SIXTEEN belts were secured at the National U/22 finals at the National Stadium in Dublin on Friday night.
Shannon Byrne claimed the first title on offer – amid emotional scenes with her coaches after the fight – on a split decision over Megan Maher, while Garry McKenna took home the men’s bantamweight crown on a unanimous decision over Dylan Tang.
Hughie Joyce edged the second title of the evening on a split at the expense of Joseph Kelly. Joyce was busier fighter on the night, particularly in the opening frame, but Kelly also produced some good work, mostly in the second stanza of a hard-punching three-rounder with the St Michael’s Athy BC lightweight.
“It was a tough fight, a tough contest, I put everything I had into it,“ said Joyce, who added that his next target will be the National Intermediate Championships and then the National Elite Championships.
Grainne Walsh and Shanice Just traded solid shots in the opening round of their light-welter final, with Just finding the target with combinations in the second. However, Walsh returned the compliment with a three-punch combo in the third and closed out the fourth round to victory.
“I was so prepared for this fight, I knew I had it in me,“ said the 2014 National U/22 64kg champion, who hailed the contributions of her coaches after her win.
In the men’s light-welter final, Shane O’Neill showed his class to see off the challenge of his fellow southpaw Eddie McDonagh. O’Neill found the spot with some excellent punches throughout this contest. His right jab was very effective in the opening two rounds.
McDonagh had his moments in the third. The Portlaoise BC prospect walked through O’Neill’s shots to deliver big replies. However, there was no denying the Nass leftie on the night.
Tina Donnelly also impressed at the home of Irish boxing, the Swinford BC stand out showcasing her combination skills to earn a unanimous decision over Aoife Hennigan in the welterweight class.
Wayne Kelly and Johnny Harty were involved in one of the finals of the night. Both exchanged heavy shots throughout, but Kelly’s more accurate work – his left hook in particular -in the third round as Harty was going for broke was enough to ensure that the 69kg belt was en route to Mullingar.
Anthony Browne was switching from orthodox to southpaw for most of the nine minutes he spent in the ring with Joe Joyce in the 81kg decider. Joyce had some good moments in the opening exchanges, but got tagged with a flashing left after overreaching late in the round.
Joyce detonated a big right near the end of the second, but Browne responded with good work coming out of a clinch. It all came down to the third. Browne landed two solid lefts late in the frame, but Joyce stayed busy on his way to a hard-fought split decision.
Stylish Crumlin BC heavyweight John Joe McDonagh added the 91kg belt to his CV on a unanimous decision. McDonagh beat Jack Morrissey, who winged home some crisp lefts in rounds one, two and three, but McDonagh, working his accurate and rangy jab, was also finding the target.
The final belt of the 2014 National U/22 Championships was claimed by John McDonnell, who secured a double for the Crumlin BC on a split decision over Martin Keenan in the super-heavyweight class.
Tonight’s final were broadcast live by TG4. Former IABA President Breandán Ó Conaire, Joe Hernon and Colmán Ó Flatharta provided the expert analysis.The finals were presented by Micheál Ó Domhnaill, with commentary by Seán Bán Breathnach.
2014 National U/22 Championships, National Stadium Dublin
October 24th Finals (7:30pm)
51kg Shannon Byrne (St Margarets) beat Megan Maher (Saviours Crystal) 2-1
52kg Myles Casey (St Francis) W/O
54kg Karen O’Sullivan (Riverstown) W/O
56kg Gary McKenna (Old School) beat Dylan Tang (Mulhuddart) 3-0
57kg Niamh Ball (Trojan) W/O
60kg Louise O’Donoghue (Geesala) W/O
60kg Hughie Joyce (St Michaels Athy) beat Joseph Kelly (St Canices) 2-1
64kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus) beat Shanice Just (Arklow) 3-0
64kg Shane O’Neill (St Davids) beat Eddie McDonagh (Portlaoise) 3-0
69kg Tina Donnelly (Baldoyle) beat Aoife Hennigan (Swinford) 3-0
69kg Wayne Kelly (Mullingar Elite) beat Johnny Harty (Rathkeale) 3-0
75kg Mairead Whitely (Paulstown) W/O
75kg Stephen Broadhurst (Dealgan) W/O
81kg Joe Joyce (Moate) beat Anthony Browne (St Michaels D) 2-1
91kg John Joe McDonagh (Crumlin) beat Jack Morrissey (Sacre Coeur) 3-0
91+kg John McDonald (Crumlin) beat Martin Keenan (Cashel) 2-1
October 17th S/Finals (6. 30pm)
52kg Brendan Irvine (St Pauls) W/O
56kg Dylan Tang (Mulhuddart) beat Christian Cekiso (Portloise) 3-0
56kg Gary McKenna (Old School) beat Noel Kehoe (Marble City) 2-1
60kg Hughie Joyce (St Michaels Athy) beat Stephen Myers (Sparticus) 3-0
60kg Joseph Kelly (St Canices) beat Sean O’Neill (Cabra) 2-1
64kg Eddie McDonagh (Portlaoise) beat Karl Kelly (St Margarets D) 2-0
64kg Shane O’Neill (St Davids Naas) beat Brandon Mulligan (Clann Naofa) 3-0
69kg Johnny Harty (Rathkeale) beat Patrick Fitzgibbon (Muskerry) KO1
69kg Wayne Kelly (Mullingar Elite) beat Conor Doherty (Holy Trinity) 3-0
75kg Stephen Broadhurst (Delagan) beat Taylor McGoldrick (Holy Trinity) 3-0
75kg David Roche (Riverstown/Army) beat Ryan Dervan (Lougrea) 3-0
81kg Joe Joyce (Moate) beat Patrick Ward (Gurteen) 2-1
81kg Anthony Browne (St Michaels D) beat Wayne Danaher (Doolin) 3-0
91kg John Joe McDonagh (Crumlin) beat Thomas Carty (Corinthians) TKO1
91kg Jack Morrisey (Sacre Coeur) W/O
91+kg John McDonald (Crumlin) beat Patrick McDonagh (Sunnyside) 3-0
91+kg Martin Keenan (Cashel) beat Damien Sullivan (Holy Trinity) 3-0
October 10th Q/Finals
56kg Gary McKenna (Old School) beat Ian Fleming (Crumlin) 3-0
64kg Brandon Mulligan (Clann Naofa) beat Adam Foley (Glin) TKO3
69kg Wayne Kelly (Mullingar Elite) beat Keane McMahon (Ballybough) 2-1
75kg David Roche (Riverstown/Army) beat Eddie Byrne (Na Fianna) 2-1
75kg Ryan Dervan (Lougrea) beat Ryan Cleary (Clonoe) 3-0
81kg Anthony Browne (St Michaels D) beat Martin Lally (St Davids) 3-0
81kg Wayne Danaher (Doolin) beat Andrius Kundrotas (Portlaoise) 2-1