Unlucky seven for Repton at Junior ABA finals
Repton coach Tony Burns has vowed that the club will bounce back from one of their biggest ever disappointments at the ABA junior finals
By LEN WHALEY
Repton coach Tony Burns has vowed that the club will bounce back from one of their biggest ever disappointments at the ABA junior finals in Liverpool last weekend after all seven of their finalists were defeated.
The Bethnal Green club had sent a record number of youngsters to the Royal Navy-sponsored event at the Everton Park Centre, but failed to collect a single title following a series of controversial decisions by the much-maligned computer scoring system.
Burns said: "Nothing went for us. Some of the bouts were close and I'm sure we would've won if they'd taken place in London - seven losers in the finals must be an all-time record.
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"But there's no point screaming about bad decisions. Our boxers must make the extra effort to win in future."
The early signs were ominous for Repton as two of the closest final verdicts went against their boxers on an official countback. The eagerly awaited Class Four Under-46kg final between Repton's Luke Patel and Cori Gibbs, from Eastside BC, paired two of the tournament's brightest prospects and in a clash that lived up to expectations, the scores were level at 4-4 at the final bell, with the countback system awarding a 9-7 verdict to Gibbs.
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It was a similar story for Chris Ali in the Under-48kg final against Wombwell BC's Connor Nixon. The judges were unable to split the pair at the finish with the points level at 3-3, but the title went to Nixon on a 7-6 countback.
In the Class Five Under-57kg final, Brett Beadon looked to have ended the club's losing run, but despite landing a series of clean shots on South Bank BC opponent Shafiq Asif, the Repton prospect finished on the wrong end of a 7-5 verdict.
Sam McNess also appeared unlucky to drop a 6-4 decision to Long Lane BC opponent Steve Lewis in the Class Five Under-63 kg encounter, while George O'Mahoney was another Class Five runner-up following his clash with Jimmy Kelly, from Jimmy Egans BC.
Tom Baker failed to end Repton's losing streak in his Class Six Under-70kg meeting with Golden Gloves BC opponent Anthony Fowler, nephew of former Liverpool ace Robbie Fowler, while Mohammed Raza's Under-91kg defeat to Tameside's Danny Benson completed the dismal run.