Friday 24 February 2017

In brief: Joyce scoops top boxer accolade

Boxing

Ireland's John Joyce scooped the boxer of the tournament award at the eighth European Schoolboy Championships in Bulgaria yesterday, despite losing his semi-final to Ivan Dubovik of Russia in Yambol City.

Joyce, from the Moate BC in Westmeath, was controversially adjudged to have lost 1-0 in Friday's 41.5kg semi-final to Dubovik -- who then claimed gold on Saturday.

However, many neutral observers believed that Joyce, who received a standing ovation from the Bulgarian crowd as he was leaving the ring, clearly won the last-four clash and should have been in yesterday's final.

The decision to award Dubovik the bout drew strong criticism from Irish team manager Paddy Gallagher, and IABA chief Dominic O'Rourke.

Wayne Kelly, from the Brosna BC in Westmeath, was also on the receiving end of a dubious decision when he was adjudged to have lost his semi-final to Timur Aminov, also of Russia, who also went on to win gold.

Hockey

Ireland came away without any reward for their efforts in yesterday's final Test match of a three-game series against Scotland in Stirling, losing 3-1.

It was a disappointing finish after the 2-1 and 1-0 defeats on Friday and Saturday, respectively, for the Irish, whose squad of 18 included six new caps and only eight regular team members.

Coach Gene Muller gave a stern assessment, saying: "We made too many errors today and did not create enough momentum. It was a scrappy match, which demanded a tougher mentality than we showed and this is the main lesson for us."

Ireland will play a three-match series against Belgium at Belfield from August 6-8.

Motorsport

Alastair and Gordon Kellett made it a family affair at Kirkistown by finishing first and second in both of the Fiat Punto Abarth races, with less than a second separating them each time after some close racing. Damian Roddy and Alan Watkins shared the honours in the Stryker class, with a win and a second place each.

Donagh Kelly drove his Lancer Evo 9 to a close win in the Abbey Hotel Donegal Forestry Rally, 11 seconds ahead of Mark Donnelly's Impreza, with Petro Systems National Championship leader Pat O'Connell in third place, his first defeat of the year.

Cycling

Paul Giblin of Galway Bay CC had enough in the tank to land the Donamon Grand Prix held in Castlecoote, Co Roscommon yesterday.

Giblin, along with Neil Delahaye -- making a return to competitive cycling after an absence of a couple of months -- and Keith Fox broke clear of the pack with three laps remaining and were never caught.

Thomas Martin of the Eurocycles team was the overall winner of the Portaferry 3-Day stage event promoted by the Ards Cycling club, which finished yesterday.

Irish Independent

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