Kerry middleweight Brian Wall joined Antrim’s Jason McKay in the semi-finals of the 16th European Junior Championships following a last-eight decision over Turkey’s Mustafa Atmaca this evening.
Earlier today, McKay registered a commanding quarter-final victory over Lithuanian light-flyweight Arturas Bankauskas in Bulgaria. The talented Canal BC prospect recorded an 18-6 decision in Sofia and will now meet Iliyan Kolev (Bulgaria) in Friday’s 48kg semi-final.
Wall, of the Cashen Vale BC in Kerry, followed that up with victory over Atmaca, who was retired one minute into the third round after sustaining a facial injury.
Wall – who will face Zsolt Kovacs of Hungary on Friday – was ahead on points when the 75kg quarter-final was stopped. Both McKay and Wall are guaranteed at least a bronze medal apiece from the 35-nation tournament.
But there was quarter-final disappointment for Lewis Crocker, Darren Pollock, Wayne Kelly and Kalum McConville today. McConville and Pollock gave it absolutely everything in their duels against Turkey and Germany.
Pollock produced a particularly fine performance and can consider himself very unlucky that the scoreboard did not reflect his display against Wladislaw Brayshnik.
Crocker and Lewis also left everything in the ring, Kelly surprisingly losing out by a four-point margin to Russia’s Alexander Morokhin, a margin which was questioned by Irish coach Billy McClean,who said that the bout was “much,much closer” than the final verdict suggested.
Thursday is a rest day at the 35-nation tournament. The semi-finals and finals will be decided on Friday and Saturday.