Donnelly claims Elite title with split decision victory in Dublin

Stephen Donnelly
Stephen Donnelly

Ballymena’s Stephen Donnelly claimed the 69kg title at the National Elite Finals at the National Stadium in Dublin on Friday night.

Donnelly – from the All Saints team – saw off Adam Nolan on a split decision after three pulsating rounds.

Donnelly, who looks set to go to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year, was delighted after the result had been read out.

“I have trained so hard for four months and I have caused upsets on my way to winning this,” he said.

“I want to go to the Commonwealth Games and this is my time.

“Nolan is a great boxer and I have beaten him for the Irish title.”

Meanwhile, Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan each got their hands on another Irish Elite title.

Barnes won his seventh crown after seeing off Hughie Myler on a unanimous decision.

“I am pleased with the win and now we can move on. He did well but I thought I always had the edge,” Barnes said.

Conlan was too good for Tyrone McCullagh from the Holy Family Gym in Belfast.

“I feel strong at this weight. It is great to win my fourth title and I can now focus on the Commonwealth Games,” he said.

“Tyrone is very awkward but I kept my cool and got the job done. I was pleased with how it went.”

Sean McComb from the Holy Trinity gym lost to David Oliver Joyce by split decision in the 60kg division.

Elsewhere, there was disappointing news for Monkstown’s Stephen Ward as he lost by split decision to Gary Sweeney after being down in the first.

At 75kg Michael O’Reilly overcame Darren O’Neill, and at 81kg Joe Ward saw off Matthew Tinker. Chris Phelan beat Adam Courtney in the 52kg division, while at 64kg Dean Walsh saw off Michael Nevin.