The Erne Boxing Club has had a busy fortnight with boxers competing at continental tournaments in Sweden and The Netherlands.

Aoibhe Reilly and Orlaith Donegan both boxed at the Golden Girl Championships in Boras, Sweden and returned with Silver medals.

Aoibhe Reilly shared the ring with boxers from Denmark, Finland and Spain but lost a very close final to Sweden’s Thea Gebauer on a split-decision and had to settle for a hard-earned Silver medal.

Orlaith Donegan had three entrants at her weight and received a bye to the final which although guaranteed a Silver medal ultimately proved a disadvantage. Her Egyptian opponent Farida Abdel Halim breezed through the semi-final and entered the final with greater confidence.

Donegan was a good match for her opponent in a contest that went back and forth but Halim’s more confident start edged matters and secured a point win.

Following on from Sweden, the Erne Boxing Club had Anthony Malanaphy and Rhys Owens entered in the Eindhoven International Box Cup, a highly prestigious tournament that included Olympian boxers and world championship medallists.

Malanaphy was first in action against Germany’s Morad Mollenbeck in the 63.5kg Light-Welterweight quarter-final.

It was a very competitive contest with both boxers having their fair share of success, but Malanaphy controlled the contest and out landed his opponent to earn a close points win and secure a Bronze medal.

Rhys Owens campaign in the 60kg Lightweight class started at the semi-final stage where he was pitted against Belguim’s Yassine Bouchentouf. In arguably what was the contest of the day, Owens had to weather an early storm at the start of each of the rounds and call upon all his boxing skills to outsmart and when required dig deep to out-fight his big-hitting opponent.

There were plenty of shots landed in this high-quality affair and it came as no surprise when a split-decision was announced but it was in favour of Owens who progressed to the final securing a Silver medal in the process.

Malanaphy’s opponent in the semi-final was Netherland’s Al Chabtouni. The Dutchman came out swinging, but Malanaphy adeptly made him miss and look wild. However, every time Chabtouni swung punches there was a loud applause/cheering from the home crowd and despite Malanaphy catching him frequently with counters and arguably out-boxing him in all three rounds the judges appeared swayed as a split decision went in favour of the local boxer.

On finals day Rhys Owens was up against Portuguese Elite Champion Tomas Silva and a chess match between the two stylists ensued. Both boxers tried to draw leads and force mistakes, both landed with some good quality punches and eye-catching shots and all three rounds were extremely close. However, Owens was the one that boxed on the front foot and pressed the action throughout and in close contests the judges usually favour the more competitive boxer but agonisingly the split-decision went in favour of Silva leaving Owens to settle for Silver.

“Three Silver medals and one Bronze at two highly competitive European competitions is a good return for the club.

“Whilst we came for Gold we only lost two finals and one semi-final on close split-decision (including two against boxers from the host nations) so on reflection we did really well and were just unfortunate not to be coming home with a better return. But the club’s coaches and myself are really proud of our boxers achievements” said Erne Boxing Club’s Head Coach Sean Crowley.

The Erne Boxing Club advise that the international competition continues for the club boxers this month with visits to Falkirk in Scotland and to the Haringey Box Cup in London.