HETTON Town ABC’s Rachel Stephenson suffered heartache with defeat in her ABA National Female Championships in Mansfield.
The youngster, who has only been boxing for a year, led 5-3 at the end of the first round and remained on top, leading 8-6 after the second.
But she faded in the final two minutes, and Cambridge opponent Demi-Jade Reszian capitalised to take the Class 3 schools Under-44kg title 18-11 on points.
Coach Paul Quarmby, however, insisted: “It’s still a fantastic performance to reach a national final. She’s done fantastically.
“She’ll come back to the gym stronger for the experience and we’ll look to work on different tactics.”
Quarmby and fellow coach Marty Patton were delighted with Stephenson’s start, adding: “She started well and it was a cracking fight. She couldn’t have boxed better, but she faded in the third and Demi-Jade came on strongly.”