BY CHRIS MCNULTY
IT’S A big weekend of action for Donegal’s female boxers with at least six looking forward to national finals and a further four competing in semi-finals on Friday in a bid to make it onto the list for finals day on Saturday.
Raphoe ABC’s Cody Lafferty has enjoyed a magnificent first season of competitive action and the Ballindrait girl heads for the National Stadium in search of a first national title – what a way to cap off her maiden season that would be.
With six titles already on the sideboard, Lafferty has been in superb form having won the Donegal Novices, Ulster 9 Counties Novices, Donegal Open, Ulster 9 Counties Open, North-West Zones and Ulster Girls Championship titles already.
Rathkeale’s Fiona O’Keefe stands between Lafferty and national glory when they glove off in the Girl 1 31kgs final with Lafferty having beaten Trojan’s Caoimhe Spillane in last weekend’s semi-final.
The Twin Towns BC are back on the national stage with two boxers in finals. The Anderson name needs no introduction to Irish boxing gurus. A grand-daughter of the great Brian Anderson senior, a former Irish Olympic boxer, Ciara Anderson takes to the corner in the Youth 1 46kgs final as she takes on Laura Stewart (Togher) in the final. Last week’s semi-final win against Castlerea’s Laura Mulrony bridged a 47-year gap to the last time her grand-father fought at the Stadium.
A second Twin Towns BC representative, Jodi Lafferty, has also advanced to the finals and she takes on Angela Costello from Geesala in the Girl 2 52kgs decider.
Dungloe’s double Irish champion Niamh McCole goes up against the European champion Amy Broadhurst from Dundalk in the Youth 2 60kgs division. McCole overcame Duhallow’s Mary O’Connor to set up a meeting with Broadhurst. World Junior Champion Ciara Ginty had been set to compete in the same division, but withdrew, enabling Broadhurst to advance without the need of what would have been a blood-and-thunder contest. McCole has experience and while the Dealgan boxer Broadhurst will be one of the toughest she’s ever faced, a strong showing isn’t beyond the Dungloe woman.
Carndonagh’s Rachel Dixon will take on Bobbi Hendirck (Sacre Coeur) in the Girl 2 57kgs final while Illies Golden Gloves’ Mairead Dobbins faces Clodagh McCommiskey of Gilford in the Youth 1 50kgs final – a repeat of their Ulster final from a fortnight ago, which was won by Dobbins.
The Carndonagh club has been well represented in these championships. The Clarke sisters are in semi-final action on Friday. Triple Irish champion Labhaoise meets Ryston’s Ava Doyle in the Girl 4, 54kgs semi, while Jessica faces Golden Gloves’ Tiegan Padden in the Girl 3, 44kgs semi.
Another Carn puncher, Becky Diver, meets Jessica Connolly (Castlerea) in the Girl 3, 48kgs semi, while Dunfanaghy’s Christina McFadden is up against Joanne Richards (St Michael’s) in the Girl 4, 66kgs semi-final.
Carndonagh trio Mary B McCann (Girl 1, 36ks), Lauren Doherty (Girl 1, 46kgs) and Chantelle Dixon (Girl 2, 50kgs) bowed out in semi-finals, as did Bundoran’s Shannah Tiffaney (Girl 1, 60kgs), last weekend, while Clonmany’s Ciara Doherty (Youth 1, 57kgs) and Illies Golden Gloves’ Chlor McDaid (Girl 1, 42kgs) also made their exits, bowing out in preliminary round contests.