Six Mayo female boxers travelled to Keszthely in Hungry last Sunday week for the 2013 European Union youth, junior and senior championships. Jacqui Lynch (Golden Gloves BC ), Ciara Sheedy (Swinford BC ), Ciara Ginty (Geesala BC ), Grainne Gavin (Castlebar BC ), Lycia Heneghan (Ballinrobe BC ) and Cathy Higgins (Ardnaree BC ) were part of the 26 boxing team hoping to bring home a medal.
Lycia Heneghan was the first Mayo boxer in action on day two of the championship and her opponent was Marie Macieewski from Germany in the 51 Kg division. Heneghan bowed out at the last-eight stage despite brave showings at the 23-nation tournament. Meantime, Ciara Ginty and Cathy Higgins produced superb performances to beat the Hungarian pair of Daniella Posta and Kaszanyi Fanni on split decisions in two of the bouts of the day. Both Mayo boxers were outstanding throughout the four rounds and deservedly had their hands raised after the final bell.
In the next round Higgins who produced a magnificent performance to reach the semi-finals, was beaten by Poland’s Elizabeta Woycik and the Ardnaree boxer had to settle for bronze. Ciara Ginty won the first round of her semi-final with France’s, Chloe Bouevur and had a fantastic final two minutes but was adjudged to have lost on a split decision in the lightweight class. Many highly rated coaches in attendance disagreed with the decision. Grainne Gavin, however, removed all ambiguity from the judges’ minds with a first round TKO of Hungarian Liza Schaffer in the Junior bantamweight semi-final on Thursday morning. Jacqui Lynch, nailed a convincing victory in the light-fly weight division in her semi-final on Thursday evening. Lynch upgraded her bronze medal to at least silver with an impressive unanimous decision over Turkish boxer Hulku Cagirir. Ciara Sheedy was also in action on the same program as Lynch and Ciara Sheedy also upgraded her bronze medals to at least silver following a thrilling victory. Friday was a rest day and on Saturday Jacqui Lynch struck gold in Ireland’s first final. The Golden Gloves ace beat Poland’s Sarah Domagala on a unanimous decision to finish on top of the light-flyweight junior podium at the Tennis Hall venue at the Helikon Hotel. Grainne Gavin followed that up with a gold medal win in the bantamweight junior finals. Gavin came had a tough opening round with Germany’s, Mandy Berk to produce another heroic performance, particularly in the final round, en route to a unanimous decision. Ciara Sheedy, battling all the way down to the final bell, had to settle for silver against France’s Belinda Belmuka in the 63kg final. Sheedy won the first round of this encounter, but Belmuka turned it around in the final two rounds to seal victory. The next championships will be the European male junior’s and Mayo will have two boxers participating in this event. Kasper Buru (St Anne’s BC ) and Eric Nash (Knockmore BC ) will endeavour to add two more gold medals to the two won by the females.