Jason McKay and Brian Wall European finalist
Antrim’s Jason McKay advanced to the 48kg final at the 16th European Junior Championships following a thrilling win over Bulgarian light-flyweight Illiyan Kolev in Bulgaria yesterday.
The Canal BC stand out earned an 11-10 decision from a toe-to-toe duel to record his third victory on-the trot at the 35-nation tournament in Sofia.
Both boxers were tied after the first round, but McKay edged 7-6 ahead by the end of the second frame en route to an edge-of-the-seat – but totally deserved – victory.
He’ll now meet Russia’s Suleiman Bammatov for 48kg gold in Saturday’s final.
Meanwhile, Kerry’s Brian Wall – who has also won three contests this week – followed up McKay’s win a convincing verdict over Hungarian middleweight Zsolt Kovacs early this evening.
Wall, who plays in midfield for the Kerry U/16 Gaelic football team, recorded a 13-7 win to book his ticket into Saturday’s 75kg final where he’ll meet Magomed Magamedov, also of Russia.
The Ulster and Munster duo are now guaranteed to be taking home at least two silver medals from Sofia.
“Jason and Brian boxed out of their skins today and they gave it absolutely everything against two tough and talented opponents, said Irish team manager Michael Darby.
“We’re absolutely delighted with their performances. They both have tough finals ahead of them against Russia tomorrow but their confidence will be high after these wins.”
“Jason and Brian really pulled out all the stops today and they can both be very proud of their performances in what is a quality tournament featuring some of the best in the world at this level,” added IABA Director of Boxing Dominic O’Rourke.
Ireland and Germany, who also have two boxers through to the finals, are the only two western European nations left in the tournament.
Saturday’s finals begin at 12pm (Irish time).
*Ireland’s 13-strong squad are duo home via Dublin Airport via London Gatwick at 6.05pm on Sunday, July 1st. (Aer Lingus flight No. EI 243)*
2012 European Junior Championships Sofia, Bulgaria
June 23rd (Last 32)
52kg: James Cleary (Ireland) beat Kaspars Burkevics (Latvia) 19-6
54kg: John Joyce (Ireland) beat Richard Kovacs (Hungary) 15-7
60kg: Wayne Kelly (Ireland) beat Saleem Bibar (Israel) 15-8
63kg: Daryl Byrne (Ireland) lost to Bernard Barsony (Hungary) 10-12
70kg: Luke Thomas (Ireland) lost to Bakhtier Kholov (Russia) 9-14
June 24th (Last 16 & Last 32)
54kg; John Joyce (Ireland) lost to Viktor Petrov (Ukraine) 10-14
57kg: Darren Pollock (Ireland) beat Jegors Artjomovs (Latvia) 9-8 (last 32)
66kg: Lewis Crocker (Ireland) beat Huseyn Tarverdili (Azerbaijan) 15-6 (last 32)
80kg: Michael Gallagher (Ireland) lost to Uladzimir Tsitou (Belarus) 9-13
80+kg: Aaron Kelly (Ireland) lost to Marat Kerimkhanov (Russia) 6-13
June 25th (Last 16)
46kg: Martin Stokes (Ireland) lost to Dan Lapin (Ukraine) 5-11
48kg: Jason McKay (Ireland) beat Zsolt Karvaly (Hungary) RSC2
50kg: Kalum McConville (Ireland) beat Paul Wall (Germany) 15-14
52kg: James Cleary (Ireland) lost to Sorin Claudiu (Romania) 8-17
57kg: Darren Pollock (Ireland) beat Mihail Cvasiuc (Moldova) 10-10 c/b +
(no countback scores available)
June 26th (Last 16)
60kg: Wayne Kelly (Ireland) beat Johanathan Zumbe (Germany) 15-8
66kg: Lewis Crocker (Ireland) beat Ogulcan Albayrak (Turkey) 14-8
75kg; Brian Wall (Ireland) beat Leonard Nicolae (Romania) 7-5
June 27th (Quarter-finals)
48kg: Jason McKay (Ireland) beat Arturas Bankauskas (Lithuania) 18-6
50kg: Kalum McConville (Ireland) lost to Omer Koc (Turkey) 6-12
57Kg: Darren Pollock (Ireland) lost to Wladislaw Brayshnik (Germany) 13-16
60kg: Wayne Kelly (Ireland) lost to Alexander Morokhin (Russia) 11-15
66kg: Lewis Crocker (Ireland) lost to Oleksii Takarchuk (Ukraine) 8-12
75kg: Brian Wall (Ireland) beat Mustafa Atmaca (Turkey) RSCI3
June 29th (Semi-finals)
48kg: Jason McKay (Ireland) beat Iliyan Kolev (Bulgaria) 11-10
75kg: Brian Wall (Ireland) beat Zsolt Kovacs (Hungary) 13-7
June 30th (Finals)
48kg: Jason McKay (Ireland) v Suleiman Bammatov (Russia)
75kg: Brain Wall (Ireland) v Magomed Magamedov (Russia)
46kg; Martin Stokes (Mullhuddard)
48kg; Jason McKay (Canal)
50kg: Kalum McConville (Dealgan)
52kg: James Cleary (Olympic)
54kg: John Joyce (St Michael’s Athy)
57kg: Darren Pollock (St Agnes)
60kg: Wayne Kelly (Ballynacargy)
63kg: Daryl Byrne (Grangecon)
66kg: Lewis Crocker (Cairn Lodge)
70kg: Luke Thomas (Watergrasshill)
75kg: Brian Wall (Cashen Vale)
80kg: Michael Gallagher (Finn Valley)
80kg+: Aaron Kelly (Mount Tallant)
Team manager: Michael Darby
Coaches: Billy McClean. Jim O’Neill (Clann Noafa Noafa). Ger McDaid (Mulhuddard)
Physio: Eoin Naughton
R&J: Jim Murrin
Director of Boxing: Dominic O’Rourke