‘Blessed’ Barr finally KOs injury woe to reach Ulster Elite final

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Donna Barr ended almost 30 months of agony by sealing a place in the final of the Ulster Elite Championships.

By Chris McNulty, Ringside at the Dockers Club

Barr has been plagued by injuries in the last two-and-a-half years, but the Illies Golden Gloves woman will be on the Ulster Hall’s canvas for the light-flyweight final on Saturday-week.

Barr defeated Virginia’s Emma Feeney in tonight’s semi-final at the Dockers Club in Belfast.

A 4-1 split was in Barr’s favour – and it was ecstasy for Barr at the final bell.

“I’m blessed to be here,” Barr beamed to Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub.

“This is a big bonus for me.

“I’ve had such a bad time with injury and I’ve been very inactive.

“They told me I wouldn’t be back ‘til February.”

Barr had hip surgery in September and is back ahead of schedule.

A close opening round saw Barr switch neatly between southpaw and orthodox, though the Illies puncher finished well, which may well have been decisive.

Barr was the better boxer in the second and third verses.

She said: “It was great to get in and get the ball rolling.

“This is a stepping stone, but the Irish is the one I want. I need to be firing in all cylinders for those.”

Barr has had hip, neck and knee issues troubling her since 2016.

Barr competed in the World Championships in 2016, when she was beaten by Canada’s Kim Klavel and it is four years now since she lost out narrowly to Lauren Hogan in an Irish Elite final.

She had to withdraw from the 2016 Europeans due to a hand injury, but is back in her groove again and will meet Chloe Fleck from Canal in the January 19 final.

She said: “There wasn’t much in it, but it was a good fight to get the ball rolling and take the ring rust off. My confidence will improve after that.”

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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