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Back in the day: In The Irish News on Feb 14 1997: Brian Magee works his magic to claim Ulster senior boxing title

SPOT ON... Damaen Kelly connects with Pat McKeown on the way to victory at the Smithwick’s Ulster Senior Championships last night.

BRIAN Magee was in a different class as he completed his first competitive task since undergoing knee surgery in November, the 21-year-old southpaw dismantling the challenge of Ledley Hall’s Jamie Kirkbride with a third round stoppage at the Ulster Hall last night.

Magee, rated No 7 in the world, clinched yet another Ulster senior title in awesome fashion.

Kirkbride suffered a bloody nose, another standing count, as the impressive Magee unloaded a battery of shots in the third, landing two great left hooks to the whiskers to force another count and end the bout.

Billy Cowan, a 29-year-old from Monkstown, scored one of the upsets of the night when he defeated the highly-fancied Michael Blaney in the welterweight final with a six-point winning margin.

Blaney, perhaps a bit too casual in the early rounds, increased the workrate over the third and fourth, winning the latter 5-1, but a big finish from the wild punching Cowan put the decision 17-11.

Jim Rooney (Star) shaded a smashing opening contest for the light-flyweight title. The first three rounds on computer scoring swung the decision though Gerard McManus of Immaculata will feel terribly disappointed.

Light-flyweight: G McManus (Immaculata) lost to J Rooney (Star) 17- 15.

Flyweight: T McColgan (Coleraine) w.o.

Bantamweight: D Kelly (Holy Trinity) bt P McKeown (St George’s/St Malachy’s) 29-9.

Featherweight: J Conlon (Holy Trinity) lost to D Lowry (Albert Foundry) 14-13.

Lightweight: A Patterson (St Pat’s Newry) lost to P Conlon (Holy Trinity) ko5.

Light-welterweight: G McLarnon (Holy Family Golden Gloves) bt O Montague (Dockers) 11-6.

Welterweight: M Blaney (Holy Trinity) lost to B Cowan (Monkstown) 17-11.

Light-middleweight: J McKay (HML) lost to F Webb (Holy Trinity) 11-5.

Middleweight: B Magee (Holy Trinity) bt J Kirkbride (Ledley Hall) rsf3.

Light-heavyweight: S Kirk (Cairn Lodge) w.o. Heavyweight; B McGarrigle (Omagh Boys) bt J Sheering (Fairview) 14-6.

Super-heavyweight: J White (St Pat’s Newry) lost to T Clare (Buncrana) 12-5

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SEAN McGuinness could return to county hurling management.

The former Down boss is believed to have been among a number of people approached for the position of U21 manager.

Those approached have to date confirmed their management team proposals for the forthcoming campaign but Antrim hurling official Frank Smyth said nothing will be confirmed until County Committee meets on February 24.

Rossa’s Mickey McCallin is in line to take over from Olcan McFettridge at minor. Meanwhile manager John Morrison.

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BALLINDERRY and St Patrick’s Maghera ace Gerard Cassidy yesterday picked up the January Bass Ulster GAA Writers’ Award.

The 18-year-old was the unanimous choice of the writers after his outstanding performance in helping Ballinderry win the Ulster Club minor title on New Year’s Day.

Cassidy bagged eight points in a remarkable display of freetaking which helped the Shamrocks club to victory over Killeavy in the St Paul’s tournament final.

The youngster, who was accompanied by his parents Peter and Bernadette plus several Ballinderry officials to yesterday’s reception, professed himself “surprised but delighted” at the award.

“I was very pleased with my performance on New Year’s Day. But it was a team effort. It was just great to bring another title to Ballinderry to cap a brilliant 12 months for the club”.

Ballinderry enjoyed an astonishing year in Derry football in 1996.

All the county championships bar the senior title went to the loughshore club.

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