MEDAL ALERT – Silver linning for exciting Niamh Keogh

Niamh Keogh claimed European silver with a golden display in Italy today.

The Olympic Mullingar fighter moved one place up the podium, trading in her bronze for silver by defeating Lana Paljusic of Croatia in the fourth of ten Irish interest semi-finals on a super Sunday of sorts.

Keogh was pure class from start to finish a lovely blend of skillful and strong, as she dominated all three rounds to claim a unanimous decision.

The prospect with one of the best jabs in the tournament will now look to improve from silver to gold when she fights in the 54kg final on Tuesday.

Keogh’s win was Ireland’s second of the early afternoon, Grace Conway also secured her place in a final, while Sofie Curley and Alfie Jordan have to settle for bronze after defeats to Turkey and England respectively.

Keogh put on a masterclass in how to fight a taller fighter in the first stanza. She was in and out of range at lightning speed sting home combos before she exited. She also punished any lazy jabs thrown her way with counter right hands and worked the body when it was called for. As a result, she went into the second with a 5-0 lead.

The Olympic Mullingar fighter was equally impressive in the second session, her jab strong and solid and her right hand a hurtful weapon. Such was her display one judge scored the stanza 10-8 in her favour and she went into the last with a comfortable lead.

Keogh was a bit more cautious in the last but still did enough to win the round and progress.

Team Ireland Squad

Male Boxers:

1. 44-46kg Alfie Jordan (Olympic L)

2. 48kg Jamie Collins (Drimnagh)

3. 50kg Calvin Doyle (Olympic L)

4. 52kg Johnny Harty (Portlaoise)

5. 54kg James Kelly (Holy Trinity)

6. 57kg Callum Carrager (Tredagh)

7. 60kg Ryan Jenkins (Olympic L)

8. 63kg Cillian Reilly (Jobstown)

9. 66kg Tadhg O’Donnell (Four Kings)

10. 70kg Charlie Valbergs (Cherry Orchard). Team Captain

11. 75kg Dylan McShane (St Pauls A)

12. 80kg Jack Teggart Weatherall (St Pauls A)

13. 80+kg Adam Olaniyan (Jobstown)

Female Boxers

1. 44-46kg Sophie Curley Gray (Dealgan)

2. 50kg Grace Conway (Tredagh)

3. 52kg Carlagh Peake (Ballyhaunis)

4. 54kg Niamh Keogh (Olympic L)

5. 57kg Siofra Lawless (Liberty)

6. 60kg Ava Henry (Docklands) Team Captain,

7. 63kg Kayleigh Whelan (Avona)

8. 66kg Sarah Murphy (St Brigids L)

9. 70kg Jodie Byrne (St Teresa’s)

10. 75kg Mary McDonagh (Sliabh Luachra)

11. 80kg Shauna Crehan (Dunboyne)

Team Manager

Martin Fennessy

Coaches

1. Ralph McKay

2. Liam Cunningham

3. Paul O’Toole

4. Linda Morgan

Referee/Judge

Philip Hollowed

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com