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Final hopes unravel for Tadhg O’Donnell in European Youth semi

Tadhg O’Donnell’s hopes of a second European gold were dashed by Englishman John Joe Carrigan in Croatia.

The Four Kings man will return home from the European Youths with a light-middleweight bronze medal.

O’Donnell’s aim for one of the podium’s higher steps unravelled in the last three minutes of his semi-final in Porec.

It was all down to the final stanza with the five judges all deadlocked at 19 apiece as the boxers rested on the stools for the second time.

Above the gaze of the blue corner, where the Irish coaches watched intently, Carrigan – the European Junior champion in 2023 – unloaded the gun midway through that third, crucial round.

As O’Donnell shook his head clear and the referee opened his fingers, one by one, it was perhaps the bout’s decisive moment.

Although O’Donnell responded well, attempting to use a long left jab to get back into the minds of the ringside arbitrators, it was Carrigan who had done enough.

At close quarters, Carrigan was dangerous and O’Donnell was unable to keep the Carlisle man at a far enough range.

All five judges, from Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro, Romania and Latvia, sided 10-9 with Carrigan, who was the 29-28 winner on the handful of cards. Carrigan now goes into Sunday’s final, where he will meet Hichva Oleh from Ukraine, who beat Rasljanin Hamza from Serbia in his semi-final.

In 2022, O’Donnell won European Junior gold in Italy, taking the 66kgs crown after a win over Poland’s Pawel Fabian Urbanksk.

The Wicklow puncher had wins over Daniil Sauchanka and Marat Mikaelyan this week to get back on the podium.

O’Donnell dropped the pink-socked Carrigan in the opening round and was ahead 10-9 on all cards after the first three minutes.

Carrigan hit back to claim the second and down the trenches it was the Englishman who emerged the victor.


48kg Tiffany Spencer, Jobstown BC, Dublin

50kg Carlagh Peake, Ballyhaunis BC, Mayo.

52kg Grace Conway Dowling, Tredagh BC, Louth

54kg Nicole Kinsella, St. Mary’s BC, NR, Wexford

63kg Ava Henry, Dublin Docklands BC.

66kg Kyla Doyle Byrne, Whitechurch BC, Dublin

48kg Scott Thompson, Spartans BC, Antrim

51kg Jamie Collins, Drimnagh BC, Dublin

54kg Kai Ducque, Avona BC, Dublin

57kg Martin McDonagh, Avona BC, Dublin.

60kg Jack Johnson, Marble City BC, Kilkenny

63.5kg Ryan Jenkins, Olympic BC, Westmeath

67kg Ryan Connolly, Setanta BC, Kildare.

71kg Tadhg O’Donnell, Four Kings BC, Wicklow.

92+kg Adam Olaniyan, Jobstown BC, Dublin.

Team Manager: Anna Moore

Coach: Liam Cunningham

Coach: Amanda Spencer

Coach: Garry Kehoe

Coach: Ralph McKay

R&J: Stephen Kelly

Draws are available here

Day One results are available here

Day Two results are available here

Day Three results are available here

Day Four results are available here

Day Five results are available here

Day Six results are available here

Day Seven results are available here