By STEVE SPINKS
LISMORE'S Jesse Webster went so close to taking the World Kick-Boxing Association super middleweight State title bout at Lismore City Hall on Saturday night.
But after being struck with a big head kick, Webster was forced to take a standing eight count which eventually swayed the judges into awarding the title to Newcastle fighter Daniel Hartley.
Before the wicked blow by Hartley, the general opinion was that Webster was in front of his much larger opponent.
"I was talking to one of the referees afterwards and he said that Jesse definitely did enough to win the fight," trainer Rod Ramsay said.
"He only got beaten on points and he wants a rematch.
"I think nerves held him back a bit and now that he's done it, he'll be right next time."
Hartley towered over Webster, but the plucky Lismore boy sat the big Newcastle fighter on the canvas a number of times.
"During an interview after the fight Hartley said Jess was one tough boy from a strong gym," Ramsay said.
Details have not been finalised, but a rematch for the State title looks likely to be set up.
In the earlier fights, locals Shawn Fergus, Jeff Ross and Josh Brown on points.
Ben Collier earned a draw, while Damien Love and Dave Nichol both lost.