Walker and Harrington join Walsh in Euro Games finals- Buckley and Nevin bow out

Two Irish boxers joined Michaela Walsh in their respective finals with victories in the European Games semi final evening session.

Michaela Walsh made it one victory from two semi finals in the afternoon installment- Grainne Walsh unfortunately bowed out- and Kellie Harrington and Kurt Walker made it three wins from the later run of fights.

Light fly Regan Buckley couldn’t make it a clean sweep as he exited after a keen contested last four clash. While Michael Nevin also had to settle for a bronze as he was stopped by Italian Salvatore Cavallaro.

No. 1 seed in the 60kg class, Kellie Harrington  beat Agnes Alexiusson on a unanimous decision to move to within one win of gold.

Kurt Walker chalked up his second successive victory over England’s current European Elite bantam champion Peter McGrail to move to within striking distance of gold.

The Antrim stylist won 3-2 versus the No. 1 seed and will box for the 56kg crown on Sunday against Mykola Butsenko of Ukraine.

Alexiusson won the third and final round of today’s contest 4-1, but Harrington, switching from southpaw to orthodox throughout the first round, had more than enough in the bank after winning the first two frames on all five cards to post a 29-28 x 4, 30-27 verdict.

Regan Buckley was agonisingly shaded on a 3-2 split by Armenia’s Artur Hovannisyan this evening.

The Bray light fly won the first round 3-2 but Artur Hovannisyan edged the second 3-2 to restore parity before winning the final stanza 4-1. Buckley will be taking home bronze from Minsk.

Earlier, Michaela Walsh upgraded her guaranteed bronze in Minsk. The Belfast feather beat Russia’s Daria Abramova on a 3-2 split decision to advance to Saturday’s finals.

A close and cagey fight throughout, Walsh was the more tactically astute and accurate to exact a measure of revenge for her European Elite semi-final defeat to the Russian last year.

Grainne Walsh had to settle for bronze after dropping a 3-2 split to Karolina Koszewsk in the welter division.

Walsh took the fight to the Pole in all three rounds and was the aggressor throughout, but the judges lean toward the rangy Warsaw southpaw who was more or less relying on her backhand to see her through the 69kg decider.

Two judges gave Walsh all three rounds on 30-27,30-27 scores, the other three marked it 30-27,29-28,29-28 to the cagey Polish counter puncher.

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]