A PAIR of Valleyfield Miners Boxing Club fighters left their opponents on the canvas to have their hands raised as national champions last weekend.

Niamh Mitchell and Ryan Hanley travelled to Motherwell's Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility to compete at the Boxing Scotland Schools and Junior Championships, held over two days, and returned home with title wins under their belts.

Former kickboxing star Hanley, 15, returned to the scene of his Intermediate Championships' success at 48kg last month and dropped down to box at 46kg in the junior 2005 age category, while Mitchell went into a straight final in the schoolgirl 2006 age group at 44.5kg.

A total of 229 boxers, ranging from schoolboys and schoolgirls born in 2009, to junior male and female fighters born in 2004, were in action and it proved to be a golden weekend for the Valleyfield duo.

Going for the title alongside Hanley were Bradley Lowe, of Irvine Vineburgh, and Jamie Sneath, of Cleland Miners Boxing Club, and it was the West Fifer who came out on top to claim the honours.

Mitchell went up against Tamzin Quigley, of Grangemouth's Sparta Boxing Academy, and in what Valleyfield coach James White described as a "competitive fight", she won by unanimous decision.

"Niamh boxed brilliantly. She's an aggressive southpaw, and was accurate and sharp," he commented.

"Over the last six months, she has improved out of sight. She won unanimously but it was a competitive fight; she had to earn it and be at her best. She boxed really well though and won every round.

"Ryan boxed well and won by unanimous decision. He was up against a good boy in Bradley Lowe, who has won the Scottish three times, and who has been boxing at a good level.

"He beat two two Irish champions at the Odivelas Box Cup in Portugal (in December) and won the intermediates comfortably so he's going in the right direction.

"He trains hard, never misses a session, so he deserves every success that comes his way. They've both done well."

Their success could lead to a shot at British competition but, next month, White is hopeful that another Valleyfield boxer, Kieran Heggie, will be involved at Boxing Scotland's National Elite and Youth Prelims event.

He's confident that the two-time British medallist would be "in with a shout" of securing further success for the club, which he hopes can replicate the success of the past.

"We're off to a great start again," White added.

"Valleyfield was a really successful club in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, and the facilities we've got now are better than we've ever had.

"Everything is in place. Now we have to go forward."