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From semi-final heartache to cup final glory in a matter of hours for Sigma Sixth

From semi-final heartache to cup final glory in a matter of hours for Sigma Sixth
May 10, 2024 Dave Gooderham

Sigma Sixth Football Academy is celebrating county success – just hours after they narrowly missed out on a national cup final.

An incredible day for the Colchester-based team saw them play the semi-final of the English College National Play-Offs and the final of the Essex Under-19s Open Cup – within just eight hours of each other.

And they went through a rollercoaster of emotions, experiencing a semi-final defeat before lifting the cup and being lauded as county champions.

Reflecting on the day, Jon Taylor, director of sport at Sigma Sixth, said: “We are so proud of the whole squad who have showed amazing effort during the whole season.

“They have worked so hard, in every training session and game, and they deserve this success.

“It was disappointing to lose the national semi-final, but they soon put that behind them to go again in what was a dramatic final.

“To show that character and commitment, not to mention a huge among of ability and skill, underlines what a great squad they are, on and off the pitch.”

Having gone undefeated to win their division of the English Colleges Premier League, all were on the cup during a dramatic day of football.

After attempts to move one of the big fixtures failed, Sigma Sixth started the day hosting Gloucestershire-based Hartpury College, eventually losing 4-1 having taken the lead through Kenzo Shabazz-Edwards.

But there was no time for disappointment as they then travelled 50 miles to Aveley to prepare for the county cup final.

In keeping with the day, their route to success was not easy – falling behind 2-1 with 10 minutes to go after Ben Sargent had given the Colchester side the lead.

Undeterred, they fought back with Sargent netting a penalty in the 85th minute before Charlie Carr’s 25-yard low finish won them the cup.

Taylor added: “After the disappointment of the morning and to then fall behind against Shenfield so late in the game really put our lads to the test – physically, emotionally and mentally.

“It was a victory for the whole squad who all played their part on the day and during the whole season.”

It’s not quite over for Sigma Sixth Football Academy who are now preparing for another final, facing Barking Abbey in the Essex Under-19s Open Cup on Monday 13th May.