England places secured for Sudbury national winner Ellie Mateer and finalist Scott Stannard in dream weekend in Crawley
A first ever National Schools winner, a first schoolboy finalists since the 1970s and two England squad places secured – it was some weekend for Sudbury ABC.
Head coach Neil Anderson admitted it was hard to find the words to describe a few days at the England Boxing Championships, the likes of which their humble club had never experienced before.
Scott Stannard, 13, overcame the reigning champion at the K2 in Crawley to make the Male Class B Under 34kg final, which he ultimately lost. Ellie Mateer, 12, then went on to put in a dominant display to win her Female Class A Under 31kg final to become Sudbury’s first national champion and the only Eastern Counties winner in this year’s event.
“Sudbury was the only club (from Eastern Counties area) to have two in the finals. It makes all the hard work worthwhile,” said Anderson.
“I really can’t sum it up but it is something we will all remember for a long, long time.”
Although Mateer provided the icing on the cake for the group of around 20 travelling Sudbury supporters in Sussex, Anderson said Stannard’s feat of defeating Powerday Hooks’ two-time national finalist Tony O’Donnell in the semis on Saturday also provided a big highlight.
“No-one has beaten him in around a year-and-a-half and for Scott to be mixing it with and winning that out of our little club in the back of a pub shed is unbelievable,” said Anderson, whose club in the shadows of the King’s Head in Great Cornard has just 28 carded boxers.
Following that split decision win he ended up just the wrong side of the judge’s verdict against Liverpool-based Rotunda ABC’s Cain Alexander in Sunday’s final.
“We thought he had won it to be honest and one of the top judges had him (all) three rounds to us,” said Anderson.
“It was close but I cannot grumble. He boxed really well, not as good as Saturday though which was the performance of his life.”
The consolation for Thomas Gainsborough School student Stannard is England selectors confirmed they are putting him on the England Talent Programme and have selected him for the GB Three Nations Championships on June 8-9.
He would be the first Sudbury boxer to ever represent England, with Jack Wiffen, elevated into the national squad after his junior national final defeat last year, having his chances curtailed by injury and subsequently not being included in this year’s talent programme.
Of Mateer, who was a unanimous winner against Lilly Rae Ramshaw of Hastings & West Hill after automatic progress to the final, Anderson said: “She won it by a country mile and she had boxed the girl twice before and won one and lost one. It was just fantastic.”
Mateer can now also look forward to national training at the end of what is her first year boxing.
* Friday saw Jake Sumner win a Rotary Club Challenge Belt and help Suffolk to victory against Tyne, Tees & Wear on Felixstowe Rotary Club’s annual big charity show.
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More by this authorRussell Claydon