Whithorn Bravehearts’ heavyweight champion Connal McDonald boxed Tommy Philbin from Lochend ABC in the Scottish elite finals last Saturday in Ravenscraigs Sporting Facility, Motherwell.
This was an eagerly anticipated contest with over 100 supporters travelling north from Wigtownshire to support their local hero.
From the first bell Connal dominated the centre of the ring throwing his powerful left jab at will scoring crunching shots. Philbin soon started slipping and countering with left hooks and over hand rights. After the first round bell ended, Bravehearts’ coach Wullie Martin urged his boxer to stay at long range and watch out from the clashing of heads from Philbin as he was coming in low.
During the second round, Connal worked well and followed his coach’s instructions, picking good combinations that were rocking the Edinburgh boxer and pleasing his support at ring side. But again the Edinburgh boxer was warned for hitting behind the head and coming in low. As the third round started both boxers knew it was to close to call and both stepped up a gear going toe to toe in the centre of the ring. Unfortunately, as predicted, a head clash occurred marking Connal’s left eye badly and cutting him on the hairline. But this didn’t deter the Braveheart who finished the stronger of the two boxers punching with both hands till the last bell.
As the referee brought both boxers together the crowd rose to their feet and applauded both warriors who gave their all but it was the hand of Philbin this time that was awarded the win.
Coach Tom Jolly said afterwards: “The bout was close it could have gone either way. This is Connal’s first year as a senior and he boxed well tonight. He will come back stronger after this”.