College teams on form

Playing for East Norfolk Sixth Form College in the East of England mixed doubles badminton tournament at Cambridge, Norfolk's newly crowned U17 champions, Serena Verney and Luke Cox (pictured top left) had the toughest of draws in their pool.

Playing for East Norfolk Sixth Form College in the East of England mixed doubles badminton tournament at Cambridge, Norfolk's newly crowned U17 champions, Serena Verney and Luke Cox (pictured top left) had the toughest of draws in their pool.

Needing to finish in the top two to progress, their first two matches were against the reigning champions from Hill's Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge and the eventual winners from Milton Keynes. In both games they went down 21-14 after a series of thrilling rallies.

The rest of their games were won in style with comfortable victories over Chelmsford, Southend, King's Lynn and South East Essex Sixth Form College.

The mismatch between the two pools was very evident as in the fifth/sixth play-off East Norfolk beat Easton 21-3, whilst Milton Keynes beat Hill's Road in the final.

The College's head of PE, Steve Mooney, said: “Serena and Luke are first year students at college and they will have undoubtedly gained valuable experience from this tournament. I'm sure will be a force to reckon with in next year's tournament.”

East Norfolk Sixth Form College's squash players had a chance to test themselves against the best in the East of England at the regional tournament hosted by Cambridge Regional College.

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First year student Izzy Rothon proved she's an all-round sports person by lending her hand to playing squash, not her first choice sport.

Against six other competitors she was delighted to have finished a very creditable third. Izzy won her first two matches 2-0 against opposition from Colchester and Havering Sixth Form College but then had to play a county player from Hill's Road in Cambridge and went down 2-0. Izzy also lost her final match against a girl from Southend (2-0) which could have gone either way. East Norfolk picked up eight valuable Clifford Dixon Trophy points.

In the men's squash Dan Farrow stepped in at short notice to replace the injured Jack Edwards. Dan is regarded more as a badminton player, but started well by winning his first three matches, then met tougher opposition in the later stages. East Norfolk won five more Clifford Dixon Trophy points towards their defence of the East of England's overall sports trophy. Izzy and Dan are pictured above.

The first group of table tennis players competed against teams from all over the East at Cambridge Regional College and achieved considerable success.

Tom Baxter found the going tough but won all but one of his pool matches to progress into the quarter-finals where he beat the Chelmsford player 2-0 to progress into the semi-finals, where he lost narrowly to the player from Havering Sixth Form College 2-1.

In the women's singles Hettie Baker took centre stage to come second overall. Hettie beat girls from Southend (2-1), King's Lynn (2-0), Colchester (2-0) and Havering (2-0). The girl from Hill's Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge proved too strong as she beat Hettie 2-0 to take the title.

The final tournament of the day was the mixed doubles and the East Norfolk pair of Hettie Baker and Brendan McManus meant business. In their pool matches Hettie and Brendan beat both Colchester and Cambridge 2-0, but then slipped up against the pair from Southend. This meant they had to play the winners from the other pool in the semi-finals. Hettie and Brendan played fantastically to beat the Hill's Road pair 2-1 to progress into the final, where they had to play the pair from King's Lynn, who had beaten the Southend pair in the other semi-final. So, on paper, East Norfolk should have lost, but thanks to some excellently thought out tactics, the East Norfolk pair were triumphant, winning 3-2 to take the title and qualify for the BCS National finals at Loughborough University.

The table tennis players are pictured above.

Three women's footballers from East Norfolk Sixth Form College (pictured far left) have been selected for the east region football team after attending a trial held in Milton Keynes.

The regional team is made up of the best players from the six counties in the east of England, with the girls competing against players already representing clubs like West Ham, Ipswich and

MK Dons.

Abi Battisto (goalkeeper), Sharnie Boast (midfielder) and Laura Thacker (defender) will now represent the east region in a competition where they will compete against other regional teams at Birmingham University. This will be their chance to progress to the British Colleges' National squad consisting of the best 22 female footballers in the country.

The college's women's football coach, Chris Duffy, commented: “The girls have trained very hard in the new 'player improvement programme' (PIPS) course introduced to the college this year, showing how useful the course will prove to be for further developing footballing talent. The college team has made a very impressive start to the season, winning all the league games and progressing to the last 32 in the English Schools FA Cup where they will take on West Suffolk Academy.”