Darren O’Neill’s extraordinary comeback

Darren O’Neill’s extraordinary comeback

Champions new and old are crowned at the Irish national championships, including Darren O’Neill’s remarkable return

THE Irish Elite championships concluded at the national stadium in Dublin on October 2. Middleweight Aoife O’Rourke, who won her final by walkover, was the only Tokyo Olympian to take part. But remarkably Darren O’Neill, a 2012 Olympian at middleweight, returned at 86kgs and won another national title – after a four year break and 16 and a half years since he first entered an elite championship. He defeated Faolain Rahill on a unanimous decision. It was his eighth national title.

Ireland has a legacy of talent at featherweight, with Kurt Walker impressing at the recent Olympics and mulling over whether to turn professional. Byt now Adam Hession comes through at 57kgs in this tournament, beating Sean Purcell on a unanimous decision in their final and winning the prize for best male boxer of the tournament.

The winner of the prize for female boxer of the tournament was Sara Hagightat-Jo of St.Brigds, Edndery at 54kgs. She unanimously outscored Ballyboughal’s Niamh Fay in their final.

A rising middleweight is Gabriel Dossen of Olympic Galway. He defeated St. Canices’ Sean Donaghy on a unanimous points verdict in the 75kgs final.

A European Youth gold medallist, flyweight Daina Moorehouse won a senior national title with her unanimous points win over Niamh Early.

Of the 20 finals that were contested on the day, just two finished inside the distance. Enniskerry’s Kaci Rock halted Kiesha Attwell of Tobair Pheadair in the third round of a 66kgs final, while at 80kgs Kelyn Cassidy stopped Tommy Hyde in the first round.

In an exciting 71kgs final, Kieron Molloy won his third senior elite title. The Oughterard boxer unanimously outpointed Esker’s Luke Maguire. “This one meant a lot,” he said.

FULL FINALS RESULTS

48: Shannon Sweeney outpd Carol Coughlin unan; Ricky Nesbitt w/o. 50: Caitlin Fryers outpd Nicole Clyde (Antrim B.C) unan. 51: Paddy McShane outpd Paudraic Downey split. 52: Daina Moorehouse outpd Niamh Early unan. 54: Sara Hagightat-Jo outpd Niamh Fay split; Jake Rapple w/o. 57: Jennifer Lehane outpd Kellie McLoughlin unan; Adam Hession outpd Sean Purcell unan. 60: Amy Broadhurst w/o; John Paul Hale outpd Dominic Bradley unan. 63: Eve Woods outpd Gillian Duffy unan. Brandon McCarthy outpd Jack McGivern unan. 66: Kaci Rock stod Kiesha Attwell 3rd. 67: Eugene McKeever outpd Wayne Kelly split. 70: Evelyn Igharo outpd Lisa O’Rourke unan. 71: Kieran Molloy outpd Luke Maguire unan. 75: Aoife O’Rourke w/o; Gabriel Dossen outpd Sean Donaghy unan. 80: Kelyn Cassidy stpd Tommy Hyde 1st. 81: Bethany Doocey outpd Nel Fox unan. 86: Darren O’Neill outpd Faolain Rahill unan. 92: Jack Marley outpd Marcin Skalski unan. 92&: Martin Keenan outpd Thomas Maughan split.

TG4 screened the finals:

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