The Irish quartet all won their quarter-finals today and will be aiming to upgrade to at least silver tomorrow in the competition formerly known as the Chemistry Cup.
Triple European champion Ward, now two wins away from claiming a third Chemistry Cup gold, was the last Irish boxer in action tonight and comfortably beat China’s Jilei Zhang on a unanimous decision in the light heavy class.
Dublin heavyweight Browne secured Ireland’s first medal of the 21-nation tournament after knocking in Zhiabao Wang’s teeth and forcing the Chinese corner to throw in the towel at the start of the second round.
Belfast duo McNaul and EU champion Walsh outpointed Mongolian pair Delgerkhnga Khongorzul and Mungustsetseg Enkhjargal in the feather and fly class to advance to the last four.
But Kurt Walker, also an EU titlist, was beaten Russian feather Albert Batyrgaziev, while Irish welters Christina Desmond and Grainne Walsh were beaten on unanimous and split verdicts early this morning to world champion Liu Yang and former foe Nadine Apetz respectively.
Emmet Brennan finished out the third round on the front foot against Gleb Bakshi but the Russian middleweight had enough in the bank to advance to the 75kg semi-finals.
In all, Ireland are bringing home four out of a possible 13 medals from the top-quality tournament and have, so far, posted eight wins and nine losses.
Chemistry Cup (World Cup) Cologne, Germany
51kg Carly McNaul (Ireland) v Pinki Rani (India)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Lenuta Lacramioara (Romania)
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) v Abu-Lubdeh Abdulrahman (Germany)
91kg Tony Browne (Ireland) v Brandon Ress (Australia)
51kg Carly McNaul (Ireland) beat Mungustsetseg Enkhjargal (Mongolia) 5-0
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Delgerkhnga Khongorzul (Mongolia) 5-0
57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Albert Batyrgaziev (Russia) 0-5
69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) lost to Liu Yang (China) 0-5
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) lost to Nadine Apetz (Germany) 2-3
75kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) lost to Gleb Bakshi (Russia) 0-5
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Jilei Zhang (China) 5-0
91kg Tony Browne (Ireland) beat Zhiabao Wang (China) RET2
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Eric Petrosyan (Armenia) 5-0
51kg Carly McNaul (Ireland) beat Angelika Krysztoforska (Poland) 5-0
63kg Wayne Kelly (Ireland) lost to Jorge Moiran (Cuba) 2-3
63kg James McGivern (Ireland) lost to Enrico La Cruz (Netherlands) 0-5
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) lost to Otgonbaatar Bymba (Mongolia) 0-4
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Sergei Egorov (Russia) 2-3
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Galai Yafai (England) 0-5
75kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) beat Rafael Perczynski (Poland) 5-0
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Piotr Sczukowski (Poland) 5-0
51kg Carly McNaul (Holy Family) (Bronze, at least)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown) (Bronze, at least)
69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Spartacus)
52kg Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s)
57kg Kurt Walker (Canal)
63kg James McGivern (St George’s)
63kg Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)
75kg Emmet Brennan (Glasnevin)
81kg Joe Ward (Spartacus) (Bronze, at least)
91kg Tony Browne (St Michael’s) (Bronze, at least)
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)
Team Manager: Bernard Dunne
Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Damian Kennedy
Physiotherapist: Muireann Harte
Physiologist: Damain Martin