Brendan Irvine shows class
Brendan Irvine gave a sublime performance to seal his place in the final of the light-flyweight division of the Ulster Intermediates.
At the Dockers Club last night, Irvine – of the St Paul's club in Belfast – uncorked a sweetly timed left hook to give Jordan Chambers a count within 30 seconds.
Chambers, from Sacred Heart Newry, showed his mettle by immediately firing back but the naturally heavy handed Irvine was simply too effective with his accurate punching and referee Seamus Kelly wisely called a halt in the first.
Irvine will now go on to face Darryl Moran of Illies Golden Gloves in Donegal in the final tomorrow in what should be one of the contests of the night.
The 17-year-old Belfast lad revealed that he gave up on his A-levels just a couple of weeks ago in order to focus on his boxing and he has high hopes for 2014.
"The Olympic Youth Games are next year and I want to be there," said Irvine.
"Ryan Burnett won gold at them and I want to follow in his footsteps. I found that I couldn't deal with the workload of the A-levels and keep up the level of boxing that I need. But my school, De La Salle have said to me that if I want to come back they would have me.
"I didn't think the contest would end so quickly, so I'm pleased with my performance. I'm looking forward to the final now on Friday, I'm sure it'll be a tough contest."
It proved to be a good night for the St Agnes club as bantamweight Eamonn McNally (right) and light-welterweight Darren Pollock made it through to the finals.
Pollock of St Agnes and Cathal Jennings of Sacred Heart Newry were engaged in the contest of the night before the Belfast boxer landed a wicked body shot in the second round.
From the opening bell, the two Irish junior champions let the leather fly as Jennings drew Pollock into the close quarter fight that he wanted.
Near the end of the round Pollock gave himself a little more distance and it proved very effective as he speared home rights and left before and uppercut followed by a left hook brought a count for Jennings.
The Newry man came out like a steam train and got through some good body blows but then had to take a count when he complained of having taken one south of the border.
The action was now white hot as they tore into each with a succession of body shots but Pollock's left hand proved decisive as Jennings went down on one knee and despite beating the count was subsequently stopped.
Pollock will now go on to face Vinny Esler of the All Saints club in Ballymena in tomorrow's final.
Esler was always too sharp for the game Conall McKenna of Emyvale, taking a unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-26, 30-27 on the three judges' cards. Pollock's clubmate McNally was also impressive as the tall southpaw outfoxed Ryan Adams of Holy Family.
Adams edged the first round in the eyes of the judges but there was no dispute about rounds two and three as McNally peppered his opponent from range.
The brave Adams bustled forward looking for openings but was repeatedly met by the quick one-twos of McNally who went through to the final after a unanimous decision of 29-28 from all three judges.
McNally will face Thomas Mongan of Illies GG for the bantam title after he outpointed Camlough's Patrick Faloon, 30-27, 29-28, 30-26.
Esler's All Saints team-mate Enda Kennedy (20), was a clear winner at lightweight as he picked his shots with great authority against Brendan Magee of St Bronagh's, winning 30-27 on all the cards.
Kennedy will start favourite against Chris McPeake of St John's, Swatragh who defeated Seamus Og Deeds of Clonard, 29-28 on all the cards.
Kurt Walker of Canal, Lisburn has a walkover in the featherweight final.