boxers embraced warmly. John Doherty got the victory, although Kevin proved he is one of Ireland’s finest talents and a definite star of the future. J

The final bout featured Kilkenny’s Noel Kehoe, who, after a year out to successfully complete his Leaving Cert, is preparing again to launch his own attack on the national title. He took on another British champion, Connor McGregor in the 56kgs division.

Noel showed no sign of ring rust as he imposed himself on his opponent. But Connor came back with some accurate shots to end the round one up. The second started at a fierce pace, both exchanging heavy blows.

Connor again seemed to pick his shots a little better to maintain the lead. As the boxers came to the centre of the ring for the final round the crowd was on its feet. Both boxer gave an heroic display and this time it seemed that Noel had the edge, but it wasn’t enough. Connor got the verdict 10-8.

This was one of the most exciting nights of boxing in Kilkenny in years, with some of the finest young athletes on show. Marble City boxing club thanked the Scottish team for helping to provide a treat of boxing. They also thanked everyone who supported the show.

Team managers - Ireland: Stewart Leahy, Kilkenny; Scotland: Thomas Brown.

Results - 35kgs Dylan Arbuckle (Scotland) bt Thomas McCarthy (Ireland); 40kgs Nathan May (Ireland) bt Ryan Ball (Scotland); 40kgs Calvin Turner (Ireland) bt Callum Cook (Scotland); 41kgs Connor Quinn (Ireland) bt Callum Stuart (Scotland); 43kgs Nathan Shaw (Scotland) bt Eamon Sweeney (Ireland); 44.5kgs Owen McCarthy (Ireland) bt Leighton McKenzie(Scotland); 45kgs Oliver McCarthy (Ireland) bt Jack Crawford (Scotland); 48kgs James McGivern (Ireland) bt Stephen Knox(Scotland); 50kgs William Stuart (Scotland) bt Aaron Harkin (Ireland); 10.52kgs Thomas Logan (Scotland) bt Brian McNamme (Ireland); 54kgs Mathew Davis (Ireland) bt William Hutchinson (Scotland); 62kgs John Doherty (Scotland) bt Kevin Kehoe (Ireland); 62kgs Christopher O Reilly (Ireland) bt John Lee Joyce (Scotland); 56kgs Connor McGregor (Scotland) bt Noel Kehoe (Ireland).

Final score: Ireland 8, Scotland 6.