Seven bouts were completed in the opening session of the 2013 Elite National Championships at the National Stadium in Dublin tonight.
Petru Ursu bounced back from a first round 4-2 deficit to book his ticket into the next phase at the expense of Stephen Mulholland.
Mulholland appeared to have laid the platform for victory, but Ursu took the second 9-4 and forced his opponent into a standing count off a big right en route to a 23-15 decision.
Ursu was joined in the next phase by Limerick’s Phil Moloney, the St Francis BC man scoring four points in each frame to register a 12-8 verdict over Patrick Cawley.
Elsewhere tonight, Steven Donnelly forced Craig McCarthy into a standing count in the first, but the Waterford welter found the target with some great shots to level affairs at 9-9 by the end of the second.
Donnelly flashed home some good lefts going down the final stretch, McCarthy responding on the counter, but it was Donnelly’s cleaner shots that made the bigger impression on the judges.
European U-23 champion Jason Quigley took all three rounds against Neil Blaney in the only middleweight contest of the evening.
Blaney worked hard through this duel, but there was no doubting Quigley’s dominance, the 2009 European Youth gold medallist obliging Blaney to take a count on the final bell.
He’ll meet London 2012 Olympian Darren O’Neill tomorrow night in a repeat of the 2011 and 2010 Elite finals which O’Neill won.
Big Ken Okungbowa also progressed this evening, the Moate BC heavyweight beating Bernard O’Reilly 11-6 in a hard-hitting heavyweight duel.
Jimmy Sweeney was involved in another hard-punching encounter with Christy Joyce. Joyce did some good work in the first round, but Sweeney kept plugging away and began to dominate from the second round up.
In the only female contest of the night, Joanna Barcley produced a fine fourth round to deny Patrique Kelly of the St Francis BC.
Kelly bravely fought back to tie the bout at 13-13 by the end of the third, but Barcley pulled away in the final frame to secure victory.
The Championships resume tomorrow at 2pm. A further session begins at 7pm.