European Championships: Semi-final defeat for Belfast boxer Michaela Walsh

Walsh has now qualified for the 2019 European Games in Minsk
Walsh has now qualified for the 2019 European Games in Minsk

Michaela Walsh had to settle for a bronze medal at the European Women's Championships after losing her semi-final by split decision.

The Belfast featherweight was narrowly beaten by Daria Abramova of Russia, who edged a scrappy contest in Sofia.

Walsh recovered well after being shoved to the canvas in the first round but did not seem surprised by her 3-2 loss.

Earlier, Dublin lightweight Kelly Harrington lost her semi-final against Mira Potkonen - also by split decision.

Harrington started the bout strongly but could not maintain her tempo during the third and final round as Potkonen landed some clean-scoring blows to win 4-1 on the scorecards.

Walsh, who also lost her Commonwealth Games final by split decision, was pushed over in the opening round of her semi-final but rallied to finish the bout strongly and landed a huge left hook when her opponent appeared to drop her guard.

Both fighters produced a desperate final flurry in an attempt to sway the judges with Abramova eventually advancing to Tuesday's finals session.

"Today I lost a close 3-2 split decision against Russia which I thought I won in a brilliant fight," said Walsh via Twitter.

"A lot of positives to take as I feel I am improving all the time. Only my second tournament at this weight. European elite bronze medalist... see you soon Gold medal."