Offaly's Gráinne to face world champion Amy Broadhurst in national final
There will be no fewer than four boxers representing Offaly at the IABA National Elite Championships in Dublin this coming weekend, including Tullamore's Gráinne Walsh who will be stepping into the ring against current world champion Amy Broadhurst in the 66kg decider.
Gráinne, from the Spartacus club, has suffered a number of injury setbacks in recent years, but the 27-year-old returned to the ring on Saturday. In her National Elite semi-final, the local woman overcame Cork's Leanne Murphy on a 3-2 split decision.
The win means she will now face Dundalk's Broadhurst (25) in what is likely to be a hotly-contested final in Dublin's National Stadium next Saturday night, January 21.
Another female boxer from an Offaly club, Nicole Buckley of the St Carthage's club in Rahan, is also through to a National Elite final this Saturday.
Nicole will face Ciara Walsh (Smithfield) in the 48kg decider, after earning a unanimous decision win her semi-final against Crumlin's Courtney Daly last Saturday.
In the men's National Elites, there will be two Offaly boxers in action on Friday night. Brian Kennedy (Daingean Boxing Club and Defence Forces) will box in the 80kg semi-finals against Keelyn Cassidy from the Saviours Crystal Boxing Club in Waterford.
Paul Loonam (St Carthage's) will also be in semi-final action on the same night when he comes up against Adam Hession (Monivea) at 57kg.