Jamie Collins came off the right side of a talent-packed, tight and tense Ireland v England semi-final in Italy today.
The Dubliner battled a fellow southerner Mohammad Safari for a place in the final of the category up to 48 kg in Montesilvano and came out on top, but only after an intense struggle.
The national champions were the same, with the same skill set, and both were successful at different stages of an exciting fight that resulted in a split decision.
The three judges ended up favoring Collins’ brilliant work, with the latest Driminagh-built fighter taking bronze to silver.
The talented and entertaining teenager, who won 29-28, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28, 26-30, now fights for gold on Tuesday.
The win was Ireland’s sixth in an eventful day, Grace Conway also booked a place in the final, as did Niamh Keough, Ava Henry, Tadhg O’Donnell and Mary McDonagh, while Sophie Curley and Alfie Jordan have to settle for bronze after defeats to Turkey and England respectively.
Collins edged out a frantic first round 3-2. Both fighters have enjoyed success at various stages, and the intriguing battle of the south has split the judges.
The Driminagh fighter, who won his quarter-final by stoppage, found a range that suited him in the second minute and looked to be in the lead for the first minute, landing jabs regularly to good effect.
However, his English counterpart put the Irish fighter to good work in the second half of the session, which again meant the judges split. The round ended 3-2 in favor of Dub.
The eye-for-an-eye nature continued in a tense final round that was hard to score until the English fighter made it a clear eight, calling a backhand with 30 seconds to go.
The red corner felt that this shot was enough to sway the outcome of an even fight in their favor, but Collins did enough to go through.
The composition of the national team of Ireland
1. 44-46 kg Alfie Jordan (Olympic L)
2. 48 kg Jamie Collins (Drymna)
3. 50 kg Calvin Doyle (Olympic L)
4. 52kg Johnny Harty (Portlaoise)
5. 54 kg James Kelly (Holy Trinity)
6. 57kg Callum Carragher (Treadagh)
7. 60 kg Ryan Jenkins (Olympic Games L)
8. 63kg Killian Reilly (Jobstown)
9. 66 kg Tadhg O’Donnell (Four Kings)
10. 70 kg Charlie Wahlbergs (Cherry Orchard). Team captain
11. 75kg Dylan McShane (St Paul’s A)
12. 80kg Jack Teggart Weatherall (St Paul’s A)
13. 80+ kg Adam Alanian (Jobstown)
1. 44-46 kg Sophie Kerley Gray (Dilgan)
2. 50kg Grace Conway (Treadagh)
3. 52kg Karlagh Peak (Ballyhaunis)
4. 54kg Niamh Keough (Olympic L)
5. 57 kg Siafra Lawless (Liberty)
6. 60 kg Ava Henry (Docklands), team captain,
7. 63 kg Kaylee Whelan (Avon)
8. 66kg Sarah Murphy (St Brigid’s L)
9. 70kg Jodie Byrne (St Theresa’s)
10. 75kg Mary McDonagh (Sliab Luachra)
11. 80kg Shauna Crehan (Dunboyne)
1. Ralph McKay
2. Liam Cunningham
3. Paul O’Toole
4. Linda Morgan