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Irish News Past Papers - Dec 19 1998: Harry Cunningham secures All-Ireland boxing final berth

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HARRY Cunningham of the Saints club in Belfast had no difficulty in finding the target during the finals of the National Intermediate Boxing Championships at the National Stadium last night.

Harry was in prime form following his silver medal success in the World Junior Championships a few weeks ago in Argentina to face the challenge of Roy Duggan of Fermoy in the flyweight title fight.

Cunningham cruised through 19-1.

Southpaw Cunningham felt something that the judges didn't.

“He hit me in the first round and it hurt” he said.

William Waite, the Holy Family Golden Gloves bantamweight, gained compensation for his defeat in last years final when getting through 12-10 against Oak Leaf's Eugene O'Kane.

The curious thing though is that he could have lost it had O'Kane not taken a public warning for head low in the final round.

“I am delighted but I could not understand some of the scoring,” said Waite, who lost last year to the stylish Bernard Dunne of Dublin CIE.

Curiously the judges did not see Duggan land a blow until the final round his only point in fact.

Fly: H Cunningham, Saints bt R Duggan, Fermoy 19-1 Bantam: W Waite, Holy Family Golden Gloves bt E O'Kane, Oak Leaf 12-10 Feather: E Hyland, Golden Cobra bt S Toohig, Sunnyside 33-14 Light: K Crawley, Glassnevin by K Clifford, Grangecon 12-9 Light welter: J Harkin, Dunfanaghy bt C McLoughlin, Keady 14-7 Welter: K Comiskey Tralee bt P Whelan Secra Coeur, ko round 1 Light middle: J Duddy Ring bt A Gibson Larne 23-10 Middle: C Carmichael Holy Trinity bt Leon Senior Crumlin 14-9 Light heavy: A Reynolds (St Josephs Sligo) bt M Mallon (Sacred Heart) KO R1 Heavyweight: J McDonagh (Westport) bt Paddy Byrne (Swinford) RSC 4 Super heavy: C Kenna (Mount Tallant) wo D Nevin (Dunboyne)

DERMOT Donnelly will lead the Annadale Striders squad taking part in tomorrow's Tullamore Road Races in county Offaly writes John Haughey.

The west Belfastman has now mapped out his schedule for the next three months which, he hopes, will culminate in selection for the Irish team for the World Cross-Country Championships in his native city on March 27/28.

ULSTER'S Sigerson Cup heavyweights Queen's and UUJ have both landed exceptionally tough openers in this season's competition.

Hosts Queen's were in something of a daze last night after being handed an away tie against strong contenders UCD while Jordanstown's first Amstel Sigerson contest will be a home tie against Garda College.

The other Ulster hopefuls St Mary's and Coleraine also have difficult first round hurdles with the teacher training college at home to the University of Limerick - finalists two years ago - in the first round and the Bannsiders opening up against either Sligo RTC or Mary Immaculata Limerick.

But Queen's massive task away to UCD was the big talking point from last night's draw from the Ulster point of view.

UCD's crop this year includes Galway All-Ireland trio John Divilly, Derek Savage and Tomas Meehan plus accomplished Offaly county star Ciaran McManus.

The UCD squad also contains numerous other county players which adds up to a huge task for Queen's manager Dessie Ryan and his players.

However, this year's Queen's line-up has its own fair share of inter-county stars.

These include the in-form Tyrone minor captain Cormac McAnallen and Armagh man Colm Hanratty who recently returned to football after serious injury.

Hanratty has moved from his normal corner-back position to the QUB half-forward line and appears to be revelling in his new role.

IRELAND will be represented in all 12 weights in the 2001 World Amateur Championships in Belfast after the sport's governing body granted a special dispensation to the host country.

The International Amateur Boxing Association has waived the qualification process for fighters from the host country. Because of the increasing amount of countries sending fighters to major championships, the 2001 event in Belfast will be the first World Championships to have pre-qualifying stages as is now customary with the Olympic Games and European Championships.

owever, following the international body's gesture announced last week, hosts Ireland will not now be affected by the new pre-qualifying regulations for the 2001 Championships.

The news will be a boost to 2001 hopefuls such as the Cunningham brothers, Harry and Liam from the Saints club in Belfast.

Ulster Amateur branch president Pat McCrory said the move by the International Amateur Boxing Association indicated its “goodwill” and “full support” for the 2001 Championships.

McCrory plus Sports Council officials Don Allen and Eamonn McCartan, the chief members of the local organising committee for the championships, travelled to Turkey last week.

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