Hooks youngster O’Meara awarded Luke Fitzpatrick Trophy
PUBLISHED: 12:34 07 November 2012 | UPDATED: 12:56 07 November 2012
JP O’Meara was the star of the show for Hooks ABC as he claimed the inaugural Luke Fitzpatrick Trophy on Thursday night.
O’Meara, who overcame Joe Hunt (Heart of Portsmouth) was named best boxer of the night on Hooks’ first show of the season at Salvatorian RC College, Harrow Weald.
He received the trophy from Bernie Fitzpatrick – father of Luke, a former Salvatorian College student who was stabbed to death in May. A traditional 10-bell tribute was rung in his memory at the start of the show.
Among the rest of the Hooks contingent, Nathan Brown also produced an eye-catching display, while two other boxers from the Park Royal club – Jake Nickles and Danny Barrett – had their hopes cut short by injury.
The show opened with a lively skills contest between Tidy O’Donnell (Hooks) and Oliver Fenton (Heart of Portsmouth), before Danny Rushton (Hooks) and Jamie Bradley (Finchley) met in the first competitive bout.
Rushton looked tentative early on and, although he stepped up the pace as the fight progressed, Bradley posed a greater threat on the counter-attack and did enough to earn a majority decision.
Nickles came under pressure in his contest against the taller Harry Lucas (Hastings West Hill), who unleashed a second-round combination that caused the Hooks boy to stumble and twist his ankle, ending the fight.
It was O’Meara who secured Hooks’ first victory of the evening, moving nimbly and jabbing to good effect in a classy performance that clinched a majority decision.
Lack of fitness told for Hooks’ former national schools’ champion Harry Connelly, who found himself drawn into an intense scrap by Southend’s Billy Polkinhorn and was beaten on a unanimous decision.
It was a similar story for the next Hooks hopeful, Frankie Barrett, whose movement was second best against Rhys Verlander (Hastings West Hill) as he lost a unanimous decision after taking a count just before the bell.
But Brown lifted the home club’s spirits with a victory by unanimous decision against Jack Matthews (Welwyn Garden City), jabbing with his left hand and repeatedly finding his target with right-handers through the middle.
Danny Barrett had to survive a frenetic early assault by the Lion Club’s Louis Isaacs, but gradually began to counter and move and seemed to be getting on top in the second round.
Disaster then struck for the unlucky Barrett, who suffered a broken wrist last season and this time was forced to quit the ring with an injury to his left shoulder.
Danny O’Donnell ensured that Hooks finished the junior programme on a high note, however, landing the tidier punches throughout to triumph against Ross Driscoll (Welwyn Garden City) on a unanimous decision.
Hooks duo Marci Capasa and Michelle Ward shared a fairly even skills bout before Salvatorian College teacher Shane Davey lost a split decision in a hard-fought Masters contest to Justin Spring (New Astley).
Michael Ofo of Hooks made a winning start to round off the night, taking a unanimous decision against a fellow debutant, Ben Rail (Heart of Portsmouth).
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