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Home crowd roars McIntyre to semi spot

By Colin Speer

The provinces top boxers made their way to Londonderry, for the Ulster Elite Boxing Championships, as the first sporting event during the UK 2013 City of Culture celebrations got underway in the Pilots Row Centre.

The prestigious championship drew an enthusiast crowd and they were treated to a spectacular night of boxing.

In the opening bout of the evening local man Kevin McIntyre took on Sean Magee, with the St Joseph’s fighter just about edging the opening round after landing a number of impressive blows.

Magee to his credit bossed the second round, he was on the front foot right from the opening bell and despite a late rally from McIntyre the Belfast man took the round.

In an action packed third round it was the Derry native who edged things to take the bout by a 24-12 scoreline and progress to tomorrow evening's semi-finals.

The second contest of the evening saw Holy Trinity club-mates Conal Hall and Ethan Audley go head-to-head.

It was Hall who just about edged a tight contest 15-14, in what was a more tactical bout with the man in the red corner just about shading things.

Next up was Errigal fighter Michael Glendenning facing Immaculata boxer Paul Hyland, with Glendenning having a large travelling support to cheer him on to a narrow 13-11 success.

Hyland will have felt bitterly disappointed because on another night he could well have taken the decision.

Michael Smyth then took on Stephen Mulholland in a totally one-sided contest, with the St Malachy's man dominating proceedings throughout.

Mulholland showed great class and after a host of body blows Smyth was given a standing eight count by referee James McCaroll. Then just as the second round was coming to an end Smyth's corner threw the towel in, after he was again pinned up against the ropes.

The fifth fight of the evening saw another stoppage, this time Fergal McCrory was just too good for Dungloe's Shaun McShane, who after taking a standing eight count, retired himself while sitting on the stool in the third round.

In the final bout of the evening, the light heavy weight contest between Ryan Donnelly and Damien Ramsey, Donnelly easily overcame the Ligoneil man 10-6.

The Bishop Kelly man, boxed cleverly in all three rounds and he was always in control and despite not having the height advantage, he bullied Donnelly for large parts of the fight.

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