Grainne Walsh was delighted to get the ball rolling towards a European Games podium finish with victory in a real ‘dog fight’ today(Monday).
The Offally fighter progressed to within touching distance of a medal with victory over Team GB’s Rosie Eccles.
A massive performance from the welterweight earned her 30-27,30-27,29-28, 29-28 scores with one 29-28 against.
The Tullamore BC fighter admitted the victory was a hard earned one, but one she is delighted to have under her belt moving forward.
“It’s always a tough fight against GB and I fought that girl before and it’s another close decision,” Walsh said post the win.
“You have a game plan going in but sometimes it’s hard to follow. You have to think for yourself as well. Boxing can be spur of the moment. I tried to stick (the game plan) as much as I could, but like I said she is very tough and very physical.
“It was a good scrap and a proper dog fight. I am delighted with the win.”
Victory over such opposition should fill Walsh with confidence moving forward, but she suggests it’s not a win she can look too much into.
The EU bronze medal winner expects world level tests in every potential Euro Games bout.
“All the people in my weight are up there at world level so there is no easy draw. I am happy to get in and get the first one done, now I have momentum for the next one,” she added before admitting she found the long lead in to her fight frustrating.
“The hardest part is the waiting. We arrived here last Tuesday so it’s nearly a week waiting to get in there. I am just delighted now to get the ball rolling and I look forward to the rest competition. I came here to get on the podium.”
Belfast duo Michaela Walsh and Kurt Walker also progressed to the quarterfinals with wins today.
Walker got the day off to a perfect start for Ireland with victory over Zhirayr Sargsyan of Armenia.
Sargsyan came into the bout having knocked out Romania’s two-time EUBC European U22 Champion Robert Jitaru in the opening round- and the Belfast bantam wasn’t long about finding out why he had upset previous.
“He was very very good, better than I expected. It was his second fight, he was warmed up and I felt a bit rusty in there, but that fight will stick by me in the quarter final bout.
“I didn’t think he was a fit as that. He wasn’t giving up. My preparation really stood me in that fight. I’ll rest up now and on to the next one. ”