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Boxing: Hooks youngsters progress to National Schools Championships finals

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 May 2018

Several Hooks youngsters are off to the National Schools Championships finals on Saturday (pic: Hooks ABC)

Several Hooks youngsters are off to the National Schools Championships finals on Saturday (pic: Hooks ABC)

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Powerday Hooks prospects Nathan Barrett, Pat Doherty, Tony O’Donnell and Brian O’Donnell have all reached their respective finals of the National Schools Championships.

The quartet all won through from semi-finals which were held at the Harrow Leisure Centre on Sunday.

In his bout at 40kg against Ben Mitchell of Guilford, the 12-year-old Barrett boxed with good control and poise to win all three rounds.

Doherty, who is also 12, competed at 44.5kg and took on Harold Boutell of Tonbridge Wells in his bout.

The Hooks prospect had to be at his best to answer the questions posed by the strong and powerful Boutell, but Doherty did enough to prevail.

A national finalist last year, Tony O’Donnell reached that stage again this year with a win over Devonport rival Lloyd Macklin at 31lg.

The 13-year-old Hooks fighter came up against a willing opponent, but O’Donnell produced some accurate blows to keep his rival at bay.

Brian O’Donnell, 14, was another Hooks youngster to reach a final for the second year in a row after beating Aiden Whiting of Intense.

O’Donnell used his aggression and very high work rate to his advantage to get the better of his rival and reach the 32.5kg final.

There was disappointment, though, for Leo Lacourt, who was beaten in his semi-final at 38.5kg.

The 14-year-old took on Sam Varey from Trowbridge and though Lacourt won the first round, his rival recovered to take the final two and claim the overall victory.

Curtis McDonagh was also forced to withdraw his semi-final bout due to illness in the week leading up to the fight.

The National Schools Championships finals will take place in Grantham on Saturday.

“I’m pleased and disappointed. To have six in the national finals is very special and perhaps I’m greedy, but a couple of our lads, who lost along the way, were good enough to be national champions,” said Hooks coach Steve Newland.

“They lost close contests by not quite being at their best on the day, but that’s sport and that’s always a lesson in life.

“Saturday is another big day for Hooks and I’m confident the lads will do us proud.”

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