Following two successive losses to the United States, the Irish team fought to a 4-4 draw tonight in Manchester, New Hampshire.
There was a change in the hours beforehand as Paddy Donovan’s rematch with Quinton Randall was pulled from the card late, leaving an eight-fight bill.
Kelly Harrington opened the night’s action, easing to her second win in over Panamerican bronze medalist Stacia Suttles.
Making her Elite debut then was Harrington’s St Mary’s clubmate Aoife Burke. It was a losing debut – but the teenage middleweight performed admirably against the powerful Leah Cooper, overcoming a knockdown from a kidney shot in the second and finishing very strong.
Frankie Cleary went to war with James Browning of the Mayweather Gym and hurt the American badly in the final round but, following a slow start, was adjudged a split-decision loser.
Following five consecutive split decision losses last week in Springfield, Ireland then rattled off three 2-1 wins.
First Wayne Kelly claimed a richly deserved win over Adrian Benton, weathering an early storm from the U.S. sharpshooter and this was followed by a gritty victory for Belfast’s Caoimhin Ferguson over Charlie Sheehy.
The result of the night saw Galway welterweight Kieran Molloy defeat World bronze medalist Freudis Rojas to cap a fine tour in which he also overcame Panamerican silver medalist Randall.
This result saw Ireland take a 4-2 lead, but the Americans would battle back in the final contests, first with Nikita Ababiy defeating Gerard French in a middleweight war before Richard Torrez outworked Dean Gardiner to level the scores.
60kg Kelly Harrington beat Stacia Suttles 3-0
75kg Leah Cooper beat Aoife Burke 3-0
60kg James Browning beat Francis Cleary 2-1
64kg Wayne Kelly beat Adrian Benton 2-1
64kg Caoimhin Ferguson beat Charlie Sheehy 2-1
69kg Kieran Molloy beat Freudis Rojas Jr. 2-1
75kg Nikita Ababiy beat Gerard French 3-0
91+kg Richard Torrez v Dean Gardiner 3-0
The Irish team will depart for home tomorrow [Thursday 22nd]