DERRYLIN Boxing Club’s pursuit of National title honours this term once again agonisingly ended at the semi-final stage for the fourth time this season.
After two wins Marty Reilly bowed out of the National Youth (Under 18’s) Championships in the 56kgs semi-final against Ireland International boxer and World Youth Championship Bronze medalist Kurt Walker.
Reilly got his campaign off to a great start last Friday with a comprehensive 23-8 points win over the teak tough Paddy Nolan (Gorey BC).
The very stocky and squat Wexford boxer was as strong as a bull and despite taking some very solid shots kept coming.
Reilly unusually had height and reach advantages and used them effectively.
He regularly caught the ever advancing Nolan with jabs and crosses as well as landing good body shot on route to a clear win.
The following Saturday afternoon Reilly was back in action contesting his quarterfinal contest against John Stokes (St Seachnalls BC).
With Stokes being taller and a mover, he presented Reilly with a completely different task than his preliminary contest.
But working well behind the jab, Reilly found his range and frequently scored with hurtful body shots to open a commanding 6-2 lead.
The second and third sessions were much closer as Stokes fought back gamely but Reilly did enough to take both sessions by a single point to run out a clear 13-7 points winner.
The demanding tournament continued with semi-final contests taking place on Sunday. The Derrylin favorite faced the toughest possible task having been drawn against Kurt Walker who not only won these championships as a 16-year-old last year but then went on to claim bronze at last autumn’s World Youth championships.
Reilly started unfazed and pressed forward but Walker was very competent at letting his shots go before adeptly moving out of range. However, Reilly did find the target with some body shots and the competitive opener ended narrowly 7-4 against.
The second session followed a similar pattern and again with Walker moving in and out of range landing classy shots before being elusive.
However, Reilly set a high tempo forcing his opponent to work all the time and again had his moments of success as round two ended with the contest still in the balance at 13-8.
In the final round, instead of Reilly taking over as expected the pace got to him and Walker gave a boxing master class. Boxing expertly off the back foot, Walker frequently countered with quality punches to both head and body as Reilly desperately tried to cut the ring down.
The scoring of the final round 10-2 in favor of Walker seemed very harsh on Reilly as he gallantly bowed out of the competition 23-10.
Derrylin Boxing Club coach Sean Crowley commented, “Marty Reilly did us very proud, he beat two very good opponents before losing out only to a talented boxer of the highest quality.
The tournament was extremely demanding with him having to box three times on consecutive days plus having to make the weight each day.
However, he did brilliantly and will have learned a great deal from the experience of competing at this level and it will only him improve as consequence.”
The defeat to Walker was only Reilly’s second reverse in fourteen outings this seasons and is a measure of how far the youngster has progressed this year and we can expect to see a lot more from the Derrylin boxer next season as he steps up to Intermediate level.
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