Back in the day - Cunningham brothers, Harry and Liam, box to brilliant Ulster Senior double = The Irish News, Feb 18 1999

The Irish News Archive

THE fighting fortunes of Saints ABC brothers, Harry and Liam Cunningham, scored a priceless boxing double as the first family act to achieve back-to-back title victories since the late 1960s last night.

A classic coup for the young Belfast boys, world junior star Harry, who took silver recently at those championships in Argentina, and Liam, who was a beaten finalist at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Malaysia.

Harry Cunningham defeated light-flyweight champion, and Irish title holder, Jim Rooney of Star by one single punch on computer-scoring countback, while Liam defeated Holy Trinity’s Paul Lambe, 8-5 in the flyweight final.

Cunningham retained the title.

It was the first of its rare kind since 1968-69 when the Turkingtons, Henry and Billy, last achieved the outstanding milestone.

Rooney can count himself unlucky.

A very hard contest, it was scored level at 6-6, with the controversial system producing victory for Cunningham 36-35 on countback.

Rooney’s work in what was a cat and mouse contest of hide and seek, and crisp exchanges, was perhaps the slightly more untidy with Cunningham looking to have edged it with cleaner punching.

Light-flyweight: Jim Rooney (Star, holder) lost to Harry Cunningham (Saints) 6-6, Cunningham won 36-35 on countback.

Flyweight: Liam Cunningham (Saints, holder) bt Paul Lambe (Holy Trinity) 8-5.

Bantamweight: Charles Nash (Ring, holder) bt William Waite (Holy Family) 15-6.

Featherweight: Michael O’Kane (Monkstown) bt Dermot Hamill (All Saints) 9-9 (O’Kane won 30-29 on countback).

Lightweight: Eamonn Gillen (Antrim) lost to Thomas Hamill (All Saints) 10-7.

Light-welterweight: Paul McCloskey (St Canice’s, holder) bt Des Treacy (Mark Heagney ABC) 11-6.

Welterweight: Gary McClure (Abbey) lost to Gary McCullagh (Ring) 13-7.

Light-middleweight: Martin Woods (Dunfanaghy) lost to Michael McAllister (Belfast ABC) RSC4. Super-heavyweight: Tom Clare (Buncrana, holder) wo

Middleweight: Thomas Tolan (Holy Trinity) lost to Conail Carmichael (Holy Trinity) 6-6 (36- 17 on countback)

Light Heavyweight: Mark O’Hare (Holy Trinity, holder) lost to Patrick Smith (Keady) 13-7 Heavyweight: Ben McGarrigle (Omagh Boys) bt Shane O’Hagan (Bishop Kelly) RSC2

MOST IMPROVED YOUNG BOXER: Harry Cunningham (Saints)

BEST BOXER: Thomas Hamill (All Saint


THERE will be a strong Ulster flavour to today’s Collingwood Cup semi-finals in Limerick with UUC, Queen’s and UUJ having made it through, along with outsiders NUI Galway.

However there is no place for last season’s winners, St Mary’s Belfast, who were held to a scoreless draw by Jordanstown in their final group game yesterday. Coleraine have been paired with the Connacht university, while Queen’s take on rivals UUJ for a place in the final of the Budweisersponsored event.

Queen’s, the top scorers in the competition, slammed hapless St Patrick’s by 5-0 yesterday and the score might have been greater but for some fine goalkeeping by David Carroll.

Simon Kingston and Philip McAuley saw to it that the Queen’s front runners were given a plentiful supply and Stephen Holywood and Lawrence Higgins took full advantage, grabbing a brace each.

Richard Spratt scored the other goal for the Malone side.


PORTAFERRY”S Noel Sands, better known as an attacker, has been selected at left halfback for the county’s opening NHL assignment against Waterford in Dungarvan.

The Mournemen are, of course, minus their Ballygalget contingent due to the club’s forthcoming All-Ireland Club Championship semi-final.

The goalkeeping berth has been left vacant, but it has been mooted that veteran Noel Keith could come out of retirement for the fixture.


DUBLINERS Fergal O’Brien and Ken Doherty will meet today in the last 16 of the Scottish Open.

O’Brien beat Tony Drago 5-4 yesterday while Doherty beat Marcus Campbell 5-1.


THE following Antrim Under 21 players are to report to St Paul’s pitch Shaw’s Road on Saturday for the final county trial: Brian McCann, Enda McLarnon, Owen Doherty, Kevin Brady, Paul McCann, Tony Convery, Dermot Niblock, Gary Flynn, Cormac McKenna, James O’Neill, Niall Ward, Barry Burns, Emmett Hughes, Conor Thornbury, Anthony Brennan, Ciaran Anderson, Pearse McCollum, Brendan Grieves, Conor Copeland, Daryl Martin, Conor Cunning, Fergal Higgins, SP O’Hagan, Rory O’Loan, Paddy Logan, Aidan Scullion, Paul McKeever, Thomas Maguire, Sean McCambridge, Ciaran McGinley, Peter Higgins, Dulach Johnston, Shane Devlin, Donal McCann, Barry Neeson, Chris Sweeney, Peter McKenna.

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