Thursday 21 September 2017

Trio bid for final berths as Ireland boys add to medal haul

Boxing

Bernard O'Neill

TWO of Ireland's hot young prospects will face English opponents in today's semi-finals at the 34-nation European Junior Championships in Keszthely, Hungary, with a third also into the last four.

Cork's Luke Thomas and Cavan's John Nevin meet England's Isaac McLeod and Pat McCormack in this afternoon's light-welterweight and flyweight last-four duels.

Thomas joined Nevin, who won on Wednesday, in the semi-finals following a magnificent 15-8 verdict over Aliaksander Vashchyla of Belarus yesterday.

And Mayo middleweight Martin Conroy followed that up with an 8-5 decision over Veselen Todorov of Bulgaria. Conroy, who boxes out of the Ballyhaunis BC, will face Vasily Tsitsilashvili of Georgia in today's 75kg semi-final.

Wednesday's and yesterday's wins guaranteed all three Irish boxers at least bronze from the championships, which are taking place one month before the AIBA World Junior Championships in Kazakhstan.

Shane McIntyre, Patrick Gaffey and Aaron Kelly all bowed out at the last-eight stage of the championships yesterday despite brave performances.

McIntyre lost 17-7 to Croatia's Luka Prenjaco and Gaffey and Kelly lost 10-6 and 21-5 to Rahil Mammadli of Azerbaijan and Andrey Stotskiy of Russia.

Today's semi-finals take place just seven days after Joe Ward and Ray Moylette claimed double gold at the European Senior Championships. The finals will take place tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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