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Irish Amateurs Keep Winning At European Youth Championships

Ireland recorded a hat-trick of wins tonight to advance another three boxers into Thursday's quarter-finals at the European Youth Championships at the Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin.

Ireland team captain Michael McDonagh, Kieran Forde and Michael O'Reilly had their hands raised in victory.

O'Reilly came from behind to edge out Iveginii Barabanov - an opponent he beat 17-9 en route to gold at the Brandenburg Cup in Germany in June - 17-16, O'Reilly pulling it out of the fire in the final few seconds of a cracking welterweight contest.

McDonagh got Ireland off to a winning start with victory over Alijaksej Hohleu of Belarus. Both boxers shared the first round 2-2, but the Dublin lightweight pulled away in the second and forced Hohleu into a standing count in the third en route to a 10-3 decision.

Galway light-welterweight Forde also registered 10 points in a 10-6 win over Tal Sadeh of Israel, Forde's second win over a southpaw at these Championships.

Earlier today, Stephen Broadhurst and Gary Sweeny advanced to last eight with impressive wins.

But George Bates agonisingly lost out on the first countback of the Championships.

Dundalk middleweight Broadhurst slipped home a neat right in the opening seconds of his duel with Nathan Thorley of Wales and never looked back from that opener on his way to a commanding 20-8 victory.

Sweeney also produced a top class performance. The Ballinrobe light-heavyweight was always in control of his full-blooded bout with Bogdan Kryzhinii of the Ukraine, particularly the third round, Sweeney finding the target repeatedly with some well timed combinations to seal a decisive victory for the five-time Irish champ.

Bates lost to Radzhab Butaev. The Russian bantamweight deservedly claimed the first frame of this encounter 4-2, but Dublin-born Bates, despite rallying to dominate the second round and win the third, lost 57-54 on accepted scores following a 12-12 tie.

Eight Irish boxers will now be involved in quarter-final bouts tomorrow just one win away from claiming at least a bronze medal each.

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