Eyes on the final prize for Moneys pair

Moneyfields' Jay Cooper
Moneyfields' Jay Cooper
Jake Gifford with his under-10s British title medal PPP-170806-165713001

Gifford’s world title bid hangs in balance

Dave Birmingham. Picture: Neil Marshall

Title shot beckons for Birmingham after win

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MONEYFIELDS’ semi-final stars have been challenged to seize the moment as they go for glory.

Bobby Prior and Jay Cooper are out to make the most of their opportunities as they aim to progress to the England Boxing Schools’ Championships.

Bobby Prior

Bobby Prior

That’s after the pair made it to the semi-final stage in Milton Keynes tomorrow with winning displays last weekend.

Prior overcame Slough’s Rui Silva on a split-decision verdict at 46kg.

Now Albie Shanahan lies in wait from London outfit Hooks at the next stage.

Shanahan holds a previous success over Prior this season on his record.

But the latter goes into the match-up in flying form, as he looks forward to going out and doing himself justice.

And Moneys coach, Colin Hooker, expects the 13-year-old to do just that.

Hooker said: ‘Bobby’s won four on the trot and is looking forward to the challenge.

‘He’s going in well prepared and it’s a case of making sure he does what he’s capable of doing.

‘Bobby won last week in a tough contest. Luckily, he had a good last round and that tipped it in his favour.

‘So he knows he’s going to have to start quicker in this one.

‘It’s the semi-finals and the standard will be good at this stage.

‘But both boys know they are three rounds from the final now.’

Cooper’s success came against The Ring’s Jason Smith at 48kg.

The 14-year-old also delivered a split-decision win, with his trainer feeling he did enough in every round.

Now it’s another Hooks boxer in Silas Rose-Morris standing between Cooper and a final berth in Manchester next weekend,

Hooker added: ‘They thought they’d won it and I thought we’d nicked all three rounds in the bout.

‘It was tight, but Jay was landing the cleaner shots. That’s what he does and that’s what the judges like.

‘It’s going to be a tough one, of course. They all will be that this stage.

‘The boys have both done brilliantly to get there.’

Heart of Portsmouth’s Lloyd Farrington and Moneys’ Sam Mckeowen both saw their campaigns come to a close in losses.

But Titchfield’s reigning champ, Tommy Maggs, has a place in the final assured as he looks to defend his title.

That’s after he picked up his Southern Counties crown a couple of weeks ago. Cooper and Prior will be out to link up with him and team-mate Taylor Sutton, who has received a bye to the last stage of the competition.

Moneys coach Hooker explained their success is part of an exciting period for his club as they enjoy a purple patch.

He said ‘As a club we’ve won 12 out of the last 14 so we’re doing pretty well. We’re on a nice little run so long may that continue.’