A FANTASTIC day for Irish boxing came to a joyous conclusion as Aoife O’Rourke took the country’s third European gold of the day.
It had already been a super championships for the Irish team, and from the first bell it was clear that O’Rourke was determined to put the icing on the cake.
She went out and attacked, while Elzbieta Wojcik was of the same mind, and they both met head on.
The two fighters were getting up close and it was a tad scrappy, with no one going to take a backward step.
At times it could be difficult to establish where the advantage was going, but later in the round O’Rourke landed a a couple of decent scoring punches, and when the scorecards came back, four of them gave it to her with one to the game Polish fighter.
The second stanza opened in the same style as the first, with both fighters again tying one another up. However as the initial frenzy passed O’Rourke landed a lovely right hand, as the first Olés could be heard around the arena.
The Irish woman was the busier fighter and landed some hard body shots, near the beginning of the second half of the round. She followed that with another tough attack to the Pole’s body with just over half a minute to go.
The final round was more even, but O’Rourke shaded it, landing the better shots overall.
All five judges gave her that final round, and the fight. The final scorecards were 30-27 x 2, 30-26 x 2, and 28-29.
It was a really good display by O’Rourke, who was quite definitely the better fighter on the day.
The victory was a really fantastic way to cap a great day and a great tournament for the Irish team.
Team Ireland Squad
48kg: Shannon Sweeney, St. Anne’s, Mayo
50kg: Caitlin Fryers, Immaculata BC, Belfast
52kg: Carly McNaul, Ormeau Road BC, Belfast
54kg: Niamh Fay, Phoenix of Ballyboughal BC, Dublin
57kg: Michaela Walsh, Emerald BC, Belfast
60kg: Kellie Harrington, St. Mary’s BC, Dublin
63kg: Amy Broadhurst, St. Bronagh’s ABC, Newry
66kg: Kaci Rock, Enniskerry BC, Wicklow
70kg: Christina Desmond, Dungarvan BC/Garda BC
75kg: Aoife O’Rourke, Olympic BC, Galway