Grainne McGoldrick and Aimee Millar
Grainne McGoldrick and Aimee Millar

One of the biggest sporting occasions held in the Coleraine area for many years gets underway this Saturday evening.

The ‘Clash of the Codes’ will see members of Eoghan Rua GAA take on members of Coleraine Rugby Club in a live boxing match.

Ciaran Gaile and Bokkie Carstens

Ciaran Gaile and Bokkie Carstens

It is a friendly fund-raising event but there will no doubt be some degree of competition to see which club will be crowned ‘King of the Ring’.

It has taken a lot of work on the part of the competitors to even get to this stage, with rigorous training at least three times a week to make sure they are fit enough - and skilled enough - to safely go two rounds against each other and it is all to raise much needed funds for both clubs.

The men and women representing both clubs came face to face for the first time at a gala launch for the event on Sunday evening at Shenanigans, Portstewart, main sponsors for the event.

There were some nerves to start with but the fighters soon relaxed and enjoyed the event.

Ciaran Lenihan and Barry McGoldrick

Ciaran Lenihan and Barry McGoldrick

On Saturday the ‘Clash of the Codes’ opens with Portstewart dance group, Innova, entertaining the crowd in a specially erected marquee at the rugby club.

The boxing starts soon after and the participants will learn on the night which exact spot they will have in the running order.

Happily for the organisers the event is a sell-out and the hunt is now on for elusive spare tickets.

On the night the audience will have access to food and bars for refreshment.

Megan Kerr and Claire Adams

Megan Kerr and Claire Adams

The marquee will have accommodation for all and the focal point, the ring itself, will be in clear view for everyone.

The organisers and members from both clubs have been working hard to make the event a success.

Both clubs appreciate the community significance of the event and have readily seized the opportunity to develop strong links between the two great sporting traditions in the area.

The boxers have now been paired up for the big fight night and the exact running order will be announced at the event.

Mikey Poskitt, Coleraine’s rugby captain, faces Eoghan Rua’s Niall Holly in what is one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts on the night.

Ciaran Gaile takes on Coleraine’s South African player, Bokkie Carstens

In the heavier divisions Eoghan Rua’s Joe Diamond has been paired up with Dijon McCorkell whilst Barry McGoldrick takes on Steven Dickey.

Kieran Lagan is matched up with CRFC’s Stephen Jefferson and Eoghan Rua’s Josh Roddich is set against Alan Tosh.

In the evening’s ‘veteran’ match Glenn Poskitt from the Rugby Club takes on Declan Mullan representing Eoghan Rua.

Paddy Mullan, Eoghan Rua, has been teamed up with Ady Nevin, Ciaran Lagan takes on rugby’s Stevie Callaghan and Ciaran Lenihan faces Stephen Douglas from Coleraine.

The final men’s pairing sees David McAllister fight against Eoghan Rua’s Colm McGoldrick.

Some of the highlights of the evening will undoubtedly be seen in the ladies division.

Eoghan Rua’s Grainne Mcgoldrick is matched up with Aimee Miller whilst Helen Carey takes on Coleraine’s Juliet Gaston

The next pairing are Megan Kerr and Claire Adams, camogie takes on hockey.

Coleraine Ladies rugby captain Amy Chestnutt faces Niamh Archibald and in the final pairing sees Hope Oldrich take on Eoghan Rua’s Niamh Tosh.

This is sure to be an amazing event and both clubs thank the sponsors, the people who have bought tickets and given sponsorship and especially thank the members who have embraced the event so readily and shown such commitment in training. They are the core of the event.