Anthony strikes gold in Co Antrim championships
BRAID ABC are celebrating after two of their young boxers impressed when both fighting in the recent Co Antrim championships in Belfast.
Fifteen-year-old Slemish college student Anthony O’Rawe newly crowned Co Antrim champion at 54kg and Nicholas McIlroy, a pupil at Dunclug College lifted silver after an absolutely enthralling encounter in the final.
Nicholas, who faced the current Irish champion Derek Potter, of the Cairn Lodge club in Belfast, really shone during the bout and has now ranked himself among the best in Ireland as he gave the champion something to remember him by.
Nicholas`s coach John Mcleister said: “Nicholas fought absolutely brilliantly in the final and gave a great account of himself despite being outpointed, he will take great confidence from this bout, one of the best bouts of the tournament.
“Both boys battled from the opening bell to the final bell and nothing could seperate them. Nick will undoubtedly make a name for himself as he progresses through the sport, he has a real talent and an excellent determination that will help him develop.”
Nicholas was not disappointed at all with his performance and was happy that his best pal and club mate Anthony O’Rawe made it all the way to the top to lift gold.
“Anthony really wanted this title. It has slipped from him a few times in the past and he was determined to win the title this year.
“Anthony had to fight two top class opponents to scoop this medal and deserved every bit of it,” said coach McLeister.
“Anthony deserves a medal every time he fight, simply because of his determination and his attitude, he has accomplished so much in the short number of years he has been with the Braid club.
“The sport has really changed young Anthony’s life and made him a top sportsman. He trains tirelessly and listen to every piece of coaching and advice we give him.
“He will now travel to Dublin to compete for a national title and this is a challenge that we relish. It is a very real possibility that Anthony can go all the way in Dublin if he can keep focussed and not let the occasion get to him.
“Anthony and I have an excellent relationship and like so many of the boys we have become good friends. this makes the difference in this sport knowing that the support is there in victory or defeat.
“We have such a good bunch of boys coming through and the talent they is excellent they do so much for the sport in Ballymena and are real ambassadors,” added John.