Carly McNaul, Brendan Irvine, Michaela Walsh, Kurt Walker, and Aidan Walsh all joined Kristina O’Hara in tomorrow’s finals following some impressive wins which guaranteed at least silver for Team Northern Ireland.
Flyweight Carly McNaul got the team off to a great start late last night, with the relentless Belfast boxer overwhelming Kenyan Christine Onagre. She will face England’s Lisa Whiteside in the final.
Another Belfast flyweight, Brendan Irvine, followed this up with a great win over Scot Reece McFadden. The Wee Rooster came back from losing the first to edge the second and dominate the third to claim the win. Irvine will face Indian Gaurav Solanki in the final tomorrow.
The third and final Irish fighter involved in the ‘morning’ session, James McGivern was extremely unlucky to be eliminated. The Belfast lightweight looked to have outboxed Indian Manish Kaushik in the opening two rounds but a strong finish from the Asian saw him take a 4-1 split on the card.
In the ‘evening’ session, Michaela Walsh restarted the team’s silver rush, dominating Kiwi Alexis Pritchard to reach her second successive Commonwealth final. The Belfast feather has huge ask tomorrow, facing home favourite and 64kg World bronze medalist Skye Nicolson.
At bantamweight, in a cagey contest, Kurt Walker was far more skilled than Canadian Eric Basran, edging the low-action opening rounds before picking off his chasing opponent in the third. This win for the Lisburn stylist set up a final encounter with European champion Peter McGrail – if the Englishman is passed fit to fight after suffering massive swelling in his own semi-final.
Younger brother of Michaela, Aidan Walsh has a similarly dominant semi-final win. The rangey Belfast welter just circled and flicked out straight shots as he cruised past Fijian hardman Winston Hill to book his place in the decider versus England’s Pat McCormack.
Steven Donnelly made a bright start in the middleweight semis, ambushing Vikas Krishan in their opening round. The Indian came back with huge salvos in the second and then hurt Donnelly to the body badly in the final round, dropping the Ballymena boxer to ensure a win on the cards.