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Jude Gallagher powers to Ulster Elite title joy with victory over Conor Kerr

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Jude Gallagher celebrates his victory over Conor Kerr of Monkstown in the Ulster Elite 57kg final. Credit: Mark Mallow

Jude Gallagher celebrates his victory over Conor Kerr of Monkstown in the Ulster Elite 57kg final. Credit: Mark Mallow

Mark Mallow

Ricky Nesbitt (left) takes a shot from Padraig Downey on his way to victory in the 48kg final. Credit: Mark Marlow

Ricky Nesbitt (left) takes a shot from Padraig Downey on his way to victory in the 48kg final. Credit: Mark Marlow

Mark Marlow

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Jude Gallagher celebrates his victory over Conor Kerr of Monkstown in the Ulster Elite 57kg final. Credit: Mark Mallow

Jude Gallagher celebrated Ulster Elite delight at Girdwood Community Hub as he got the better of Monkstown’s Conor Kerr in the featherweight final.

The 3-2 split decision reflected a thrilling bout as both men produced high-quality boxing.

Gallagher, of the Two Castles club, was given trouble in the opener by Kerr but began to assert himself in the second as his work was just a little sharper.

Kerr was right in it until the last as he continued to press, but it was Gallagher’s night.

Dominic Bradley also stood out as he won the lightweight title.

The Emerald boxer took a 4-1 split decision from the judges after a thrilling battle against Holy Family’s Rory Lavery.

The Holy Family man looked to have the momentum after the second round, but Bradley found the answer, sending him to the canvas in the third and showing his class to out-box his rival.

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“It was just that wee bit of class when it was scrappy,” said an emotional Bradley. “It was back to that line, finding calm in the heat of battle. I’ve lost two Irish Elite finals and lost out on an Ulster Elite final… it’s tears of happiness instead of sadness.”

Bradley grew into the opening round, landing a solid right to underline his dominance. Lavery upped the pace in the second and two hard lefts seemed to tip the scale his way, but Bradley’s looping right early in the final round regained momentum.

With Lavery forced to go for broke, Bradley could step back and his uppercut came into play as he claimed victory.

Jack McGivern emulated older brother James as he out-boxed Erne’s Anthony Malanaphy to keep the Upritchard Cup in the family and the St George’s club with a unanimous victory.

The men’s light-flyweight final was between boxers from two different St John Bosco clubs, but it was Ricky Nesbitt from the Newry version who got the better of Belfast’s Padraig Downey, impressing all five judges for a unanimous win.

Cookstown’s Craig Biggar was celebrating success at 52kg as he defeated Letterkenny’s Paddy McShane on a 3-2 split decision.

Carly McNaul remains on course for a return to the Commonwealth Games as she claimed the Ulster Elite flyweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Holy Family’s Sionnan McKenna.

“I felt very relaxed,” she said.

Immaculata’s Nicole Meli was also celebrating on her return having been away for six years as she claimed the women’s 54kg title with a 5-0 win over Clodagh McComiskey from Gilford.

The opening fight of the night was the women’s 48kg final where Antrim’s Nicole Clyde just had too much quality for Canal’s Chloe Fleck in the 48kg final, while Amy Broadhurst took the women’s lightweight title as she stopped Christine Gargan.


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