Repton rocked as five stars crash out at North East London championships

PUBLISHED: 11:33 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:57 05 October 2010

The top tussle between reigning national champions Mark Baker, from Repton, and West Ham rival Simon Driscoll provided a clash to remember at the start of the 2009 national schools title trail

By Len Whaley

The top tussle between reigning national champions Mark Baker, from Repton, and West Ham rival Simon Driscoll provided a clash to remember at the start of the 2009 national schools title trail on Saturday.

But it ended in disappointment for the Repton fighter as Driscoll took a close decision at the North East London championships, held at the Five Star club in Harold Hill.

Such was the standard of the Class Three Under-66kg contest that it was unfortunate there had to be a loser.

Repton supporters insisted that Baker has found the target with the more effective punches.

But Driscoll's non-stop effort earned him a majority verdict that sends him through to the London finals at Dagenham's Goresbrook Leisure Centre on January 25.

There was consolation for the Barker family as Mark's brother Simon progressed with two victories on Saturday, stopping Waltham Forest rival Chris Fairbridge inside the opening round before earning a points verdict over Dagenham's Reid Hill in the final.

Also winning for Repton was Callum Channing, who ended the hopes of West Ham rival Jimmy McDonagh in an entertaining encounter.

But there were surprise setbacks for Repton's trio of fancied prospects, including the exit of previously unbeaten Albert Lee against Gator youngster Harvey Horn in their final duel.

There was also a shock exit for Rai Willmott, who dropped a close verdict to West Ham rival Alfie Price, while Repton prospect Obie Coates also failed to show his usual sparkle against West Ham's Pat Ellis.

Asa Vassallo recorded a win for the Lansbury club with a points decision against Repton's Danny Love, but he was later eliminated in an all-East End contest by Bow youngster Des Johnson, who fights for Newham.

Despite the setbacks suffered in the qualifying bouts, Repton still have the biggest number of boxers going through to the London finals.

Their London final line-up includes Saturday's walkover winners Scott McNess, Perry Lovejoy, Sam Dighton, Danny Arnold, Reg Thrower, Romeo Wallace and Tommy Buckley.

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