Euro delight for golden girl Daina
Enniskerry Boxing Club's Daina Moorehouse (15) has won gold for Ireland in the European Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Daina, despite being one of the youngest members of Team Ireland, was selected as team captain but the young Bray girl certainly led from the front.
Daina started the week with a quarter final on Thursday.
She was glad to finally step into the ring after arriving with the squad on the previous weekend.
Her opponent was the Ukranian champion, Viktoria Fabuliak and it didn't take long for Moorehouse to find her range with a flurry of combinations that led to two standing counts for the Ukranian before a 5-0 result for the Irish captain.
The semi-final on Saturday was an extremely tough prospect with the pre-tournament favourite, Russia's Diana Ermakora, standing between Daina and a place in the light-fly final.
Daina who is a southpaw used her hooks to devastating effect and her explosiveness caused her opponent problems throughout the bout.
The Irish support in Sofia were delighted to see Daina take the contest on a 5-0 score.
Moorehouse had little time to reflect on her victory as the final took place on Sunday.
Her opponent was last year's European silver medallist England's Simran Kaur.
Both boxers were very familiar with each other as they had met twice before, each recording a victory.
However the stakes were far higher as they faced each other for European Gold.
The opening round was extremely cagey as the tall Kaur waited for Moorehouse to come forward so she could use her reach advantage.
The young Irish girl kept her nerve and in an extremely disciplined performance began to find her way inside Kaur's jab with feints and suberb movement. Daina's explosive speed gave her a healthy lead before the final round which saw Kaur push on in an extremely close and tense finish.The Irish management team was thrilled when Daina took the gold on a unanimous decision.
Daina's parents John and Melissa and Enniskerry's Head Coach Paul O'Toole were ring side to celebrate and it was a proud day for O'Toole who has trained Daina since she started boxing five years ago.
The Irish team was managed by Bernie Harold and coached by Jimmy Payne, Antoinette Faye-McClean, Ger McDaid and Liam Brereton, accompanied by judge John Casey.
Ireland had a team of 16 girls travel to the finals and were rewarded with two golds (Geesala's Aoibhe Carabine also took gold), one silver and three bronze medals. Under Head Coach Jimmy Payne these athletes have trained in the High Performance Unit and their dedication has been rewarded with a superb showing.
Enniskerry Boxing Club are hoping that Daina's success will provide the impetus for local representatives and councils to help them find a permanent home as highlighted in this paper last week. The club are hugely grateful to both Dave Buckley who sponsored Daina and the Egan family.
Daina has had a remarkable season, not dropping a single round in all competitions this year and is a credit to her club, county and country.
The sky is the limit for her now.