Prospect Dylan Eagleson aiming to work his way back onto international stage

St Paul's flyweight Dylan Eagleson takes on Letterkenny's Paddy McShane in tonight's Irish U18 final. Picture by Hugh Russell
Neil Loughran

Amateur boxing: Irish U18 Championships (tonight, 6.30pm, National Stadium)

ST Paul’s pocket rocket Dylan Eagleson hopes to propel himself back onto the international stage with victory at the Irish U18 Championships tonight.

The Bangor light-fly competed at the European Youth Championships last year after cleaning up domestically, and hopes to put himself in the frame for a return to the Irish vest with victory over Letterkenny’s four-time national champion, Paddy McShane.

Eagleson will be one of the youngest boxers on show at the National Stadium, but age has proved no barrier as he saw off the hugely talented Johnny Joyce of Olympic, Mullingar in the last four.

“That was a brilliant win for me,” said the 17-year-old, who has been sparring with Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine in the lead-up to tonight’s fight.

“It’s been great to get in there again, and I’ve been flying. This is my first time doing three threes and I’m enjoying it.

“Hopefully I win these I can go on and win a medal at the Europeans – I got beat in the quarter-finals last time so I’d like to go further.”

Meanwhile, trainer Dee Walsh has a busy couple of days ahead.

Tomorrow night he will be at the home of Ulster boxing, working the corners of Lewis Crocker and Ruairi Dalton as they target another step up the ladder in their pro careers.

The 10-0 Crocker faces a domestic step-up against experienced Scot John Thain at the Ulster Hall, with fellow former Holy Trinity fighter Dalton taking on Nicaragua’s Rafael Castillo in his second outing earlier on in the evening.

Before all that, though, Walsh has business to attend to at another of Ireland’s most iconic boxing venues when he walks to the ring alongside the up-and-coming Martin Brady-McCullough tonight.

The Gleann teenager served notice of his talent en route to a European youth bronze medal last year, and has started 2020 in impressive fashion, winning all three fights thus far to book his place in the Irish U18 decider, where Kildare’s Jack Connors stands between him and the title.

Also tonight, Holy Trinity’s John McConnell goes for a fifth win in four weeks at the stadium when he faces Kilcullen’s Aodhan Byrne in the 60kg final.

McConnell, a 2018 European youth bronze medallist, has already defeated Eoghan Quinn (St John’s, Derry), Culainn Sheedy (St Mary’s, Dublin), Thomas McCann (St Paul’s, Antrim) and Cahir Gormley (Illies GG) en route the lightweight decider and will fancy his chances of beating Byrne this evening.

Elsewhere on the card, the Raphoe club in Donegal will hope they have cause for double celebration on the way home from Dublin.

Light-fly Codie Lafferty gears up for her first fight of the championships as she takes on Rathkeale’s Breda Quilligan, who edged Aoife Williamson (Curragh) in the semi-final.

Club-mate Leah Gallen, fresh from her semi-final win over Bracken’s Dominika Gulli, will step between the ropes against Crumlin’s Shelby Myers at welterweight.


Irish U18 Championship finals

W42kg: C Blake (Ardagh/Crossmolina) WO

W46kg: N Buckley (St Carthage’s) WO

46kg: B Collins (East Down) WO

W48kg: C Lafferty (Raphoe) v B Quilligan (Rathkeale)

49kg: P McShane (Letterkenny) v D Eagleson (St Paul’s, Antrim)

W51kg: C Gabriel (Mulhuddart) v R Lawless (Portlaoise)

52kg: B Saunders (Dublin Docklands) v J Rapple (Monkstown, Dublin)

W54kg: N Fay (Swords) WO

56kg: J Connors (St David’s, Naas) v M Brady-McCullough (Gleann)

W57kg: D Coogan (Marble City) WO

W60kg: K Attewell (Tobar Pheadair) v EM Gartland (Clonmel)

60kg: A Byrne (Kilcullen) v J McConnell (Holy Trinity)

W64kg: L Murphy (Togher) v N O’Sullivan (Corinthians)

64kg: M Tyndall (Dublin Docklands) v J McDonagh (St Paul’s, Waterford)

W69kg: S Myers (Crumlin) v L Gallen (Raphoe)

69kg: J Whelan (Dublin Docklands) v W Hayden (Crumlin)

W75kg: L O’Rourke (Castlerea) WO

75kg: E Lavin (Ballyhaunis) v P Lawlor (Brian Dillon’s)

W81kg: M Potter (Gateway) v B Doocey (Castlebar)

81kg: J Myers (Titans) v E Samba (Four Kings)

91kg: J Ward (Brosna) v J Marley (Monkstown, Dublin)

91+kg: N Ivanauskas (St David’s, Naas) v Patrick Myers (Sligo City)

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access