McGuirk captures Senior ISKA title

By Stephen Leonard

ISKA 2015 Junior World champion James McGuirk of Red Rhino KBC managed to overcome Paul Hayden of Dragons Lair Kilkenny for the Senior ISKA title in Sunday night in the Maldron Hotel in Tallaght.

Hayden, a 2016 ISKA Junior world champion, played his part in an exciting contest.

James McGuirk Junior World Champion 13 october 2016

“Two junior world champions, now men, who never met before in competition, really battled it out for the title,” said Red Rhino coach Karl Flynn.

“We got the decision after a hard-fought 10-minute scrap. We did enough to be crowned the new ISKA senior champion, but as much as I want to congratulate myself an James for all the work we put it, I’m blown away by the heart and talent Paul Hayden is.

“We fancied our chances in the hand exchange, but that proved to be fruitless so we had to change tactics and fight a very technical, safe fight, which we really didn’t want to do because we’d worked on so much.

“But testament to Hayden’s form, he just didn’t allow us to go up the gears. James managed to pinch it with accurate kicks, combos and move in order to rack up the points, giving us a unanimous decision.

“James was my first-ever student, went on then to become my first-ever champion, then my first-ever world champion and I can’t say I could get much prouder of him.

“Sunday night just felt first circle. This time four years ago James was the Junior ISKA All-Ireland champion for the first time.

“Over that time he’s racked up so many accomplishments. I could not be happier for him” he added.

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