The 2012 Irish Elite Championships tonight reach the Finals stage of the Women’s competition whilst the Men’s tournament continues with night two of the Semi-Finals. No great surprises last night, at least nothing to compare with the shock defeat of Ray Moylette the previous weekend yet several quality contests were enjoyed by the large crowd gathered at the National Stadium.
Another superb night’s boxing in store tonight too at the same venue when the highlight of the womens finals promises to be the 69kg bout between Callan’s Clare Grace and Patricia Roddy, (a clubmate of Katie Taylor at Bray BC) who defeated Laoise Traynor, the European Union bronze medallist, in last weekend’s semi-final.
The men’s championships continue with the two of the main contests featuring an all St Michael’s Athy cast. Eric Donovan v Davey Oliver Joyce at 60kg as well as Roy Sheahan up against John Joe Joyce at 69kg.
Let us not forget that Eamon Walsh of St Annes stands in the way tonight of another appearance in the Elite finals by Neilstown’s Kenny Egan who if he gets past Walsh will come up against Joe Ward once more in a repeat of last year’s never to be forgotten final (81kg) between the two. And now for the iaba.ie review of last night’s semi-finals
Irish 2012 Olympian Michael Conlan gave a good indication of the high standard he is operating at when he admitted that he was slightly disappointed with his performance against the brave challenge of Shane Roche in last night’s Elite Championships flyweight semi-final.
It’s the type of disappointment that 99.9999% of boxers would gladly live with, as Conlan, officially ranked 14th in the world, won 28-12 and forced Roche, who never stopped coming forward throughout, into two standing counts in the final round.
Fellow Irish Olympians John Joe Nevin and Darren O’Neill met with stiffer opposition from Belfast boxers.
Nevin, who is aiming for his fourth Irish bantamweight title on-the-trot, edged a 13-12 decision over McComb, from the Holy Trinity BC, who was level 3-3 with the two-time World medalist at the end of the first, and took a 7-6 lead into the third. McComb picked off another two shots in the third but Nevin ranked 4th in the world, responded immediately with two of his own. Nevin then detonated a fine uppercut and dropped the Ulster man with a sweeping left hook but then received a public warning for a low blow with seconds remaining.
O’Neill beat Cummings 4-3 in the 2011 semi-final and last night’s encounter was once against hanging in the balance going down the final stretch, the Kilkenny southpaw turning in a fine third round to advance to the middleweight final.
Michael McDonagh earned a solid 11-5 decision over 2010 European bronze medalist Tyrone McCullagh, but Ross Hickey was involved in a real battle with Niall Murray before emerging with a two point winning margin.
Joe Ward, who turned 18 in late October, eased to within one win of claiming his second Elite title in succession with a 17-4 win over Davey Joe Joyce, who received two public warnings for dropping his head in the second and third rounds.
Ward’s tactics of remaining within striking range of his opponent may look like a high risk strategy given the type of ordnance whizzing around the heads of the combatants in his division. However, the Moate BC southpaw usually responds with two shots of his own to every one he receives.
Tommy McCarthy and Con Sheehan also advanced last night, McCarthy, a two-time Elite finalist, beating Stephen Ward, and Sheehan, who is aiming for his 5th Elite crown at two different weights convincingly beating Ward’s Moate BC team-mate Ken Okungbowa.
Defending welterweight champion Adam Nolan gave another fine display of composed boxing last evening, particularly as he was in against the vastly experienced Willie McLaughlin. Nolan, however, had five points to spare when the final bell tolled on an exciting 69Kg clash.
Hugh Myres had claimed the first victory of the evening from an exciting light-flyweight contest with Evan Metcalfe.
The Ryston BC man laid the platform for this win with a fine first round, finding the target with some great rights throughout the opening frame to command a 7-3.
Myres, despite Metcalfe’s constant pressure, stretched that lead to 13-6 by the end of the second and added to his tally in the third to claim a 23-15 win.
Myres will now meet defending champion Paddy Barnes in next Friday’s 49Kg final.
Meantime, the remaining men’s semi-finals will be decided tonight, together with the women’s finals. Boxing begins at 7pm.
2012 Elite Championships National Stadium Dublin
Friday January 27th Men’s S/Finals – Results
49Kg: Hugh Myres (Ryston) beat Evan Metcalfe (Crumlin) 23-15
52Kg: Michael Conlan (St John Bosco) beat Shane Roche (Corinthians) 28-12
56Kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan) beat Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) 13-12
60Kg: Michael McDonagh (St Marys) beat Tyrone McCullagh (Holy Family GG) 11-5
64Kg: Ross Hickey (Grangecon) beat Niall Murray (Gorey) 15-12
69Kg: Adam Nolan (Bray) beat Willie McLaughlin (Illies GG) 17-12
75Kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) beat Conrad Cummings (Holy Trinity) 13-10
81Kg: Joe Ward (Moate) beat David Joe Joyce (Ballinacargy) 17-4
91Kg: Tommy McCarthy (Oliver Plunkett) beat Stephen Ward (Monkstown) 16-11
91+Kg: Con Sheehan (Clonmel) beat Ken Okungbowa (Moate) 17-8
Saturday January 28th Mens S/Finals & Womens Finals. (7pm)
51Kg: Emma Duffy (Crumlin) v Ceire Smith (Cavan)
52Kg: Chris Phelan (Ryston) v Ruairi Dalton (Holy Trinity)
54Kg: Michelle Chambers (Castlebar) v Michelle Lynch (Golden Gloves)
56Kg: Michael Nevin (Portlaoise) v Glenn Murray (Corinthians)
60Kg: Carla Wright (Gleann) W/O
60Kg: Eric Donovan (St Michael’s Athy) v David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
64Kg: Sarah Close (Holy Family GG) W/O
64Kg: Stephen Coughlan (Bray) v Martin Wall (Crumlin)
69 Kg: Patricia Roddy (Bray) v Clare Grace (Callan)
69Kg: Roy Sheahan (St Michael’s Athy) v John Joe Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
75Kg: Sinead Kavanagh (Drimnagh) W/O
75Kg: Conor Coyle (St Jospehs) v Michael Reilly (Holy Family)
81Kg: Lauragh O’Neill (Paulstown) W/O
81Kg: Eamon Walsh (St Annes) v Ken Egan (Neilstown)
91Kg: Patrick Corcoran (Crumlin) v Christy Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
91+Kg: Sean Turner (Drimnagh) v David Joyce (Moate)