BY CHRIS MCNULTY
DONEGAL has plenty of interest remaining in the National Intermediate Championships ahead of this weekend’s men’s semi-finals and women’s finals at the National Stadium in Dublin.
Twin Towns BC’s Donna Barr is in finals action when she takes on Kirsty McCarthy of Golden Cobra in the 50kgs decider. Barr is already the winner of two national titles – the national novice Intermediates and an Under-21 title – and the Strabane native will be aiming to add to her haul this weekend. Barr had been in good form in the lead-up to the Intermediate Championships having taken a silver medal at the Celtic Cup in Waterford.
Her club-mate Paul Kelly will be in semi-final action in the middleweight division. Kelly, who was a gold medalist at the Celtic Cup, defeated Vladimir Beluski of Watergrasshill 2-1 in his quarter-final on Saturday. The 22-year-old Ballybofey man is now into the final four and firmly in the shake-up for the honours.
Letterkenny duo Stephen Doherty and Michael McConigley are through to the semi-finals of the 81kgs and 91+kgs divisions.
Doherty and McConigley recently won Ulster titles and are in fine fettle these days. McConigley received a walkover to send him into the semis at 91+kgs, where he will be joined by Bernie Stokes of the Bluestack club in Ballybofey. Stokes took a unanimous decision in his contest against Michael Kaliac of St Colman’s on Saturday.
Doherty was up against Michael Cummings of Carrickmore in the 81kgs quarter-final in what was a repeat of their Ulster final. Doherty made sure that Cummings wasn’t in line to claim any revenge with a brilliant performance that yielded the decision from the ringside judges.
Convoy man Lee Boyd has been busy of late, having won the 67kgs title at the Defence Forces Championships by a second round TKO on Halloween night, and Boyd has also advanced through to the semi-finals. On Friday night, the stylish Convoy boxer claimed an emphatic win over Bray’s Richie Hedderman. Joining Boyd in the 67kgs semi-finals is a man with strong Donegal connections: Noel McBride is now boxing with Corrib BC in Galway having boxed previously with the now defunct St Mary’s ABC in Annagry and he’s into the semis following a 3-0 win over Keane McMahon (Ballybough) on Friday. McBride is the man who fought Jason Quigley in the Golden Boy’s first-ever fight when he was just seven years old (Quigley won that bout).
Illies Golden Gloves’ Thomas Mongan reached the 57kgs semi-finals thanks to a 3-0 win over Patrick Faloon from Camlough, but his club-mates Leigh Moran and Gregory O’Hagan bowed out after losing against Elhle Cekiso (Portlaoise) and Colin Donovan (Togher).
This is John's first trip to the World Championships where he will come up against full-time professionals.