Irvine: battered and bruised but returning home with a medal. Ryan Byrne/INPHO
European Games

Medal alert! 19-year-old Irvine secures boxing silver as badminton pair add to Ireland's tally

It’s been a good day for Team Ireland in Baku.

Updated 16.05pm

BRENDAN IRVINE PRODUCED a battling performance in the final of the light flyweight in Baku but was forced to settle for silver after a split-decision defeat to Russia’s Bator Sagaluev.

The Belfast boxer fought admirably throughout and was particularly unlucky in the second round after launching an impressive counter-offensive.

Having lost the first round (30-27) to his 23-year-old opponent, Irvine gave as good as he got during the second but two of the three judges awarded Sagaluev that round (29-28) too.

Irvine threw everything at his opponent thereafter with both fighters exchanging blow-for-blow throughout a fierce contest and he took the third round (30-27) but had left himself with too much ground to make up.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a terrific 49kg division campaign in the Azeri capital and showed great promise as he earned himself an automatic qualifying spot for next year’s Boxing World Championships in Doha.

Elsewhere at the Games, Sam and Joshua Magee booked their place in the semi-finals of the men’s badminton doubles with a 2-1 win over the Belgian pair Matijs Dierickx and Freek Golinski.

Sam Magee and Joshua Magee Delight for Sam and Joshua Magee in Baku. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

The brothers from Letterkenny are now guaranteed a bronze medal with their next opponents yet to be confirmed.

Earlier, Scott Evans eased past Bulgaria’s Blagovest Kisyov to secure his place in the men’s badminton last eight.

In the 3×3 basketball event, Ireland’s women advanced to the quarter-finals with a 17-13 defeat of world number six side Czech Republic at the Basketball Arena in Baku. Grainne Dwyer scored eight points to help her side to the next round.

“Yesterday evening’s performance [against Slovakia] really carried us through today,” captain Suzanne Maguire said. “We showed confidence, we hit shots early, we played them hard.

“We’re into the quarter-finals. It’s an awesome experience. Let’s take on the best in Europe.”

They will face either Russia or Netherlands later this evening as the prospect of a medal edges closer.

Katie Taylor is fighting an Azerbaijani on home turf next… but does she look like she’s worried?

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