MEDAL UPGRADE – Jamie Collins wins tense Ireland v England semi-final to secure silver at least

Jamie Collins came out the right side of a talent-packed, tight and tense Ireland versus England semi-final in Italy today.

The Dubliner battled it out with fellow southpaw Mohammad Safari for a place in the 48kg final in Montelsilvano and came out on top but only after a closely fought battle.

The national champions were evenly matched, equally skilled and both enjoyed success at different stages of a entertaining fight, something that was reflected in the split decision nature of the scoring.

Three of the judges ultimately favoured the brilliant work of Collins and the latest fighter of the Driminagh production upgrades bronze to silver as a result.

The talented and entertaining teen, who won by a 29-28, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28, 26-30 scoreline, now fights for gold on Tuesday.

The win was Ireland’s sixth of an action-packed day, Grace Conway also secured her place in a final as did Niamh Keogh, Ava Henry, Tadhg O’Donnell and Mary McDonagh while Sofie Curley and Alfie Jordan have to settle for bronze after defeats to Turkey and England respectively.

Collins shaded a frantic first round 3-2. Both fighters enjoyed success at different stages and the intriguing battle of southpaws split the judges.

The Driminagh fighter, who won his quarter-final by stoppage, found a range that suited him in the second and looked to be on top over the first minute, landing jabs regularly and getting in and out to good effect.

However, his English counterpart drew the Irish fighter onto some good work in the second half of the session, which again meant the judges were split. The round was scored 3-2 in favour of the Dub.

The tit-for-tat nature continued into a tense last round, which was proving hard to score up until the English fighter landed a crisp eight-count inducing backhand with 30 seconds to go.

The red corner thought that shot was enough to sway the result of an evenly contested fight in their favour but Collins had done just about enough to get through.

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