Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Hard-hitting Barry O’Hara cruises into semi-finals

Barry O'Hara sizzled and spat out venom as he progressed to tomorrow night’s semi-finals of the Ulster Intermediate championships.

Last night at the Dockers Club the Immaculata man overwhelmed Simon O’Boyle of Cavan club Cootehill in the first round of their lightweight clash with a series of wicked body shots.

A sharp left and right to the ribs forced O’Boyle to take a count early on and a further assault drew another count.

O’Boyle was game, doing his best to respond with plenty of leather, but O’Hara forced him to touch down with a crunching right to the body and moments later another body assault brought about the third and final count.

O’Hara, a silver medalist at a recent multi nations tournament in Austria, will now go on to face Stephen Richmond of Braid in tomorrow’s last four duel.

Richmond, 20, was simply too strong for Michael McGarry of St Bronagh’s, winning 30-4 and forcing his opponent to take two counts in the second.

In one of the contests of the night, Daniel McShane of St Paul’s held off a late surge by Patrick Taylor of St Agnes to book his spot in the light-welterweight semis.

McShane, a Youth 1 Irish champion, capitalised on Taylor’s poor tactics in the opening round when instead of using his height and reach advantage he walked forward into a series of short, thudding hooks.

Bullish McShane, 17, not only landed with some spite but with very good accuracy and deserved to lead after the opening three minutes, though 9-4 may have been a little harsh on Taylor.

Nevertheless, McShane clearly won the second round and deserved to be 17-11 up going into the final round. Taylor made a valiant effort to close the gap but McShane still scored with his short hooks to take the decision 22-18.

In the second light-welterweight quarter-final, Gregory O’Hagan came through a tight contest with Vincent Esler to make the last four.

O’Hagan, from Illies Golden Gloves, was deservedly 10-7 ahead after two rounds but then Esler came into his own at the start of the third and clearly closed the gap with a minute remaining.

There seemed to be only a point or two between them but O’Hagan got the nod, 18-14.

Chris Keenan of Cootehill paid a heavy price for being too tentative against Bernard McDonagh of Donegal club Finn Valley at lightweight.

Keenan was pulled out after two rounds as McDonagh’s pressure was clearly too much for him.

In the opening contest at lightweight Michael Glendenning outpointed Ronan Devlin of Toome, 14-11.

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