The Irish Elite Championships got underway at the National Stadium this weekend and the 2012 edition is arguably the most important in the I.A.B.A’s 101 year existence with Olympic qualifiers on the horizon for the Men (in Turkey) and Women (in China) on the horizon.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was among the sizeable crowd in attendance as the afternoon progressed , no doubt hoping to see fellow Islandkeady man, Ray Moylette progress further on the road to London town.
Here courtesy of iaba.ie is a report on the first Saturday of the championships – a day that provided fans with some fine action in the ring …. and a major shock or two none more so than the defeat of European No 1, World No 8, Ray Moylette
Sean McComb dominated to victory in the opening bout of Day 2.
The Holy Trinity man claimed all three rounds en route to posting a 17-5 win over Orin McDermott. McComb was joined in the semi-finals by Michael Nevin, who saw off the challenge of Danny Coughlan.
An open second round saw both boxers find the target with some big shots. The third was a much more tame affair, with both adding five points each to their tally to leave the scoring at 14-9 to Nevin.
Defending lightweight champion Michael McDonagh had his work cut out against Mark O’Hara in his opening bout at the Championships. O’Hara, his confidence boosted by Friday night’s win over Paul Hyland, was right in this contest up to the final bell.
The first two rounds finished level at 3-3 and 5-5, before McDonagh edged a see-saw third 3-2 to claim victory.
Declan Geraghty, the 2009 flyweight champion, countered with some excellent shots versus 2010 European Senior Championships bronze medalist Tyrone McCullagh.
However, McCullagh hit the target with some of his own to leave the scoring locked at 7-7 at the end of the second, the Antrim lightweight overturning a 4-2 opening frame deficit before claiming the final round – despite a superb left from Geraghty – by a single point.
Five-time Elite champion Eric Donovan posted a 19-8 win over James Tennyson. However, the 2010 European bronze medalist was on the canvas after being hit with a flashing right hook near the end of the second.
“He caught me with a fine shot in the second, I was a bit off balance and fair play to him. It’s great to get the first win under my belt,” said Donovan.
Donovan’s St Michael’s Athy team-mate David Oliver Joyce is also through to the next phase courtesy of a 17-8 win over Jason Conroy.
Ross Hickey had to withstand enormous pressure from Philip Sutcliffe in the opening two rounds of their 60Kg clash, a repeat of the 2011 final which Hickey won.
Sutcliffe rocked the defending champion back against the ropes near the end of the first to level it at 5-5, but Hickey edged the next to command a 12-10 lead and set up an intriguing third.
However, the fire that was in Sutcliffe’s work in the opening two frames was beginning to wane going down the final stretch, and Hickey. picking off his shots from a variety of angles, earned a deserved win from a top class three-rounder.
Niall Murray and Stephen Coughlan also claimed impressive wins, while European light-welterweight champion Ray Moylette had none other than his fellow Islandeady parishioner, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, cheering him on versus Martin Wall of the Crumlin BC.
However, Wall,19, produced a career-best performance against the European number one, who is also officially ranked number 8th in the world by AIBA, to cause the biggest upset of the Championships so far after taking a 15-11 decision from a thrilling contest.
The Dubliner, who took a standing count after being tagged by a big left for Moylette in the second, led all the way to victory here, taking the first two rounds 4-2 and 8-6 before emerging with four points to spare against the 2008 World Youth champion.
Meanwhile, defending welterweight champion Adam Nolan beat 2011 European Youth silver medalist Michael O’Reilly. Nolan showed his class and experience in equal measure to secure a verdict over the brave challenge of the Portlaoise BC prospect and is now just two bouts away from retaining his title.
The all-Donegal derby went the way of Willie McLaughlin at the expense of Jason Quigley. A tight, uncompromising and untidy affair saw the Illies GG BC welter emerge with a 12-10 verdict.
Quigley got a public warning for holding in the second round of this encounter and McLaughlin received boxing’s equivalent of a yellow card, also for holding, in the third.
Roy Sheahan and John Joe Joyce completed a fine day for the St Michael’s Athy club with wins over Jamie Dowling and Noel Sommers in the final two contests of the session.
Ken Egan booked his ticket into his 12th consecutive Elite Championships semi-final with a third round stoppage of fellow Dubliner Michael Frayne .
The Neilstown BC southpaw was 24-9 up when Frayne, who took two counts in the first, took a third standing count 12 seconds from the final bell and the bout was stopped.
Ten-time Elite champion Egan will now meet Eamon Walsh in the last-four next weekend, while Davey Joe Joyce will face European and current Elite champion Joe Ward in the corresponding light-heavyweight semi-final.
Walsh beat Cork’s Patrick O’Shea and Joyce edged out Sean Allen by a single point.
Ceire Smith beat Jade Corcoran 34-7 in the first women’s bout of the Championships. Smith came out with all guns blazing to force her opponent into two standing counts in the first round.
Corcoran looked to be heading for an early exit at that stage, but the Crumlin BC flyweight showed remarkable bravery against the talented Irish international to see the 51Kg clash through to the final bell.
London 2012 Olympian Darren O’Neill, the defending middleweight champion, advanced after the competitive Stephen O’Reilly was retired late in round three with a cut over his left eye.
O’Neil was 8-5 up going into the final round and will now meet Conrad Cummings in a repeat of their 2011 Elite clash which O’Neill won en route to his third Irish title. Cummings recorded a convincing 22-10 win over Chris Blaney.
Conor Coyle also progressed. last evening, with a 19-12 win over Alfredo Meli booking his ticket into the last-four. Twenty-one-year old Coyle, a grandson of former British and Commonwealth featherweight champion, Billy “Spider” Kelly, beat Beijing Olympian John Joe Joyce last year and has been impressing in Ulster competition.
Meanwhile Patricia Roddy shaded her Bray team-mate Laoise Traynor by one point, and Claire Grace beat Joanne Barclay 18-17. Stephen Ward, Michael Reilly and Ken Okungbowa also had their hands raised in victory, Ward and Okungbowa taking the early route to victory over Paul Byrne and Niall Kennedy.
Sean Turner and David Joyce claimed victories from the final two bouts of the evening in the super-heavyweight category.
Joyce was 4-3 up when Chris Devanney had to retire injured in the first.
Elite National Championships
January 21st Q/Finals. (Afternoon session)
56Kg: Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) beat Orin McDermott (Finn Valley) 17-5
56Kg: Michael Nevin (Portlaoise) beat Danny Coughlan (St Annes) 14-9
60Kg: Michael McDonagh (St Mary’s) beat Mark O’Hara (Holy Trinity) 8-7
60Kg: Tyrone McCullagh (Holy Family GG) beat Declan Geraghty (Crumlin) 10-9
60Kg: Eric Donovan (St Michael’s Athy) beat James Tennyson (St Pauls) 19-8
60Kg: David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy) beat Jason Conroy (Crumlin) beat 17-8
64Kg: Ross Hickey (Grangecon) beat Philip Sutcliffe (Crumlin) 17-15
64Kg: Niall Murray (Gorey) beat David Roche (Riverstown) 14-8
64Kg: Stephen Coughlan (Bray) beat Stephen Carroll (Drimnagh) 19-10
64Kg: Martin Wall (Crumlin) beat Ray Moylette (St Anne’s) 15-11
69Kg: Adam Nolan (Bray) beat Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise) 16-10
69Kg: Willie McLaughlin (Illies GG) beat Jason Quigley (Finn Valley) 12-10
69Kg: Roy Sheahan (St Michael’s Athy) beat Jamie Dowling (Paulstown) 11-4
69Kg: John Joe Joyce (St Michael’s Athy) beat Noel Sommers (St Matthews) 16-8
January 21st Q/Finals and Women’s S/Finals (Evening Session)
51Kg: Ceire Smith (Cavan) beat Jade Corcoran (Crumlin) 34-7
75Kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) beat Stephen O’Reilly (Twin-towns) RSCI3
75Kg: Conrad Cummings (Holy Trinity) beat Chris Blaney (Navan) 22-10
75Kg: Conor Coyle (Bracken) beat Alfredo Meli (Immaculata) 19-12
75Kg: Michael Reilly (Holy Family) beat Shane Egan (Bracken) 9-7
54Kg: Michelle Lynch (Golden Gloves) beat Michaela Jannick (Cavan) 24-10
81Kg: Davey Joe Joyce (Ballincargy) beat Sean Allen (Arklow) 6-5
81Kg: Eamon Wash (St Annes) beat Patrick O’Shea (Sunnyside) 16-9
81Kg: Ken Egan (Neilstown) beat Michael Frayne (St Marys) RSC3
69Kg: Patrica Roddy (Bray) beat Laoise Traynor (Bray) 15-14
91Kg: Stephen Ward (Monkstown) beat Paul Byrne (Holy Family) RSCH2
69Kg: Claire Grace (Callan) beat Joanne Barclay (Holy Family GG) 18-7
91+Kg: Ken Ogungbowa (Moate) beat Niall Kennedy (Gorey) RSC1
91+Kg: Sean Turner (Dimnagh) beat Michael Kaliec (St Colmans) 14-6
91+Kg: David Joyce (Moate) beat Chris Devanney (Dockers) RSCI1