Pocket Rocket Caitlin Fryers wins tight Irish – English battle to move into the quarter-finals

Caitlin Fryers produced when it mattered most to secure passage to the European Championship quarter-finals in Budva this afternoon.

The Mac woman was handed a tough continental debut and had to find a way past England’s talented champion, Savannah Stubley if she was to progress to the last eight.

Find a way she did, claiming victory after a tight and tense clash of styles in Montenegro.

The Belfast battler lost the first to round 3-2, meaning she needed a huge last round to secure the win. The Pocket Rocket put on the turbo booster going into the final session and blasted her way to within one win of a European Elite medal.

The win means a 10-woman Team Ireland have nine fighters in the quarters. Like, Amy Broadhurst, Carly McNaul, Aoife O’Rourke, Michaela Walsh, Kellie Harrington, Kaci Rock, Shannon Sweeney and Christina Desmond , Fryers next fight will be for a medal.

Fryers pressured with her feet early and tried to find passage past a long English jab in the first. She had success slipping inside and letting shots go and also had combination joy in the second half of the round when Stubley held her feet that bit more.

In the end a ‘what you like’ stanza was scored 3-2 in favour of her opponent.

The cat-and-mouse nature of the fight continued in the second, with the Belfast fighter pressing forward and the English fighter happy to pepper from the outside.

As the round progressed Stubley brought the uppercut and bodywork into play giving Fryers more than just a jab to navigate on the way in. However, once in range she did land clean the big overhand right particularly eye-catching and effective.

Again the judges were split with three favouring Stubley and two liking the work of the Irish fighter. It left it all to play for in the last, as Fryers was level on two cards, up on one and down two.

A big right hand in the first second of the last set the tone. The latest Pocket Rocket out of Belfast marched forward compact and with real intent. Fryer’s English opponent was proving evasive but wasn’t scoring with the same regularity, unlike the red corner operator, who ultimately won the stanza across the board to secure a 3-2 split decision win.

Team Ireland Squad

48kg: Shannon Sweeney, St. Anne’s, Mayo

50kg: Caitlin Fryers, Immaculata BC, Belfast

52kg: Carly McNaul, Ormeau Road BC, Belfast

54kg: Niamh Fay, Phoenix of Ballyboughal BC, Dublin

57kg: Michaela Walsh, Emerald BC, Belfast

60kg: Kellie Harrington, St. Mary’s BC, Dublin

63kg: Amy Broadhurst, St. Bronagh’s ABC, Newry

66kg: Kaci Rock, Enniskerry BC, Wicklow

70kg: Christina Desmond, Dungarvan BC/Garda BC

75kg: Aoife O’Rourke, Olympic BC, Galway

Coaches:

Zauri Antia

John Conlan

Dmitrij Dmitruk

Eoin Pluck

Physio

Rob Tuomey.

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