Commonwealth team-mates lead Irish title charge on weekend of mixed fortunes

Daina Moorehouse celebrates after getting the nod over Belfast's Caitlin Fryers in Saturday night's 50kg final at the National Stadium. Picture by Hugh Russell
Daina Moorehouse celebrates after getting the nod over Belfast's Caitlin Fryers in Saturday night's 50kg final at the National Stadium. Picture by Hugh Russell

Amateur boxing: Irish Elite Championships

IT was a weekend of mixed fortunes for Ulster’s finest at the National Stadium – with Commonwealth Games team-mates Michaela Walsh, Dylan Eagleson, Eugene McKeever and Nicole Clyde leading the Irish title charge.

Walsh, who landed gold at the third time of asking in Birmingham last summer, cruised past Kelsey Leonard with a classy display, the west Belfast featherweight taking the first step on the road to Paris 2024 and what she hopes will be second crack at an Olympic Games.

That triumph came 24 hours after younger brother Aidan was surprisingly beaten by Dean Walsh in the light-middleweight semi-final, with Wexford man Walsh going on to beat past Holy Trinity’s Jon McConnell on a 4-1 split in the 71kg decider on Saturday night.

McConnell, who moved up two weight divisions in pursuit of his Olympic dream, can count himself unfortunate that the judges saw the bout in Walsh’s favour.

Club-mate Clepson dos Santos came up short in his flyweight final against Sean Mari, with Mari dropping the 19-year-old in the first before two second round body shots saw the fight waved off.

There was disappointment too for Immaculata’s Caitlin Fryers as she lost out in a dramatic encounter with Daina Moorehouse.

It was a heroic performance from the Enniskerry pocket rocket, who looked as though she could be forced out of the contest when a rolled ankle left her on the canvas at the halfway point of the second.

Despite wincing through the pain while being examined by the doctor, she battled back into the fight after Fryers looked to have taken the first round, taking the title on a unanimous decision.

“I was worried when I went down, but thank God I got through it,” said the 21-year-old, “it was one of my biggest fights.”

At the non-Olympic weights, Eagleson – who still has ambitions at featherweight – shook off some rust on the way to claiming a first Irish elite title with victory over Jorge Rogla Castanno, while Clyde edged beyond Chloe Gabriel in the 52kg decider.

Mullaghbawn’s Eugene McKeever was one of four Holy Family, Drogheda winners on the night, defending his 67kg title with a 3-2 split decision win over Ryan McCarthy.

St John Bosco’s Padraig Downey lost out to Ricky Nesbitt in the light-fly final, while Gilford super-heavy William John McCartan came up short against Gytis Lisinskas, a nasty cut seeing the fight waved off in the second round.


Irish Elite Championship finals

81kg: B Doocey (Castlebar) bt D Tinnelly (Clann Naofa) 5-0

48kg: R Nesbitt (Holy Family, Drogheda) bt P Downey (St John Bosco) 3-2

52kg: N Clyde (Antrim) bt C Gabriel (Mulhuddart) 3-2

92+: G Lisinskas (Celtic Eagles) bt WJ McCartan (Gilford) RSC2

63kg: S Browne-O’Keefe (Clonmel) bt WC McDonagh (Neilstown) 5-0

75kg: C O’Reilly (Holy Family, Drogheda) bt J Olaniyan (Jobstown) 3-2

81+kg: J Bobbitt (Liberty) bt S Kearney (Bunclody) 5-0

57kg: P Loonam (St Carthage’s) bt S Purcell (Saviours Crystal) 5-0

54kg: N Fay (Ballybougal) bt J Lehane (DCU) 5-0

60kg: D Joyce (Holy Family, Drogheda) bt J Nevin (Olympic, Mullingar) 4-1

48kg: N Buckley (St Carthage’s) bt C Walsh (Smithfield) 5-0

54kg: D Eagleson (St Paul’s) bt JR Castanno (Corinthians) 5-0

60kg: K Harrington (St Mary’s) bt Z Breslin (Tramore) 5-0

67kg: E McKeever (Holy Family, Dundalk) bt R McCarthy (Fr Horgan’s) 3-2

50kg: D Moorehouse (Enniskerry) bt C Fryers (Immaculata) 5-0

75kg: A O’Rourke (Olympic) bt A Carabine (Geesala) 5-0

71kg: D Walsh (St Ibars/Joseph’s) bt J McConnell (Holy Trinity) 4-1

63.5kg: D Clancy (Sean McDermott’s) WO B McCarthy (St Michael’s)

57kg: M Walsh (Emerald) bt K Leonard (Unit 3) 5-0

51kg: S Mari (Monkstown/DF) bt C dos Santos (Holy Trinity) RSC2


66kg: G Walsh (Spartacus) bt A Broadhurst (St Bronagh’s) 3-2

80kg: K Cassidy (Saviours Crystal) bt J Clancy (Sean McDermott) 5-0

70kg: C Desmond (Dungarvan/Garda) bt T O’Reilly (Portlaoise/DF) 5-0

92kg: J Marley (Monkstown) bt P Ward (Olympic) 5-0

86kg: D Oliynyk (Smithfield) WO K Tucker (Emerald)