FOR the fifth year in succession, Gilford Boxing Club acquired the ultimate prize by adding another Irish title to it’s book of success.
Young Oisin O’Dowd from Gilford returned home from the national stadium Dublin to a hero’s welcome from his supporters.
Oisin’s journey to victory began when he defeated Raymond Ward (All Saints Ballymena) on a computer scoring of 15-13.
Having secured his place in the final, Oisin then met Pierre Stokes (Ballinacargy Co Westmeath). After a tight first round it was all level going into the second. O’Dowd appeared to up his game in the next round however this was not reflected in the scoring and the Gilford lad found himself a point behind going into the third.
With the title hanging in the balance, seasoned cornermen Bernard McComiskey and Justin Hill delivered some well timed motivational and strategic guidance to their 12 year old boxer in his first Irish final.
In the third and final round Oisin gave every ounce of effort right up until the final bell and a hush of anticipation descended upon the crowd waiting on the Master of ceremonies announcement.
With the score tied at 4-4 the MC’s announcement of a countback increased the tension for both boxers and spectators, and to a roar of cheers it was the arm of Gilford’s Oisin O’Dowd that was raised on a scoreline of 15-13 and crowned Champion of Ireland in the (boy 2) 54kg category.