A fine win for Michael Conlan, a ‘battle royal’ between Adam Nolan and Brian Brosnan and an all action bout involving Ross Hickey and Rohan Date were among the many highlights of Friday’s first semi-finals night in the Irish Elite Championships at the National Stadium.
AIBA World No. 3 – and London 2012 Olympic Bronze medallist – Michael Conlan advanced to within one victory of a third successive Elite crown following a comprehensive 30-14 victory over Ruairi Dalton in a fiery all-Belfast encounter.
Boxing superbly on the counter, Conlan, a bronze medal winner at London 2012, took all three rounds to chalk up his fifth straight win over his Ulster rival.
He’ll now meet either Hugh Joyce or Chris Phelan, who clash in Saturday’s corresponding semi-final.
Conlan beat Phelan in the 2012 decider and is tipping the Ryston BC man to make it through from his last-four duel with Joyce.
“I was happy with that win because we’re old rivals. “He’ll never beat me, it’ll be 6-0, 7-0. I’m a bit angry with him because we were mates, kind of,” said Conlan. “I’d beaten him four times, but in the ring he was giving me a bit of lip, calling me all kinds of bad names. I just laughed it off. It was 30-14 – I predicted I’d score 30 against him.”
I’ll probably have a tougher fight in the final, Chris Phelan or Hughie Joyce. I can’t see Chris losing, he’s a really good boxer. “ he said.
“It’s harder to beat someone five times than to beat them once. There’s always a risk, I’ll admit I was nervous – nobody wins them all. Well, maybe Mayweather!”
Conlan’s fellow London 2012 Olympian Adam Nolan was involved in the bout of the night with Castleisland’s Brian Brosnan who boxes out of the Crumlin club.
Nolan, who obliged Brosnan to take a standing count in the third, emerged with seven points to spare and is now just one victory from claiming a third successive welterweight crown.
Nolan’s Bray BC team-mate Laoise Traynor stopped Louise Claire Sweetman in the third in the women’s welterweight semi-final in a unique double for the Co. Wicklow club.
Current European champion Ray Moylette will renew acquaintances with defending champion Ross Hickey in the light-welterweight final.
Moylette chalked up his second win of the Championships against the hard-punching Sean Duffy and Hickey beat Waterford prospect Rohan Date in a cracking three-rounder. Date, however, left his calling card at the National Stadium.
European U/23 champion Jason Quigley appeared to be heading for the exit after a going into the final frame with Conrad Cummings one point in arrears.
The Donegal middleweight, who eliminated London 2012 Olympian and defending middleweight champion Darren O’Neill on a count back last weekend, slipped a further two points behind after receiving a public warning for hitting Cummings in the back of the head as he was on the ropes.
However, the Finn Valley BC clubman then fired home a barrage of unanswered shots before being handed a 17-14 decision after Cummings was given a public warning for using his head right on the final bell.
European U/23 silver medallist Hugh Myers is on the cusp of claiming the vacant light-flyweight belt following his 17-10 victory over Adam Courtney.
The 49kg belt is lying idle at these Championships after two-time Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes withdrew with the flu.
Joanna Lamb, Dervla Duffy, who beat European Junior silver medallist Christine Gargan, Claire Grace and Kelly Harrington, who beat Alanna Audley-Murphy, also advanced, while former Elite champions Declan Geraghty and Eric Donovan experienced mixed fortunes.
Geraghty stopped Derek Thorpe in the second, but Donovan, a five-time Elite champion, was edged out in his all southpaw battle with Belfast’s Sean McComb in the lightweight class.
That win incidentally, was Geraghty’s first victory at Elite level since he won the flyweight title in 2010.
McComb was being tipped by some pundits to cause an upset against Donovan and the rangy Holy Trinity BC man delivered, albeit by a one-point margin.
Elsewhere, Hannah McCarthy added to her growing reputation with a 12-8 victory over defending light-flyweight champion Lynne (McEnery) O’Shea . She now faces Ballinacarrow’s Maeve Clarke in the women’s 48kg final after the Sligo woman scored an inside the distance win over Emma Duffy.
Defending heavyweight champion Thomas McCarthy had too much firepower for Limerick’s Kris Sikora, the Belfast fighter running out an 18-8 winner against the Elite debutant.
Towering Tipperary super-heavyweight Dean Gardiner appeared to be en route to causing an upset versus favourite Sean Turner after sharing the first round 5-5, but Turner began to exert control after dropping his opponent with a right uppercut in the second.
The Championships resume tonight (Saturday) at 7pm.
2013 Elite National Championships
Friday, February 15th
W48kg: Hannah McCarthy (Paulstown) beat Lynne McEnery- O’Shea (St Pauls) 12-8
W48kg: Maeve Clarke (Ballinacarrow) beat Emma Duffy (Crumlin) RSC3
49kg: Hugh Myers (Ryston) beat Adam Courtney (St Marys) 17-11
52kg: Michael Conlan (St John Bosco) beat Ruairi Dalton (Holy Trinity) 30-14
W54kg: Dervla Duffy (Ryston) beat Christine Gargan (St Georges) 16-6
W57kg: Joanne Lambe (Carrickmacross) beat Lindsey Doyle (Gorey) 24-9
56kg: Declan Geraghty (Crumlin) beat Derek Thorpe (St Aidans) RSC2
60kg: Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) beat Eric Donovan (St Michaels Athy) 17-16
W64kg: Kelly Harrington (Corinthians) beat Alanna Audley-Murphy 15-6
64kg: Ray Moylette (St Annes) beat Sean Duffy (Holy Trinity) 18-10
64kg: Ross Hickey (Grangecon) beat Rohan Date (St Pauls) 9-6
W69kg: Claire Grace (Callan) beat Joanna Barclay (Holy Family) 27-12
W69kg: Laoise Traynor (Bray) beat Louise Claire Sweetman (Palmerstown) RSC3
69kg: Adam Nolan (Bray) beat Brian Brosnan (Crumlin) 28-21
75kg: Jason Quigley (Finn Valley) beat Conrad Cummings (Holy Trinity) 17-14
91kg: Thomas McCarthy (Oliver Plunkett) beat Kris Sikora (St Francis) 18-8
91+kg: Sean Turner (Drimnagh) beat Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) 19-12
Saturday February 16th (7pm)
49kg: TJ Waite (Cairn Lodge) v Stephen Tracey (Ryston)
52kg: Hugh Joyce (St Michaels Athy) v Chris Phelan (Ryston)
56kg:Gary McKenna (Old School) v Barry Walsh (St Colmans)
60kg: George Bates (St Marys) v David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
69kg: Willie McLaughlin (Illies GG) v John Joe Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
75kg: Conor Coyle (St Josephs) v Roy Sheahan (St Michael’s Athy)
81kg: Davey Joe Joyce (Crumlin) v Ken Egan (Neilstown)
91kg: Patrick Corcoran (Olympic) v Jimmy Sweeney (Drimnagh)
91kg+: Niall Kennedy (Gorey) v Michael McKeever (St Matthews)
Finals – subject to change – include:
W51kg: Ceire Smith (Cavan) v Shelly Daly (Ballyhaunis)
W75kg: Caroline Connolly (Raphoe) v Sinead Kavanagh (Drimnagh)
W81kg +: Lianne Murphy (Carrickmacross) v TBD