Ex European Elite champion Ray Moylette and current European Games bronze medallist and defending lightweight champion Sean McComb booked their tickets into the 64kg and 60kg National Elite finals at the National Stadium tonight.
But the Mayo and Belfast pair were taken all the way down to the wire by George Bates and Wayne Kelly before having their hands raised on split decisions.
World No. 3 ranked middleweight Michael O’Reilly also advanced, the European Games champion beating John Joyce in an engaging 75kg clash.
Brendan Irvine, who claimed a light-fly belt at January’s Elites but who has moved up to fly, progressed to within one victory of nailing two Elite titles at two different weights inside twelve months following his win over ex World Junior champion Willie Donoghue.
Myles Casey, who has moved to bantam, kept the flag flying for Limerick with a unanimous verdict over Jason Kirwan. Like Irvine, the St Francis BC ace, who secure a flyweight belt in January, will be targeting two Elite crowns on the trot at two different weights next weekend.
Current WBO World champion and ex St Francis BC stand out Andy Lee didn’t even manage that!
Meantime, Martin Stokes, Conor Wallace, John Paul Delaney, Bernard O’Reilly, a brother and Portlaoise BC team mate of Michaal in action earlier, and Thomas Carty also hand their raised in triumph.
Willie Donoghue and John Joyce were making their Elite debuts at the Stadium. The St Michael’s Athy BC duo gave fine accounts of themselves this evening against opponents – Irvine and Michael O’Reilly – who are ranked in the top eight in the world in their respective weight classes.
Nine of the weekend’s bouts were won and lost on split decisions. The finals will be decided next Friday.
National Elite Championships (2) 2015
52kg Brendan Irvine (St Pauls Antrim) beat William Donohue (St Michaels Athy) 3-0
56kg Myles Casey (St Francis) beat Jason Kirwan (Ballagh) 3-0
60kg Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) beat George Bates (St Marys Dublin) 2-1
64kg Ray Moylette (St Annes) beat Wayne Kelly (Athlone) 2-1
69kg Martin Stokes (Holy Family Drogheda) beat Caoimhin Hynes (Holy Trinity) 3-0
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise) beat John Joyce (St Michaels Athy) 3-0
75kg Conor Wallace (St Monicas Newry) beat Eddie Byrne (Na Fianna) 3-0
81kg John Paul Delaney (Emerald A) beat Sean Allen (Arklow) 3-0
91kg Bernard O’Reilly (Portlaoise) beat Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield) 2-1
91+kg Thomas Carty (Glasnevin) beat Constantin Popivicu (Johnstown) 2-1
John Joyce (St Michaels Athy) beat 75kg Fearghus Quinn (Camlough) 2-1
49kg Regan Buckley (St Teresas) beat Darryl Moran (Illies GG) 2-1
52kg TJ Waite (Ormeau Road) beat Jason McKay (St Pauls Antrim) 2-1
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal) beat Colin O’Donovan (Togher) 3-0
60kg David Oliver Joyce (St Michaels Athy) W/O
64kg Dean Walsh (St Josephs/Ibars) beat James Cleary (Olympic) 2-1
69kg Adam Nolan (Bray) beat Michael Bustard (Monkstown Antrim) 3-0
81kg Christopher Blaney (Navan) beat Sean McGlinchey (Oakleaf) 2-1
91kg Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) beat Stephen McMonagle (Holy Trinity) TKO1
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) W/O
52kg Brendan Irvine (St Pauls Antrim) V William Donohue (St Michaels Athy)
56kg Jason Kirwan (Ballagh) V Myley Casey (St Francis)
60kg George Bates (St Marys Dublin) V Sean McComb (Holy Trinity)
64kg Wayne Kelly (Athlone) V Ray Moylette (St Annes)
69kg Caoimhin Hynes (Holy Trinity) V Martin Stokes (Holy Family Drogheda)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise) V John Joyce (St Michaels Athy)
75kg Conor Wallace (St Monicas Newry) V Eddie Byrne (Na Fianna)
81kg John Paul Delaney (Emerald A) V Sean Allen (Arklow)
91kg Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield) V Bernie O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
91+kg Thomas Carty (Glasnevin) V Constantin Popivicu (Johnstown)