MEDAL UPGRADE – Silver the spoils for war for Mary McDonagh

It was worth the wait! Mary McDonagh rounded off a very successful afternoon for Irish boxing in a very entertaining fashion today.

The reigning Irish 75kg champion is now just one win away from being deemed the best at her weight in Europe after winning her continental debut in Italy.

The Kerry fighter upgraded her bronze to silver when she came out on top of a semi-final war with Turkey’s representative at the weight.

Both fighters fired shots throughout the last four battle but McDonagh showed that snippers touch and was more accurate with her work in the first two rounds. By the third, the Sliabh Luachra puncher had broken her opponent’s spirit and was able to show more considered workings en route to a wide unanimous decision win.

McDonagh will fight for gold on Tuesday.

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

McDonagh got the better of a shoot-out the likes of which have not been seen since the OK Carrol in round one. Both fighters let their hands go with little thought time for defence and as the more accurate and stronger, the Sliabh Luachra fighter came out on top, deservedly winning the round 4-1.

A boxing bout threatened to break out in the second but once one of the two semi-finalists landed, leather flew. It meant close exchanges dominated proceedings and the Kerry talent dominated them to win the round on all judge’s cards. That meant McDonagh went into the last level on one card and two rounds up on four.

She held centre ring in the last and with her opponent wary of rushing in she was able to show off a quality jab. There were still combinations and punches in bunches but just from further out, which in turn allowed the teen to show her accuracy.

Team Ireland Squad

The team captains are Cherry Orchard’s Charlie Valabergs and Dublin Docklands’ Ava Henry.

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

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