A STREET AHEAD

Lauren West (left) and Terri Harper were both crowned National ABA Champions last weekend. Picture: Mattie Bradshaw.

Lauren West (left) and Terri Harper were both crowned National ABA Champions last weekend. Picture: Mattie Bradshaw.

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A DENABY street has become the unlikely toast of women’s boxing after two of its residents earned national title glory.

Hilltop Road is home to two brand new ABA champions who remarkably live just three doors apart.

Lauren West and Terri Harper were both crowned national champions after a pair of superb performances in last weekends’ finals in Mansfield.

And the two could soon be flying the flag for Denaby on the international stage after their triumphs moved them closer to the reckoning for the England set up.

West was crowned the 54kg Senior Women’s Class A champion after a narrow victory while Harper captured her second successive ABA Schoolgirl title.

Harper was the reigning champion in her age group and strolled through her bout with Beth Bowden to make it two titles from two attempts with a 28-9 points triumph in the 58kg showpiece.

West was aiming to go one better than last year’s losing finalist appearance and do so by the narrowest of margins. The 20-year-old saw off Rachel Bower by a single point in a back and forth contest.

And while Hilltop Road was celebrating on Sunday night, so was the Ernie Oxer School of Boxing in Mexborough where the two train.

Coach Paul Durose was delighted with the achievement.

He told the Times: “I just can’t believe it, they have both been out of this world.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the two of them.

“To have two girls winning national titles from the same gym is a massive achievement.

“But for them to be from the same street is unbelieveable.

“We’ve not stopped celebrating since the weekend.”

Harper’s triumph was rather comfortable and she was well in control from the first bell.

The 14-year-old was perhaps too much in her comfort zone as she appeared to ease off in the second round, allowing Wecock Farm fighter Bowden back into the contest.

But after a stern talking to in the break before the final round, Harper produced her best in the last three minutes to seal the win.

Durose said: “Terri really turned it on in the last round.

“She stepped up and landed the combinations we’d been working on in the gym

“I think she was surprised how straight forward it was but her class really shone through.”

West’s bout was much closer with very little in it in each of the four rounds.

She led by two points in the first round but was a score down at the end of the second to Met Police fighter Bower.

Her final round performance proved key and she sealed the crown by the narrowest of margins.

Durose said: “Lauren boxed really well against a pretty strong last and we felt she was in control throughout despite the score being so close.

“She kept the lass at bay with her straight shots and just seemed more clincal.

“Lauren was really good in the last round and I thought she’d done enough to win by a wider margin.

“Not that it bothered us.”

Durose praised the pair for their improvement over the last 12 months.

He said: “It just goes to show how much work Lauren has put in over this last year.

“She’s improved so much since losing that final last year. “I saw a spark in her then and she’s just ignited since then. “It’s all down to the hard work we’ve put in in the gym.

“It’s the same with Terri.

“Her fight was a lot closer last year but she just stormed to the win this time around.

“And a couple of girls she’s beat in the past won titles on Saturday so it just shows what level she’s at.”

England scouts will undoubtedly be taking a closer look at the pair, particularly West given her senior level.

She can take inspiration from Ernie Oxer club mate Luke Crowcroft who represented England in the Three Nations Championship last weekend, just days after it was confirmed he would be representing his country at the Commonwealth Youth Games in September in the Isle of Man.

The 16-year-old reached the final in his weight class at the Three Nations only to lose in the tightest of bouts 3-2 to Welshman Alex Hughes in Scotland.