Dublin Fire Brigade and the National Ambulance Service went head to head against each other in a Charity Boxing Match for Cystic Fibrosis recently. The match involved ten bouts between both services and was held on Saturday 15th August at TEK Sports Grounds at Deansgrange in Dublin.
Photos Courtesy: Mick Sayers, Joe Daly and Declan Keogh
The charity night was organised by John Paul Gray of Tara Street fire station and Derek Grey of Cherry Orchard Ambulance base. Overall, it was a draw with six draws while Dublin Fire Brigade won two and the National Ambulance Service winning two bouts.
Speaking to Emergency Times.com John Paul Gray explains the background to the event. “Dublin Fire Brigade and the National Ambulance Service boxing teams go together and decided to bring the rivalry and the competitiveness between the two services into the ring for charity. This event is very close to the heart of one of our boxers tonight, his son suffers with Cystic Fibrosis and this is the main reason were here tonight. It was done last year and this year we are hoping to better the figure last year.”
In one of the fights, despite the age gap between DFB’s Shane Walsh and Dylan Gray of the NAS, both boxers put up a good fight against each other in the 1st round, however, Walsh gained the upper hand in the 2nd round while Gray was undeterred and seemed to come out fitter and faster than his opponent in the last round making it a draw between both fighters.
(DFB’s Shane Walsh V Dylan Gray NAS)
The pressure was on when John Long of Tallaght Fire Station and Robert Kelly of Cherry Orchard Ambulance base entered the ring, they stepped up the mark early on in their fight with Robert Kelly coming out as winner for the National Ambulance Service, with Long putting up a very good fight.
(DFB’s John Long V Robert Kelly NAS)
However, the pressure was truly deflated in the next round as Wayne Rapples and Donal Fitz seemed to wander around the ring for a half an hour, throwing the odd shape here and there, they even had time to chat among themselves about their summer holidays, gardening and shopping! However, things turned very nasty when DFB’s Wayne Rapple suggested that Donal Fitz’s gardening skills was ‘not really all that’! At one point, even the referee had time for a break. Well, it is for charity after all!
(DFB Wayne Rapples V Donal Fitz NAS)
As the boxing tournament continued into the night, things began to heat up, and as boxers struggled with the night lights, Dublin Fire Brigade fought fire with fire against the National Ambulance Service.
Co-organiser of the event is Derek Gray. Derek’s Godson suffers from CF, Mason Merrigan, son of boxer Stephen Merrigan was one of the youngest people in Ireland to be diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis through the ‘HealPrick’, which is a new way of detecting CF.
Derek told Emergency Times that the whole event was about raising awareness and much needed funds. “This is probably one of the biggest evens between ourselves in the NAS and the DFB, and it also involves the Voluntary Services so it’s like a multi-agency EMS night, and we’re trying to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis, and in doing so we are also raising awareness for the illness. Raising money is a big part of t but also awareness, more people are becoming more aware of Cystic Fibrosis and this is a great way of getting the awareness out and the much needed funds as well.”
(NAS Derek Gray V Alaric Collier DFB)
Joint event organiser and NAS Derek Gray took on DFB’s Alli Collier. Both men were almost equal in each round making it a draw.
DFB’s Martin McCabe was consistent with the punches against Bryan Brannigan in their first two rounds. However that changed after the second round when Brannigans coach changed tactics, but that didn’t last too long either as DFB’s McCabe came out as winner.
(NAS Bryan Brannigan V Martin McCabe DFB)
The next fight was probably one of the toughest of the night between Dave Manders of the NAS and DFB’s Mark Dempsey. Each fighter fought well, with good punches and good foot moves, and it’s a god job there was a ambulance paramedic present…or 20 of them as Manders goes down towards the last round, leaving Dempsey the second time winner for Dublin Fire Brigade.
(DFB Mark Dempsey V Dave Manders NAS)
In the second last fight, Dave Cowley of the NAS takes on joint event organiser DFB’s John Paul Gray. Both men lasted the three rounds and it was a draw between both team.
(NAS Dave Cowley V John Paul Gray DFB)
The Title Fight was between Dave Cahill of DFB and James Kelly of the NAS. This was another good fight, and like his brother Robert earlier, Kelly puts the pressure on again and provided a good fight to the audience; however DFB’s Cahill knows the pressure points to and proves his point! The National Ambulance Service won this fight leaving an all even score of six draws, two wins for Dublin Fire Brigade and two wins for the National Ambulance Service.
(DFB Dave Cahill V James Kelly NAS)
The charity event was in aid of cystic Fibrosis and was sponsored by PHECC, the Pre-Hosptal Emergency care Council, and supported by St. Kevin’s Boxing Club and Monkstown Boxing Club.
Photo Gallery including Voluntary Services
Video Highlights of the night