TWO sport students from South Essex College combined to take third place in the tennis tournament at the Association of Colleges Sport Championships.

Tom Pudney, 19, and Luke Baggs, 18, competed for the East team in the AoC Championships, which took place at the University of Nottingham.

And Baggs was thrilled to have secured a top three finish.

“There was a high quality of players taking part in the tournament so the matches were really tough as everyone was super competitive,”said Baggs.

“We finished better than I expected, it was brilliant to come third out of the whole of the UK.

“The entire weekend was a great experience, it was good to play against and meet so many like-minded sports people.”

As part of the Eastern tennis team, Pudney and Baggs - who study at the college’s Southend campus - played singles and doubles matches against students from all over the country and the team finished in third place overall.

Other competitors from the college during the weekend included Meg Rapley, 17, who ran in the women’s cross country race and Liam Squirrell, 18, who took part in the table tennis tournament.

And Jason Baker, the college’s Sport Maker, was delighted by their displays.

“I’m really proud of our guys and girl for getting as far as they did,” said Baker.

“Luke and Tom in the tennis team were a player down and were always up against it so to finish third is a fantastic achievement.

“Meg ran really well in the cross country and as East captain she was centre stage carrying the flag during the opening ceremony too.

“Everyone just did a great job and we had an excellent weekend competing against the best college sport stars in the country.”