Taverham qualify for Schools Final

Two girls teams from Thorpe St Andrew High and two boys teams from Taverham High entered the Eastern Region Finals of the Center Parcs National Schools Championships held in Cambridge. All the teams played exceptionally well but it was the Under 16s girls team who excelled, winning three of their matches 4-1 and a tough, final match against a very strong Essex Davenant side 3-2, to qualify for the national finals which will be held at the Sherwood Forest Center Parcs resort at the end of April. Representing the school were Serena Verney, Sophie Piper, Sophia France and Helen Baldwin.

The Under 14 girls just missed out on a place in the finals, going down in their deciding match against Chancellors School from Essex 3-2, with their 3/4 doubles pair losing their match by just one point, 21-20. The team was Ellen Bugg, Emma Piper, Sarah Harvey and Sophie Bugg.

The Under 16 boys from Taverham probaly had the hardest job to qualify for the finals, having to face schools which had several top national players playing for them. They lost their first three matches, but finished the competition with a resounding 5-0 victory over the Thomas Deacon Academy, taking fourth place in the region. Playing for Taverham were Adam Dismore, Andrew Siddel, James Bailey and Elliott Rouse.

The Under 14s had a comfortable route through to the final, winning their first match 5-0 and their second 4-1. But then they were up against Essex Davenant School, who finished last years competition in third place . The result was a victory for Davenant 4-1, but the score line was not a true reflection of the play as each game was closely contested. Representing Taverham were Carl Bell, Nico Schilling, Sam Dismore and Ben Tozer

The schools staff were very proud of all the Norfolk players and were thrilled with the first place achieved by the Under 16 girls. All the players were superb ambassadors for the sport in both their play and behaviour.

* Sophie Piper of Thorpe St Andrew High School and the county no.1 at Under 15 county level, recently won the Badminton England Surrey Bronze tournament. After this success and with encouragement from her coach, Ian Murphy, she travelled to Exeter to compete in the South West Silver Championships. Sophie played extremely well to emerge victorious from a tough box and in so doing she beat the no.2 seed, Phillippa Broadbent, who was ranked 33 places above her prior to the tournament.With renewed confidence, she played some quality badminton to ease through to the final where she comfortably beat the no1 seed Rachel Perkins 15-5,15-10 to deservedly take the gold medal.

Sophie Piper, South West Silver Championships Winner