Six women’s Irish National elite finals were decided at the National Stadium this evening with arguably the flyweight final between Cavan BC’s Ceire Smith and Geesala’s Katie Rowland being the ‘fight of the night’.
To the St Paul’s C lub in Waterford went the honour of the first Elite title of the IABA’s Centenary year courtesy of Lynne McEnery’s light-flyweight win over Maeve Clarke . McEnery made sure of her place on the podium with a convincing and impressive 14-1 decision over Clarke who boxes out of the Ballinacarrow club in Sligo.
European Youth silver medallist Katie Rowland took home the second title of the night at the expense of the brave Ceire Smith in the flyweight class.Smith you will recall was Ireland’s representative at the Senior World Championships in Barbados in September.
Both boxers were tied at 1-1 after the first minute, but Rowland took that round 3-1 – and the second 7-2, landing some precision rights in the process. However, Smith came storming back in the third and forced the Geesala prospect into the standing count en route to reducing the deficit to 9-6.
Smith, who never stopped coming forward, scored the first point of the fourth, but Rowland responded superbly with another two points of her own to claim victory by a four point margin. Ireland has two very good future prospects in Rowland and Smith and without doubt they will meet again. Rowland has now won their last two contests.
The third female final of the evening went to Holy Family BC ace Michaela Walsh over Ryston’s Dervla Duffy in an end-to-end 57Kg duel. The first, second and third rounds of this see-saw clash finished at 2-2,3-3 and 8-8 as both boxers took it in turns to command the lead before Walsh won the final round 4-2 to claim the featherweight crown from another top class female final.
In the light-welterweight Women’s Elite final, Kelly Harrington edged out the gallant challenge of Allana Murphy to win a close contest 5-3. Both boxers have represented Ireland with honour at previous European and World Championships – indeed Murphy has also been England ABA Champion in the recent past.
Laoise Traynor also left the National Stadium with a belt around her waist, but it was a close call for the Bray BC prospect as Limerick’s Jessie Lyons came storming back to level the bout at 5-5 in the four and final round. However, Traynor found the winning score with a right inside the last 40 seconds.
In the final female final of the evening, Leanne McAree-Murphy from Carrickmacross came from behind to claim the 81Kg title following a 7-4 win over Lauragh O’Neill of Paulstown. McAree-Murphy is also WIMAAO European Martial Arts champion in the Superheavyweight division (Full Contact Kickboxing)
On Friday next, Katie Taylor will receive her 60 kg title belt – won on a walk over following Carly McNaul having withdrawn from their contest whilst Ireland other representative in Bulgaria this week, Sinead Kavanagh will glove up against Bray’s Patricia Roddy in the 75kg final.