Trio box clever to bring Welsh titles to Cardigan ABC
12:00pm Wednesday 23rd May 2012 in Sport
Cardigan ABC are celebrating a Welsh title hat-trick after Crymych twins Ioan and Garan Croft and Begelly’s Antonio Price won in spectacular fashion at Swansea’s Cwmfelin Club on Thursday.
The club’s eight-year wait for a national title emphatically ended when the 10-year-old Croft twins upset the formbook to win Minor titles, while Price produced the performance of his career when it mattered.
And Cardigan came within 20 seconds of also capturing a Junior crown when Begelly’s Peter Price was narrowly outpointed by double British champion Sam Parry (Gilfach Goch) after being level going into the last round.
Pitted against Llanederyn ABC’s Jamie Janes in the 36kg final, Ioan Croft proved far too skillful for his rugged opponent, building up a comfortable winning lead with a composed display.
Not to be outdone, twin brother Garan duly produced a superb effort in the 38kg final, ending the unbeaten record of Torfaen’s Joel Manning by going for broke in the final round. It was then left to 12-year-old Antonio Price, competing in the 42kg class, to complete the hat-trick by pulling off an unexpected points win over Splott’s Grant Buckingham.
“It’s a bit like London buses – you wait eight years for one and then three come at once,” said Cardigan ABC chairman Mike Lewis.
“The achievements of the boys is testimony to the hard work they’ve all put in – and the quality of the coaching they’ve received .”
Cardigan’s trio of Welsh champs are in action at the club’s show at Narberth RFC on Thursday night.
The Crofts’ twin title triumph finally banished their dad Guy’s disappointment at missing out on a Welsh crown 30 years earlier.
The big-hitting 22-year-old Guy Croft had looked certain to win the Welsh heavyweight title for Cardigan after flooring Cardiff’s Adam Hassan with a right in their final.
But, after what seemed a long count, Hassan rose unsteadily and managed to survive as a tiring Croft strove to finish him off.
The contest ended when Croft was halted in the third.
“I was one right hand away from being a Welsh champion,” Croft, 52, a local builder and assistant coach at Cardigan ABC’s Maesyrhaf gym, reflected this week.
“Seeing what the boys have done more than makes up for that, though – they’re doing what I should have done 30-odd years ago.”