GARAN Croft went out of the Commonwealth Games semi-finals on a split decision following perhaps the most frustrating nine minutes of his boxing career in Birmingham this afternoon.

Pitted against elusive Northern Irishman Aidan Walsh, the 20-year-old from Crymych just could not close the gap on the Belfast switch-hitter whose hit and move tactics swept him all the way to tomorrow’s light-middleweight final on a split points decision.

It means that Croft – who has already won silver medals at the European Senior and Under-22 Championships this season – was on this occasion forced to settle for bronze at a packed NEC Hall.

Walsh – who had beaten pre-tournament favourite Harris Akbar in the quarter-finals – was always going to be a tough proposition and the 25-year-old Olympic bronze medallist was able to dictate the pace and tempo of the bout from the off as his Cardigan ABC opponent strove in vain to cut off corners.

Walsh ghosted his way around the ring with Croft in constant pursuit, occasionally penetrating the west Walian's guard with a rapier-like southpaw jab which steadily built up points.

Having edged the first round, Walsh switched to southpaw in the second, leaving Croft again unable to get close and apply pressure – although it was certainly not for want of trying.

Knowing he was trailing on points, Garan started the third round with renewed determination, but again and again was unable to land cleanly as Walsh looked to hold whenever the Welshman managed to get in close.

Garan's twin Ioan is due to face Scotland's Tyler Jolly in the welterweight semi-finals at 8pm.