At least four Northern Ireland boxers to bid for gold medals at Commonwealth Games

Four Northern Ireland boxers will bid for gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham tomorrow.

world champion Amy Broadhurst breezed into the lightweight final when she overwhelmed Cynthia Ogunsemilore from Nigeria.

The Dundalk fighter oozed class as she eased to a unanimous 5-0 win on scorecards of 30-24, 30-24, 30-26, 30-26, 30-27. She will meet England’s Gemma Richardson in tomorrow’s final.

Olympic bronze medalist Aidan Walsh is through to his second Commonwealth final after a majority 4-1 semi-final win over Welsh light middleweight Garan Croft, a silver medalist at this year’s European Championships which the Belfast fighter missed due to injury.

Walsh has now beaten the reigning European gold and silver medalists as he accounted for the European champion Harris Akbar in the quarter-final. Walsh was always in control against Croft, leading 3-2 after round one. He switched to a southpaw stance in round 2 and got the nod from four of the judges.

This left him in an unassailable position as he led by two points on three of the judges’ cards. He comfortably handled the last round to secure a final place on scorecards of 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 27-30 though the decision of the Canadian judge to award all three rounds to his opponent was puzzling to put it mildly.

European silver medallist Dylan Eagleson advanced to the gold medal fight in the bantamweight category but was made to fight all the way by Scotland’s Matthew McHale. The 19-year-old fighter was up on three of the judges’ cards after round one.

But after six minutes of action, the semi-final was delicately poised: two judges had Eagleson ahead; one judge favored McHale and the contest was level on the two remaining officials’ cards. Ultimately, Eagleson prevailed on a split 3-2 decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 28-29, 28-29).

He will meet Abraham Mensah from Ghana in tomorrow’s final.

Light flyweight Carly McNaul is through to her second Commonwealth final. A silver medalist four years ago in the Gold Coast, Australia, she will be aiming to upgrade to gold tomorrow when she meets Zareen Nikhat from India.

In today’s semi-final she had a comfortable 5-0 win (30-24, 3-24, 30-25, 30-25, 30-25) win over Teddy Nakinuli (Uganda).

There was no joy, however, for light middleweight Éireann Nugent who lost to Wales’ Rosie Eccles in her semi-final (30-25, 30-25, 30, 30-25, 30-26, 30-26). However, she takes home a bronze medal having returned to the ring this year after an 11-year absence.

In the evening session the team’s remaining semi-finalists, Michaela Walsh (featherweight) and Jude Gallagher (featherweight) will be aiming to join their four colleagues in tomorrow’s finals.

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