ELLIE Cushen reached a final at the National Schools' Regatta to give an indication she is returning to top form.

The Northwich Rowing Club sculler, part of Great Britain's team at the Coupe de la Jeunesse last summer, was sixth in a high-class Championship girls' single field at Dorney Lake.

Three of five rivals that reached the finish before her represented their country at the Munich Junior Regatta earlier this month.

Cushen had been 11th fastest in a time-trial, and fourth in the first semi-final.

The teenager was then denied by the narrowest of margins from progressing to the semi-finals stage in a Championship girls' quad with Lydia Heath, Keira Burke and Ellie Heathcock.

They missed the cut by less than half-a-second after a time-trial on a course used for the Olympic Games in 2012.

Northwich sent five other crews to take part.

An under 15s boys' coxed quad stroked by Louis Martin with Jack Beardwood, Finn Gamble, Charlie Sunley and cox Freddie Cushen on board took second spot in the C final behind neighbours Warrington to rank 14th overall.

They too were unlucky to be the fastest losers in a time-trial, falling two seconds short of a semi-finals spot.

Tess Asteriades reached another milestone in her recovery after surgery and radioactive iodine treatment following a diagnosis for a form of thyroid cancer.

She joined friends Iona Mitchell, Mila Speakman, Lily Fisher and cox Grace Sperring-Toy in an under 15s girls' quad that represented Northwich.

"We were happy with how things went because almost all of the rowers representing us were in development boats that will have an opportunity to go again next year," said new club chairman Graham Jump.