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Boxing: Hooks youngster Albie Shanahan retains National Schools title in Manchester

PUBLISHED: 11:00 30 May 2017 | UPDATED: 13:38 30 May 2017

The Hooks ABC squad face the camera at the National Schools finals in Manchester (pic: Hooks ABC)

The Hooks ABC squad face the camera at the National Schools finals in Manchester (pic: Hooks ABC)

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Joy for Hooks teenager, but club mates suffer defeats in finals

Albie Shanahan of Hooks ABC (left) shows off his National Schools title (pic: Hooks ABC)Albie Shanahan of Hooks ABC (left) shows off his National Schools title (pic: Hooks ABC)

Hooks prospect Albie Shanahan successfully defended his National Schools title after triumphing in the final in Manchester over the weekend.

Shanahan, 13, squared off against 46kg rival Lucas Biswana of the Gemini club from Liverpool.

The Hooks youngster had to use his boxing ability and footwork to control the ever pressing Biswana throughout the contest.

All three rounds were close, but Shanahan’s crisp, long punches, with the occasional uppercut thrown in for good measure, won him the split decision.

There was not such good news for Hooks club mate Tony O’Donnell in his 29.5kg final in Manchester as he lost a split decisions.

Fighting against Owen Ketley from Hull, the 12-year-old O’Donnell appeared to dominate the early exchanges, only for his rival to come back towards the end of the first round.

Both the second and third rounds continued to be tight affairs, but O’Donnell sadly did not do enough as he saw his unbeaten record go.

There was also final heartbreak for Brian O’Donnell, who was another Hooks boxer to lose a split decision at the national finals.

O’Donnell, 13, took on David Adams from the Phil Thomas club in Middlesbrough in a 29.5kg bout.

The Hooks boxer was on the back foot in the first round, but came out swinging in the second and third.

However, it proved too late for O’Donnell, who was another to lose out on the tightest of margins in Manchester.

However, Hooks coach Steve Newland still spoke of his pride regarding his young charges’ results at the national finals.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our lads, they all put their heart and soul into their performances in front of a very big and noisy crowd,” said Newland.

“They all changed tactics when they needed to and they were all involved in, all-action, very close, crowd-pleasing contests.

“We could have got all three decisions and we could have lost all three decisions, which is how close the contests were.

“We leave with Albie winning his second national title, but it’s tough on the O’Donnells, who, on another day, would have come away as national champions, but that’s sport.”

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