COMMONWEALTH GAMES gold medallist Patrick Gallagher crashed out of the Elite National Senior Championships after dropping a shock decision to Dublin welterweight Daniel Quinn at the National Stadium in Dublin last night.
Quinn, from the Glasnevin BC, was never behind and recorded a deserved 6-1 win over the Gleann BC Belfast club-man in the first upset of the Championships.
Belfast's Sean McComb got the blue riband tournament under way with a composed win over St Anne's Danny Coughlan. The Holy Trinity ace opened the scoring with a raking left jab in the first round and added two points in the second. Coughlan pulled one back in the third, but McComb restored his three-point cushion with another jab to claim a 4-1 verdict in the new 56kg category.
Michael Myres came from behind to edge out Gavin Keating in the opening 60kg clash. Keating, of the St Saviours club in Dublin, was 3-1 up in the first but Myres restored parity at 5-5 before finding the target with a right hook in the third.
Jason Conroy made it three wins in a row for the blue corner with a third- round stoppage of Paul Raymond, and ex-champ Ross Hickey nearly suffered a shock loss to Crumlin light-welter Stephen Carroll.
Hickey, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 European Championships, opened a 1-0 lead in the first, but Carroll landed two quick shots in succession to take a 2-1 lead in an explosive second round. Hickey responded with a cracking right which forced his opponent into a standing count.
Carroll took another count in the third, but stormed back to make it 3-3 with a close-range left. But two thudding right hooks sealed a 5-3 win for Hickey.
"He made me work hard, he's a very strong puncher. I caught him with two right hooks when I needed them because he was coming on strong," said Hickey.
Elsewhere, in the 64kg category, Stephen Coughlan comfortably beat Jake Hanney and Tyrone McKenna out-gunned Tommy Dwyer. Anthony Upton made it eight wins in a row for the blue corner after earning a 5-1 decision over Eamon Touhy.
Limerick's Jessie Lyons, the intermediate champion, marched into the 69kg semi-final after stopping Joanne Barkly in round three in the only female bout of the night.
Meanwhile, Ken Egan has received a bye into the semis in the light-heavyweight category. The Neilstown southpaw, who is aiming for 11 Senior title in a row, will meet either Thomas Roohan or Brian Fitzpatrick next Friday night.
World Youth champion Joe Ward has also received a bye into the last four in the light-heavyweight class and will meet the winner from today's Davey Joe Joyce and Sean Allen duel next Saturday. European and Commonwealth champ Paddy Barnes has received a bye into the light-flyweight final where he'll meet Dubliner Evan Metcalfe.
Belfast's Tommy McCarthy, who was beaten in the last two light-heavyweight finals by Egan, announced before the championships that he was moving up to heavyweight. But the Oliver Plunkett clubman has been handed a tough 90kg debut as he will now meet defending champion -- and 2009 EU champion -- Con Sheehan, from Clonmel BC in the last eight today.
The Championships continue today with two sessions beginning at 11.0 and 6.0.