May 2015 Sports Star and Team of the Month in association with the Green Isle Hotel

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JAMES McGuirk of Red Rhino Kickboxing Club has been declared The Echo Sports Star for the month of May after he brought home two gold medals from the ISKA World Kickboxing Championships in Portugal.

The former St Aidan’s Community School pupil, proved the most successful of the Ireland squad members at this event, topping both the -51kg and -55kg full contact divisions.

A winner of the ISKA National Kickboxing Championship -51kg title last year, he had to negotiate three contests in this weight division at the Worlds before reaching the final where he beat Miguel Sporry of Argentina.

And after opting to take his chances in the -55kg field as well, he was rewarded with yet another perfect run of six wins including victory in the final against the Ukraine’s Arduous Wassi who, himself, continued on to win the K1 World title at -55kg.

With little in the way of domestic challenges until his next international outing, McGuirk is now looking at the possibility of moving into boxing “He’s a prodigy, a real talent” said Flynn whose Red Rhino Club has grown to cater for some 150 members in just three years.

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BLUEBELL United, this season, brought to an end a 28 year-long wait for the Leinster Senior League crown.

The team, which also reached the final of the Charlie Cahill Cup, had done enough to finish out of reach of the then defending champions Crumlin who had a number of games in hand.

Andy Noonan’s men, who had been knocking on the door of the title for more than a quarter of a century, found themselves untouchable after Crumlin United lost out to Drumcondra.

It meant the Pearse Park side, who were the last team who could have caught them, could not mathematically make up the ground that separated them from the top.

Bluebell were full value for their success, having led from the front for much of the season and they managed to remain consistent even when forced to contend with a number of injuries in defence.

Certainly Bluebell manager Andy Noonan was quick to underscore the importance of this season’s achievement saying “Since I’ve gone there, the league has been the Holy Grail for this team. It was our only target this season.

“They last won the league in 1987 but they’ve always been up there since and we just wanted to get that monkey off our backs” he said.

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