Geesala sisters Aoibhe and Ciara Ginty both claimed national titles, as did St Anne’s duo Shannon Sweeney and Ownie McDonagh. Sweeney took top prize in the 48kg class in the U22 National Championshionships, scoring a unanimous decision win over Cavan’s Emma Feeney.
The triumph saw Sweeney retain the title she won last year at the same tournament, and the Westport fighter is looking to build on this throughout 2018.
Looking back on her final with Virginia’s Feeney, Sweeney told Irish-Boxing.com how “coming in as the reigning champion can leave you under pressure but I don’t buy into it.”
“Every time I step into that ring I give it one hundred percent, no matter who my opponent is. If you panic or overthink it too much, a lot can go wrong, it all depends on the day.”
“She was a good girl and gave me a challenge. I got off to a bad start but didn’t panic and felt comfortable going into the second and third round coming out on top with the 5-0 decision.”
“My performance could be better, however getting the rounds in is what will stand to me for the upcoming Seniors.”
Sweeney finished runner-up at last year’s Elite Seniors to Kristina O’Hara. Upset by the loss to the Commonwealth Games-bound Belfast fighter, Sweeney has grown from the defeat.
A year older and wiser now, Sweeney wants to show her best in Ireland’s premier amateur tournament, noting how last year “has definitely driven me to work harder and give them another go.”
“I make no excuses for any loss as this is part of the game but I know myself I was off my game that day and I am capable of bringing a lot more to the table.”
“I feel I am more experienced now and know what to expect going in.”
“I look forward to seeing what 2018 has to bring, taking one step at a time with hard work and dedication.”