Exhilaration, adrenaline, determination, fairness and sportsmanship created an electric, fantastic, atmosphere at the white collar boxing Battle of the Rovers tournament in Aherlow House hotel last Saturday night.
With the ballroom packed to capacity the overflow in the bar upstairs shouted at the TV screens showing the live boxing downstairs. It was billed as the most eagerly awaited match of the year and the spectacle of excellent boxing and pure determination from each of the players who fought in the ring did not disappoint the great turnout of families and supporters.
Thirty players from both Arravale Rovers and Galtee Rovers St. Pecauns trained for six weeks with boxing coaches from the White Collar boxing association, as well as training locally in the Tipperary Boxing club. Every one of the 15 matches completed the 3-rounds, a testament to the fitness and fortitude of each boxer. Colin Morrissey (Galtee) won against Matt O’Doherty (Arravale) opening the tournament with a fast-setting pace and high standards for the night.
“John (Wallace) Bourke from Arravale Rovers gave a superb display while dispatching Kieran Bergin (Galtee Rovers) in a hard fought contest but the best fight was between Catherine Hogan Galtee Rover’s St Pecaun and Lorraine Kenneally that ended in a draw,” said Stevie O’Donnell, Sports Presenter at Tipp Mid West Radio. “This fight brought the crowd to its feet and we witnessed another cracking contest between Katie Ahern (Arravale) and Aoife Peters (Galtee). Both girls left every ounce of energy in the ring before Aoife just about shaded it to give the Galtees a slender lead of 4-3 at half time.”
Galtee’s Eddie Grace (41) the oldest competitor, won his match against Paddy Maher (Arravale) as did Ian O’Brien (Galtee)against Ger O’Dwyer (Arravale). Arravale’s Paddy Dalton overcame Emmet Ryan (Galtee) and Damien Kiely defeated Denis Peters (Galtee). Each and every match was well-fought by boxers giving it their everything with every punch.
In the second half Arravale Rovers fought like Lions. Timmy Dalton boxed very well to overcome Galtee’s Tony O’Brien in an absorbing contest followed by Galtee’s Christopher Doyle who was beaten by Arravale’s Stephen Spillane. Pa Morrissey (Galtee) and Arravale’s Darren Lowry well even match resulted in a draw and Claire Carroll (Galtee) was defeated by Arravale’s Ciara O’Sullivan.
However it was the Leahy twins Donagh and Shane that produced two good bouts against Galtee’s Andrew Morrissey and Conor O’Sullivan to ensure victory to Tipperary Town’s Arravale Rovers wining overall 8-5 plus two draws. The crowd really got behind the last fight between favourite-to-win, Galtee’s Paul Maher and Arravale’s popular Brian Bocca Glasheen whose childhood ambition is to get to know as many lovely ladies as possible.