THE old Chinese saying of every long journey starting with one small step seemed apt when two of Clann Naofa's young boxers dipped their toes in international waters last weekend.
Charlie Mc Donagh (Youth 2 90kg) and Brandon Mulligan (60kg) were picked for an Irish select squad to box a Dutch select in their home city of Deehog in Holland.
What was one small step turned into a massive leap for both boys as Charlie and Brandon totally dominated their two opponents, to win all three rounds in both fights.
Charlie was first up against M. Mureno De Van Rhee and easily outboxed and fought the Dutch champion giving him a standing count in the second round.
Try as he might, Charlie just couldn't finish off his Dutch opponent, who was cautioned several times for unsporting tactics. However, Charlie was the clear winner of all three rounds.
Clann Naofa's other boxer Brandon Mulligan had a ding dong battle with his Dutch opponent Marting Dee Van Broch in what was the fight of the night.
In trademark style Brandon attacked relentlessly throwing combinations with hooks, uppercuts and body blows which floored his dutch opponent in rounds one and two.
His brave opponent wouldn't lie down, and kept fighting back, but after one of the the most exciting contests of the tournament, Brandon's hand was raised in victory the Dutch audience clapped and cheered for Brandon.
Overall Ireland won the event 7-5 to cap a memorable weekend for the Clann Naofa boys.