STEPH WARD, Barnstaple ABC's only active female boxer, travelled down from Leeds University to make her long-awaited debut at a show in Chelmsford.
Unusually for a beginner, she found herself at the top of the bill, taking on home favourite Jen Davis at the Marconi Club.
The stage suited both boxers who produced a rousing contest, both enjoying dominant spells in front of an appreciative crowd.
Davis started on the front foot and Ward, with the taller stance, responded with rangy jabs and right hands for a strong finish.
The majority decision went to the home boxer but Ward picked up the trophy for best away boxer of the night.
A rematch is expected at the Barnstaple ABC show at Roundswell Community Centre on February 23. Tickets, at £8, are available from Barnstaple ABC, the Corner House or by calling Mark Simpson on 07749 231121.