Great Britain taekwondo international Leah Moorby made a winning start to the new year at the Irish International Challenge Cup in Dublin.

The Holy Family School student needed to work hard for her success as she had to compete in higher categories due to late withdrawals in her own -52kg section.

Leah fought at junior -55kg and also in the senior -53kg in order to give her tough competition as she is now preparing for the World Champion-ships in Taiwan at the end of March.

Her first fight was a semi-final against senior opponent Sarah Purcell, from Ireland, who raced into a 6-0 lead in the first round.

But the Keighley girl showed why she is a GB international by staging a great fightback to pull the score back to 9-9 after two rounds.

Leah looked stronger as the bout continued and finished off the contest with a superb 16-13 victory.

Leah’s junior final was against Holly Best-Dutton, from Liverpool, who had looked strong in her earlier semi-final.

The decider was close in the early stages, with the score 2-1 to Leah (pictured) going into the final round. But Leah stepped up to the mark with a great display, sealing the victory with a superb reverse turning headshot to clinch the gold medal 7-1.

Leah had sustained a shin injury earlier in the week while training and coach Kathy Hook decided to withdraw her from the senior final as a precaution, having received several kicks on her leg in the earlier fights.

Dad Gary Moorby said: “Kath felt it best not to risk any further injury to a very sore shin bone as Leah is now training hard for the Worlds.

“Her performance in Dublin was superb. She fought above her weight and age category. She needed a good workout and responded very well.”

A fund-raising event is to be held at Branshaw Golf Club in Oakworth on Saturday, March 1 in aid of Leah’s trip to the World Championships.

The race night will feature entertainment from Frank ‘Bono’ Farkas, a pie and pea supper and raffle prizes. Tickets are £10 per person. Any enquiries to Gary on 07957-585624.