Split decision denies Desmond gold

CHRISTINA Desmond will be delighted with her European silver medal as she flies home from Montenegro, but it could very easily have been gold.

The Cork woman really gave it everything against Armenia’s Ani Hovsepyan, but just came up short on a split decision. 

The outset of the fight was relatively cagey, but as things settled Desmond was advancing more, and did manage to land some good jabs. However, at the same time Hovseypyan was managing to pick off her opponent at times, in what was a very even round.

While Desmond was hardly well beaten, and in fact seemed to have landed the better shots, not one of the five judges saw it like that, all of them scoring it 10-9 to Hovsepyan.

That left Desmond with it all to do, but she is a game fighter and kept attacking as the second round commenced, although she was also getting picked off. Throughout the round there were several moments when the two fighters traded in close, and it was often hard to say which, if either, was gaining the upper hand. 

At the round’s conclusion the Cork woman had marginally better luck than with the first round, two of the five judges giving it to her, with the other three going with the Armenian. 

Desmond started the final round quite well, pushing her opponent back towards the ropes in the first 30 seconds, as she sought an unlikely victory. As the round went on the Armenian did show some more aggression though, with the gold medal on the line. 

Again, it was a close round, and this was reflected on the scorecards, with three giving it to Hovsepyan, and two to Desmond. 

At the conclusion one judge had the Cork woman winning 29-28, while two gave it 30-27 to Hovsepyan and two to the Armenian by 29-28.

A brave effort then by Desmond, and when any disappointment wears off she will take great pride in her silver medal.

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.