13 April 2009 – By Cormac Campbell
Ryan Lindberg and Tommy McCarthy claimed gold in Albania tonight to finish Ireland’s Shkodra Memorial Cup campaign on a high note.
Lindberg, who boxes out of the Immaculata club in Belfast, saw off the challenge of Greek bantamweight Kodaxis Vasildos, winning 11-3 over three rounds in Tirana.
And McCarthy, of the Oliver Plunkett club in Belfast, made it an Irish double following his 8-4 victory over Swiss light heavyweight David Rathusger.
But Ross Hickey, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 European Championships in Liverpool, lost out 10-9 to Zllaticanin Monilkljo of Montenegro in the lightweight final.
Reigning European Union champion David Oliver Joyce did not compete in the eight-nation tournament because no one entered his weight category.
However, the St Michael’s Athy featherweight still collects a gold medal to take Ireland’s haul from Tirana to three gold and one silver.
In Sundays semi finals, Declan Geraghty lost 7-3 to French 2007 World Championships bronze medalist Oubaali Nordini and Roy Sheahan was beaten 8-3 by Albanian light welterweight Jetmir Kuci.
Meanwhile, Eamon O’Kane has replaced Irish senior middleweight champion Darren O’Neill on the Irish Ahmet Cup squad squad, which departs for Turkey tomorrow.
The IABA has named World champion Katie Taylor and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Paddy Barnes in a nine strong panel for the tournament which gloves off in Istanbul this Tuesday night.
O’Neill picked up a hand injury in sparring and has been replaced by O’Kane, who was originally named in the Irish squad for Albania.