Fryers takes silver after falling short in final

Fryers takes silver after falling short in final

Ireland took home three gold medals on finals’ day at the European Women’s Boxing Championships in Montenegro.

Kellie Harrington, Amy Broadhurst and Aoife O’Rourke all took top honours on a brilliant day for Irish boxing that also saw Caitlin Fryers and Christina Desmond pick up silver medals.

Harrington claimed lightweight gold after a 5-0 final win over Lenka Bernardova.

The first round was a hesitant and scrappy affair with the Czech fighter offering very little. Harrington boxed her in and landed a few straight right jabs, and that was enough to ensure a 10-9 lead on all five scorecards.

Harrington upped the tempo at the start of the second round – a stiff left catching the eye – but, again, Bernardova was happy to sit back.

The Czech fighter did come forward in the final minute and threw some nice combos, but Harrington dealt with them with ease to lead 20-18 on all scorecards.

That led to a comfortable final round for the Dubliner as she added to her bulging medal haul with another gold.

Dundalk southpaw Broadhurst powered her way to a gold medal against Ukraine’s Mariia Bova in their light-welterweight final.

The 2022 world and commonwealth champion dominated proceedings, forcing her opponent to taking a standing count in the first with a wicked left. She ended the round 10-9 ahead on three cards, and 10-8 on two others.

Amy Broadhurst celebrates with coaches from left, John Conlan, Eoin Cluck and Zaur Anita

In the second, the 25-year-old Louth fighter turned her attention to Bova’s body with a series of touch blows late in the round. Her opponent offered nothing in reply, leaving Broadhurst with a comfortable lead heading into the final round.

In that third, Bova was visibly tired allowing Broadhurst to pick off head shots at her leisure.

In a completely dominant display, she was well ahead on all cards by the finish to add to her growing reputation as a superstar of the amateur game.

O’Rourke became the third Irish gold medalist on a special day after a comprehensive victory over Elzbieta Wojcik of Poland.

The first round was a bruising battle with both fighters going at each other in the opening minute.

As it calmed down after that initial burst, it was O’Rourke who picked off the better shots to lead 10-9 on four cards.

The second round was a close affair until the final 45 seconds when O’Rourke unleashed a volley of shots while her opponent floundered on the ropes, ensuring she was ahead on four cards and drawing on the other for the last round.

O’Rourke was able to cruise through the final round to claim a 5-0 win on a remarkable day for Irish women’s boxing.

Armenia’s Ani Hovsepyan ended Christina Desmond’s gold ambitions with a 4-1 win in their light middleweight bout.

Desmond, perhaps unfortunately, found herself 10-9 behind on all cards after an intriguing opening round.

Hovsepan had started the stronger, but by the midway point the Irish fighter’s combinations were starting to land, her opponent walking into a number of left-handed jabs when trying to avoid right hooks.

Desmond did gain some ground back in a scrappy second. By the end of it, the Armenian was ahead 20-18 on three scorecards while two others had it scored a draw, 19-19.

Buoyed by getting back into the fight, the Cork woman brought real energy to the final round and although she ended up ahead on one scorecard, she was behind on the other four.

Caitlin Fryers, left, embraces Buse Naz Cakiroglu of Turkey after their light flyweight 50kg final

Caitlin Fryers left with a silver medal after being comfortably defeated by 2020 Olympic silver medalist Naz Buse Cakiroglu in the light-flyweight final in Montenegro.

The Turkish fighter won 5-0 on the judges’ scorecards after a polished performance against the less experienced Irish boxer.

Fighting out of the red corner, Fryers came forward in the first in an attempt to force the pace, but her polished opponent was pleased to pick her moments with her long rights landing continually over the top as she took a 10-9 lead on all scorecards.

The Belfast fighter again came out aggressive at the start of the second, but the round followed a similar pattern with Cakiroglu picking her moments beautifully.

A stiff left midway through the second round rocked Fryers, and some impressive body work late in the round also caught the eye as Cakiroglu led 20-17 on three cards and 20-18 on the other two heading into the final round.

Fryers continued to box aggressively in the third as she went in search of a special finale, but although that never looked likely, she could at least take heart from a right rocking her opponent and a few combinations also getting through.

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