Michaela Walsh and Kellie Harrington got Ireland off to a winning start on Day 1 of the European Union Elite Women’s Championships in Cascia, Italy.
The Antrim and Dublin bantam and light – the 2014 and 2016 Commonwealth and World Elite finalists – earned unanimous and 4-1 split decisions over England and Poland.
Walsh came from behind after losing the first frame 4-1 to ex-European Junior champion Jones of the Heart of Portsmouth ABC, and World No. 2 ranked Harrington won 4-1 after a 60kg battle with Kinga Szalachcic.
Both boxers are now through to Tuesday’s quarter-finals against Moldova and Denmark and are one win each away from at least bronze.
Cork middle Christina Desmond received a bye into the last-eight and will meet Noutchka Fontijn, who Desmond beat in 2016, of the Netherlands who lost to Claressa Shields of the USA in the Rio 2016 Olympic final.
Kristina O’Hara, Carly McNaul and Dervla Duffy are in action tomorrow in Cascia.
European Union Women’s Championships Cascia, Italy August 4th/13th
54kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Ebonie Jones (England) 5-0
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Kinga Szalachcic (Poland) 4-1
48kg Kristina O’Hara (Ireland) v Saru Lehtonen (Finland)
51kg Carly McNaul (Ireland) v Wassila Lkhadiri (France)
57kg Dervla Duffy (Ireland) v Kinga Mezovari (Hungary)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) v Louise Price (Wales)
54kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Julia Coroli (Moldova)
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Ditteajaaja Frostholm (Denmark)
75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Nouchka Fontijn (Netherlands)
48kg Kristina O’Hara (St John Bosco)
51kg Carly McNaul (Ormeau Road)
54kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown Antrim)
57kg Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart)
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Marys)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus)
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)
Team Manager/High Performance Director: Bernard Dunne
Coaches: Dmitry Dimitruc and Jimmy Payne
Physio: Maureen Harte
R&J: Jim Murrin