Jason Harty, Anthony Johnston and Jim O’Reilly joined Lorcan Hurley in the semi-finals of of the European Junior Championships after producing top drawer performances in Lviv, Ukraine today.
Harty saw off the challenge of Israeli light-welter Daniel Nevin to add at least a bronze medal to a collection which includes a silver medal from the 2013 IABA hosted European Schoolboys Championships in Dublin.
On fire Belfast middleweight Johnston blasted his way into the last-four after stunning local favourite Yevheni Pavlowskyi of the Ukraine in the middleweight class, while O’Reilly advanced at the expense of Vadzim Andreyev of Belarus.
Hurley, Harty, Johnston and O’Reilly are now guaranteed at least a bronze medal apiece.
Sean Whelan, Aaron Gethins and Martin McDongah bowed out today following three close contests with England and the Ukraine; the McDonagh bout could have gone either way at the end of three pulsating rounds.
Irish team manager Stephen Connolly, in views echoed by Irish coach Billy McClean, said: “It was the performance of the tournament so far from Anthony. He was absolutely top class from start to finish against a very good opponent.
“Jason and Jim were excellent also, you couldn’t ask anymore of them. All of the squad gave it everything today and we now have four into the semi-finals here.”
“We’re absolutely delighted with the performances of the squad against some of the best young boxers in the world at this level,” added Billy McClean, who is working Ireland’s corner with Gerry McDaid and Dmitri Dmitruk.
Thursday is a rest day at the tournament. The semi-finals and finals will be decided on Friday and Saturday.
Irish boxing has now secured eight medals from the World Youth and Junior Women’s Championships and the European Men’s Junior Championships in Asia and Europe this week. Six of those medals were claimed today.
Staring Friday, Ireland’s talented prospects will be looking to upgrade to at least silver.
2015 European Junior Championships Lviv, Ukraine
May 16th Prelims
57kg Eric Nash (Ireland) beat Guiseppe Ferik (Italy) 2-1
May 17th Prelims
48kg Lorcan Hurley (Ireland) beat Tony Orr (Scotland) 3-0
63kg Aaron Gethins (Ireland) beat Catalin Bitcha (Moldova) 3-0
69kg Jordan Myers (Ireland) lost to Yahor Skamavakh (Belarus) 0-3
75kg Anthony Johnston (Ireland) beat William Gustafsson (Sweden) 3-0
80kg Jim O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Jess Harris (England) 3-0
80+kg Martin McDonagh (Ireland) beat Josip Biletic (Croatia) 2-1
May 18th (12pm)
46kg Zach Mallon (Ireland) lost to Kanan Avilev (Azerbaijan) 1-2
50kg Sean Whelan (Ireland) beat Vzdzim Nenadavets (Belarus) 3-0
52kg Aaron McKenna (Ireland) lost to Taras Bandarachuk (Ukraine) 0-3
May 18th (4pm)
54kg Callum Bradley (Ireland) lost to Artur Szachbazian (Czech Rep) 0-3
60kg Michael Avetisian (Ireland) lost to Tugrulhan Erdemr (Turkey) 0-3
48k Lorcan Hurley (Ireland) beat Pasquale di Silvio (Italy) 3-0
57kg Eric Nash (Ireland) lost to Artur Tuniev (Belarus) 0-3
66kg Jason Harty (Ireland) beat Yevhen Moskalenko (Ukraine) 3-0
50kg Sean Whelan (Ireland) lost to Thomas Roberts (England) 0-3
63kg Aaron Gethins (Ireland) lost to Artem Lapin (Ukraine) 0-3
66kg Jason Harty (Ireland) beat Daniel Levin (Israel) 3-0
75kg Anthony Johnston (Ireland) beat Yevheni Pavlowskyi (Ukraine) 3-0
80kg Jim O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Vadzim Andreyev (Belarus) 2-1
80+kg Martin McDonagh (Ireland) lost to Oleksandr Hrytsiv (Ukraine) 0-3
48kg Lorcan Hurley (Ireland) v Javid Huseynov (Azerbaijan)
66kg Jason Harty (Ireland) v Alen Kastsiukouski (Belarus)
75kg Anthony Johnston (Ireland) v Oronzo Birardi (Germany)
80kg Jim O’Reilly (Ireland) v Matej Uremovic (Croatia)
46kg Zach Mallon (Old School)
48kg Lorcan Hurley (Tramore) (Bronze, at least)
50kg Sean Whelan (Docklands)
52kg Aaron McKenna (Old School)
54kg Callum Bradley (Sacred Heart Omagh)
57kg Eric Nash (Ardnaree)
60kg Michael Avetisian (Mulhuddart)
63kg Aaron Gethins (Ballinacarrow)
66kg Jason Harty (Rathkeale) (Bronze, at least)
70kg Jordan Myers (St Pats, Dromahair)
75kg Anthony Johnston (Gleann) (Bronze, at least)
80kg Jim O’Reilly (Portlaoise) (Bronze, at least)
80+kg Martin McDonagh (Baldoyle)
Team manager: Stephen Connolly
Coaches: Billy McClean, Gerry McDaid, Dmitri Dmitruk
Physio: Eoin Naughton
R&J: Philip Rooney