Cork and Limerick southpaws Michael Faulkner and James Donovan, pictured above with Irish coaching staff, upgraded their guaranteed bronze to at least silver after beating Hungary’s Laslo Balogh and Italy’s Alfredo Simone in today’s semi-finals at the European Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Championships in Albena, Bulgaria.
Curtis Darcy, pictured below after his win, is also within striking distance of gold after a stunning victory.
But there was last-four disappointed for John Fay and Tyler Meade who lost out to England and Russia. Big performances from both young men in very close bouts.
Faulkner, who is coached by Barcelona 1992 Olympian Paul Buttimer and staff at the Northside BC, showed tremendous class to see off the brave challenge of Hungary’s Laslo Balogh and Donovan, who boxes out of the Our Lady of Lourdes BC dominated against Italy’s Alfredo Simone.
Darcy, meanwhile, was giving away a big height and reach advantage to Ukraine’s Yehor Tkachenko – but the Irish champion wasn’t giving away any heart, skill or technique.
The Tipperary-born middle, who boxes out of the Callan BC in Kilkenny, consistently found the target in all three rounds this afternoon en route to a unanimous decision.
IABA President Dominic O’Rourke and team managers Jennifer O’Sullivan and Martin Fennessey hailed the performances of Ireland’s boxers today.
Eight Irish boxers will be competing in Tuesday’s European finals in a first in the 107-year history of Irish boxing.
As things stand, eight silver, at least, and six bronze medals are in the bag.
Team Ireland are due to arrive home via Dublin Airport at 10am (Terminal 1) on Wednesday morning.
Irish amateur boxing is proudly sponsored by Liffey Crane.
European Schoolboy & Schoolgirl Championships Albena, Bulgaria May 21/30
76kg Curtis Darcy (Ireland) beat Yehor Tkachenko (Ukraine) 5-0
Tuesday, May 29thFinals
40kg Michael Faulkner (Ireland) v Anton Avdienko (Russia)
50kg James Donovan (Ireland) v Barney Smith-Ryston (England)
54kg Yasmin Meredith (Ireland) v Arina Vostrikova (Russia)
57kg Kaci Crowley (Ireland) v Sofia Pelevina (Russia)
63kg Winne Christina McDonagh (Ireland) v Alina Safina (Russia)
67kg Dearbhla Tinnelly (Ireland) v Kraisimara Voykova (Bulgaria)
70kg Nasya McJin-Igelige (Ireland) v Valeria Vorontosova (Russia)
76kg Curtis Darcy (Ireland) v Bekkham Alimkhanov (Russia)
46kg Cale Brennan (Ireland) lost Indir Vracic (Serbia) 1-4
70kg Nasya McJin-Igelige (Ireland) beat Karine Araptican (Ukraine) 5-0
80kg Patrick McDonagh (Ireland) lost to Oleg Ilchenko (Ukraine) 0-5
May 24thLast 16
38.5kg Martin Collins (Ireland) beat Anton Salika (Belarus) 3-2
40kg Michael Faulkner (Ireland) beat Gocha Gordulava (Georgia) 5-0
44.5kg Conor Donovan (Ireland) lost to Dominik Mucska (Hungary) 2-3
68kg Feidhlim Behan (Ireland) lost to Tymofii Krupko (Ukraine) 1-4
57kg Kaci Crowley (Ireland) beat Lucia Simulescu (Romania) 5-0
May 23rdLast 16
59kg Thomas McAleer (Ireland) lost to Savelii Suprunets (Ukraine) 0-5
91kg Martin McDonagh (Ireland) lost to Kyrylo Novika (Ukraine) 0-5
50kg James Donovan (Ireland) beat Krisztian Balagh (Hungary) 4-0
80kg Patrick McDonagh (St Josephs)
70kg Nasya McJin-Igelige (Clann Naofa) (Silver, at least)
IABA President: Dominic O’Rourke
Team Managers: Martin Fennessey and Jennifer O’Sullivan
Coaches: Liam Brereton, Jim O’Neill, Eva Carr, John Gallagher, Tom Hayes
R&J: Brian Wallace