Back in the day - Belfast box clever to defeat Dublin - Jan 31 1999

LEFT ON THE BUTTON...Belfast’s Paul Moffat connects flush on Dublin’s James Stephens in the Irish News sponsored Inter-City Challenge at the Balmoral Hotel, Belfast
The Irish News Archive

Boxing: Irish News Inter-City Challenge Cup: Belfast 6 Dublin 3

ANOTHER fighting feather in Belfast’s cap.

Four fought, four won, and the first inter-city win of the revived series achieved by more than the minimum margin.

“It was an excellent promotion, some of the bouts were brilliant, a great credit to all the boxers involved,” said Antrim’s IABA official Sean Canavan after watching the 6-3 defeat of Dublin before a packed Balmoral Hotel arena.

With the destination of the trophy already known, Belfast leading 6-2, fight of the night was reserved to last into the ring.

It featured Immaculata’s welterweight Paddy Maguire and Mark Dillon of Golden Cobra. A private war, it raged from start to finish.

Neither held anything back in a powerful three rounds of cracking exchanges.

Very hard to judge, so little in it, a terrific final round, with Dillon earning a split points decision.

Could very easily have gone the other way.

A draw was, arguably, the fairer result, as with an earlier hard fought light-middleweight contest between Belfast ABC’s Michael McAllister and Neilstown’s Kenneth Egan.

Egan got the nod there on a 2-1 split.

Immaculata’s light-middleweight Ciaran Healy didn’t give the judges any time to consider which way to weigh up his bout with Billy Moirs. Straight in, crashing blows sent Moirs through the ropes for a first round stoppage.

Jim Russell, Paul Moffat (who beat three-time National champion James Stephens of Crumlin), Star’s Chris Fox, Abbey’s Philip McMahon and Emerald’s Thomas O’Neill all had their hands raised in victory while

Arbour Hill’s Alan Blythe shaded a tight affair at 54 kilos with Midlands/White City rival Keith Wright.


Belfast bantam Keith Wright (left) in defensive action against Dublin’s Alan Blythe at the Irish News sponsored Inter-City Challenge at the Balmoral Hotel, Belfast


EDDIE King produced a devastating penultimate lap to claim an impressive victory in the 1500m at the British Indoor Championships in Birmingham.

Those trailing in King’s wake included his fellow-northerner Gareth Turnbull who produced a gutsy final 200m to move up from sixth place to eventually claim the silver medal.

King, coached in Belfast by Jim Johnston, can now look forward to representing Britain in the World Indoor Championships in early March.

The ex-Ballymena & Antrim clubman came home in 3.40.24 which left him over four seconds ahead of the fast-finishing Turnbull (3.44.82).

King made his decisive break with 400m left, producing a stunning 200m of 26 seconds which put nearly 20 metres between him and the chasing pack.


DENNY Notre Dame walked tall into history at the Arena in Tallaght last night as they became the first club to win the men’s senior Sprite National Cup for a third time in a row.

In a fabulous final they outshot Blue Demons by 62 points to 61 with captain and player-coach Anthony Jenkins showing the way.

He was superb with 19 points and 14 rebounds but it was Demons Dion Wingfield – 34 points and 15 rebounds – who got the Most Valuable Player award.



Dublin’s Mark Dillon (right) locked in combat with Belfast’s Paddy Maguire in the Irish News sponsored Inter-City Challenge at the Balmoral Hotel, Belfast

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