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Disqualifications and Stoppages the main story for our fighters at 2020 Irish Open

Five of our students travelled to compete at the largest kickboxing tournament in the world at the end of February, this year was unique with neither Alf or Chloe making the trip, a first for the two of them. In their absence Shannon Bacon looked after the fighters with the assistance of Dale Bannister our good friend from TKMA in Wigan on the full contact bouts.

 Irish Open Article News Page Pic 1

On Friday Mia Woodward and Kyrah Mortimer competed in light contact, Mia got us underway and gave all of us an encouraging start attaining a good lead at the halfway stage of her first fight, however in the second round things started to unravel as Mia was repeatedly warned for exits eventually being disqualified late in the fight. Kyrah followed and won her first two fights setting up a semi final with Top Tens Grace Chandler, Grace showed her class and hit Kyrah with several good solid shots in the first round one of which was responsible for Kyrah ending up with a suspected broken nose. Early in the second round Graces continued pressure told as Kyrah also eneded up disqualified for having too many area exits.

 

Saturday saw three of our fighters compete in Full contact, first up was Tejay Bacon in his semi - final against a Portuguese opponent, Tejay fought really well getting himself into a good position of being up with all three judges at the start of the third and final round , early in the round he caught the Portuguese with a sweet punch which had him wobbling but he managed to compose him and inflict a hard kick to Tejay’s ribs downing Tejay and stopping the fight, after being helped from the ring our little warrior  was diagnosed with a cracked rib. 

 

Harvey Grenfell followed making his full contact debut against a more experienced opponent from the emerald isle, early in the semi - final bout Harvey was hit with a flurry of punches to the head which had him visible dazed resulting in the referee calling a halt to the proceedings in the first round.

 

Our final full contact fight had Shannon Bacon hoping to repeat her success of 2019, in what appeared to be a close semi – final contest with last year’s champion giving as good as she got against her German opponent, she ended up down with all three judges who apparently had bizarrely not scored any points to Shannon at all. The German went onto win the final on the Sunday. 

 

Later on Saturday Kyrah competed in her semi contact category which had a total of 36 competitors in the division, she was involved in a very close contest in her first fight which ebbed and flowed but eventually lost 14 – 13 to Poppy Giles.

 

After the results on Saturday we went into Sunday with just Mia competing in semi contact in what was another heavily populated division. Mia fought well to navigate her way to the quarter final where she came up against an American TopTen fighter who had already shown her strength in her earlier bouts, however Mia fought really well to get herself a 4 point lead with 45 seconds of the second round remaining only to see the American slow claw back Mia’s advantage and end up 1 point in front at the end of the contest.

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The standard at this tournament has always been of the highest level making it a really difficult place to win, it just seems to be getting tougher by the year. Our five had a very hard three days of competition and to eventually come away with four bronze medals was a really good result, it’s just a shame Mia could not have held on in that points quarter final fight which would have given her a bronze as well.  Well done to you all.