Conlan through as Donovan bows out

Updated: Saturday, 16 Feb 2013 12:12

London 2012 Olympian Michael Conlan turned on the style to book his ticket into next Friday’s Elite National Championships final at the National Stadium

The AIBA World number three advanced to within one victory of a third successive Elite crown following a comprehensive 30-14 victory over Ruairi Dalton from a fiery all-Belfast encounter.

Boxing superbly on the counter, Conlan, a bronze medal winner at London 2012, took all three rounds to chalk up his fifth straight win over his Ulster rival.

He will now meet either Hugh Joyce or Chris Phelan, who clash in Saturday’s corresponding semi-final.

Conlan beat Phelan in the 2012 decider and is tipping the Ryston BC man to make it through from his last-four duel with Joyce.

“I was happy with that win because we're old rivals. I'll probably have a tougher fight in the final, Chris Phelan or Hughie Joyce. I can’t see Chris losing, he’s a really good boxer," he said.

“It's harder to beat someone five times than to beat them once. There's always a risk, I'll admit I was nervous - nobody wins them all. Well, maybe Mayweather."

"There's always a risk, I'll admit I was nervous, nobody wins them all" - Michael Conlon

Meanwhile, Conlan’s fellow London 2012 Olympian Adam Nolan was involved in the bout of the night with Dublin's Brian Brosnan.

Nolan, who obliged Brosnan to take a standing count in the third, emerged with seven points to spare and is now just one victory from claiming a third successive welterweight crown.

Nolan’s Bray BC team-mate Laoise Traynor stopped Louis Claire Sweetman in the third in the women’s welterweight semi-final in a unique double for the Co Wicklow club.

Current European champion Ray Moylette will renew acquaintances with defending champion Ross Hickey in the light-welterweight final.

Moylette chalked up his second win of the Championships against the hard-punching Sean Duffy and Hickey beat Waterford prospect Rohan Date in a cracking three-rounder. Date, however, left his calling card at the National Stadium.

European Under-23 champion Jason Quigley appeared to be heading for the exit after a going into the final frame with Conrad Cummings one point in arrears.

The Donegal middleweight, who eliminated London 2012 Olympian and defending middleweight champion Darren O’Neill on a countback last weekend, slipped a further two points behind after receiving a public warning for hitting Cummings in the back of the head as his Belfast rival was on the ropes.

However, the Finn Valley BC clubman then fired home a barrage unanswered shots before being handed a 17-14 decision after Cummings was given a public warning for using his head right on the final bell.

European U-23 silver medallist Hugh Myres is on the cusp of claiming the vacant light-flyweight belt following his 17-10 victory over Adam Courtney.

The 49kg belt is lying idle at these Championships after two-time Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes withdrew with the flu.

Joanna Lamb, Dervla Duffy, who beat European Junior silver medallist Christine Gargan, Clarie Grace and Kelly Harrington, who beat Allana Audley-Murphy, who was involved in the first official IABA sanctioned female bout with Katie Taylor in 2001, also advanced, while former Elite champions Declan Geraghty and Eric Donovan experienced mixed fortunes.

Geraghty stopped Derek Thorpe in the second, but Donovan, a five-time Elite champion, was edged out in his all southpaw battle with Belfast’s Sean McComb in the lightweight class.

Friday night’s win, incidentally, was Geraghty’s first victory at Elite level since he won the flyweight title in 2010.

McComb was being tipped by some pundits to cause an upset, and the rangy Holy Trinity BC man delivered, albeit by a one-point margin.

Elsewhere, Hannah Carthy added to her growing reputation with a 12-8 victory over defending light-flyweight champion Lynne McEnery.

She will now face Maeve Clarke (above in red) in the women’s 48kg final after the Sligo woman scored an inside the distance win over Emma Duffy.

Defending heavyweight champion Thomas McCarthy had too much firepower for Limerick’s Kris Sikora, the Belfast fighter running out an 18-8 winner against the Elite debutant.

Towering Tipperary super-heavyweight Dean Gardiner appeared to be en route to causing an upset versus favourite Sean Turner after sharing the first round 5-5, but Turner began to exert control after dropping his opponent with a right uppercut in the second.

The Championships resume tonight at 7pm.

2013 Elite National Championships

Friday, 15 February - Semi-finals:

W48kg: Hannah Carthy (Paulstown) beat Lynne McEnery (St Pauls) 12-8

W48kg: Maeve Clarke (Ballinacarrow) beat Emma Duffy (Crumlin) RSC3

49kg: Hugh Myres (Ryston) beat Adam Courtney (St Marys) 17-11

52kg: Michael Conlan (St John Bosco) beat Ruairi Dalton (Holy Trinity) 30-14

W54kg: Dervla Duffy (Ryston) beat Christine Gargan (St Georges) 16-6

W57kg: Joanne Lambe (Carrickmacross) beat Lindsey Doyle (Gorey) 24-9

56kg: Declan Geraghty (Crumlin) beat Derek Thorpe (St Aidans) RSC2

60kg: Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) beat Eric Donovan (St Michaels Athy) 17-16

W64kg: Kelly Harrington (Corinthians) beat Allanna Audley-Murphy 15-6

64kg: Ray Moylette (St Annes) beat Sean Duffy (Holy Trinity) 18-10

64kg: Ross Hickey (Grangecon) beat Rohan Date (St Pauls) 9-6

64kg: Ray Moylette (St Annes) beat Sean Duffy (Holy Trinity) 18-10

W69kg: Claire Grace (Callan) beat Joanna Barcley (Holy Family) 27-12

W69kg: Laoise Traynor (Bray) beat Louis Claire Sweetman (Palmerstown) RSC3

69kg: Adam Nolan (Bray) beat Brian Brosnan (Crumlin) 28-21

75kg: Jason Quigley (Finn Valley) beat Conrad Cummings (Holy Trinity) 17-14

91kg: Thomas McCarthy (Oliver Plunkett) beat Kris Sikora (St Francis) 18-8

91+kg: Sean Turner (Drimnagh) beat Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) 19-12