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Ring sees six of the best.

Byline: By Adam Steel

Tees boxers packed a punch in the opening divisional rounds of the National Schoolboys' Championships.

Middlesbrough ABC saw six of their seven entrants make progress from the preliminaries and semi-finals at Hartlepool's Belle Vue Social Club.

Tom Collins outscored Horden's Paul Archer 15-11 in a cracker to book a place in the Class 1, U45kg final against John Nicholson (Shildon).

James McLeod made headway with a narrow 7-5 semi-final verdict against Darren Raey (Bedlington).

His reward is a testing all-Teesside Class 2 final against U48kg rival Danny Phillips from South Bank.

In Class 3, Tom Taylor enjoyed a bye to the 42-45kg final and will take on Birtley's Dwayne O'Connor.

Shaun Peacock got through to the Yorkshire stages of the competition.

The U30kg minor automatically qualified for the trip due to a lack of entries in his section.

Imran Zaman shrugged off a lengthy ring absence to outpoint the experienced Boden Hughes (Hilton Castle) 12-7.

Next for him is another exciting Teesside tussle - this time at U60kg in Class 4 - against Wellington ABC's three-time national champion Chris Riley.

Riley dominated Hartlepool fighter G Robinson, pouring on the pressure to force a first round standing count and second round stoppage.

Only two fighters entered the U71kg, Class 4 category, so Boro's Jerome Tyrrell will face off with Karl Lawson (Newcastle East End) in the final.

Unlucky Chris Peacock was the only Boro combatant not to make the grade - through no fault of his own.

Club coach Tony Whitby said Chris well won in the eyes of spectators - but not the judges, who scored his Class 1 U36kg match 7-6 in favour of Joe McPartland (Bishop Auckland).

South Bank's Phillips ensured his final berth by outclassing Darrell Futers (Horsley Hill ABC) for a second round stoppage.

Classy team-mate Liam Chalmers joined him in the next phase by outpointing Anthony Moore (Hetton Town).

Two of Halfpenny ABC's four entrants moved on to the next series of bouts - held over the next fortnight at the same venue.

Class 1, U39kg competitor Curtis Maloney beat Michael Wall (Bishop Auckland) on unanimous points to line up a second semi-final appearance at the same venue this Saturday.

Brother Reece dropped a highly-disputed majority decision in class 3, U51kg to Liam Gent (Darlington ABC).

Sean Redman was also on the wrong end of a majority verdict in his Class 4 U57kg semi against Steven Costella (Bilton Hall ABC).

But Craig Pollock got a bye to the Class 4 U75kg final.

Phil Thomas School of Boxing saw four of their fighters make it to finals.

Jake Allen got a bye to the minors' 45kg decider and will face J Garside (Horden).

Danny Peters was another to receive a bye in Class 1, 51kg and meets Greg O'Neill.

Ben Conlin beat T Hamlington (Sunderland) 13-5 to go ahead at 39kg Class 3.

And Class 4, 41kg contender Peter Douglas got a bye through to the Yorkshire stages.

East Cleveland ABC duo Ben Wardle and Ross Beedle were another pairing to benefit from walk-overs at Hartlepool.

Both will box at the Yorkshire stages due to a lack of entries in their respective minors and Class 2 U57kg categories.

Ray Hood, ABC's Josh Leather and Shane Jones added to the number of Teessiders who will be in finals action.

Both got respective byes at U33kg and U36kg in Class 1.

Team-mate Liam Raw boxed well against the much more experienced A Fletcher (Shildon) before being stopped by a third round body shot in their Class 4, U61kg clash.

Gary Bowes chose not to box at U54kg in Class 4 because of a forthcoming football commitment in Spain.

In other results, Phil Thomas duo Robert Douglas and Robert McCreesh put in roof-raising displays on the West Hull show.

Robert Douglas gave away 4kg in losing a fight-of-the-night majority decision to the host club's M Griffin.

Robert McCreesh followed up with a unanimous points win against West Hull's M Moat.

NEXT week sees the senior ABA Championships take centre stage.

The Tyne, Tees and Wear semi-finals take place on Tuesday night, February 3 at the Marton Country Club.

A string of top-notch fighters are set to square off.

Middlesbrough ABC fighter Savdhul Zaman competes at lightweight, with Halfpenny ABC's Phil Boyle down to box at light-welterweight.

Others on a long list of entrants to look out for include Headland super-heavyweight Chris Burton and last year's ABA middleweight finalist and England international Gary Barr.

South Bank ABC duo James McElvaney and Paul Truscott are also lined up to feature in supporting contests.

Start time is 7.30pm, with tickets, priced pounds 10, available from Denis Power on (01642) 456795 and Marton Country Club.

The finals take place at the same venue on Thursday, February 12.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jan 29, 2004
Words:794
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