U11s Medal at EPSCA East Zone Qualifier

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The Essex Under 11s played in the EPSCA Under 11 East Zone at Bishop Justus School, in Bromley, Kent on 17th March 2018.  The other teams involved were Barnet, Bucks, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Newham, Northamptonshire, Richmond and Suffolk.

This should have been an easy venue to get to for once, however Mother Nature had other ideas with the “mini beast from the east” weekend and a perfectly positioned Met Office Amber weather warning for snow and ice.  Also yet another weekend of cross rail work meant most of our trains had been replaced with busses. Still at least we didn’t have as far to go as some teams – hats off to all those intrepid parents and supporters who did make the journey.

Round one came quickly enough and with a reasonably strong team the manager was expecting a good performance, however as the wins kept coming in a score of 15.5/20 was well above expectations.  There were outstanding wins for Nina, Harry, Max P, Tomas, Dylan and Max Y, plus a nice draw for Ethan.  This meant we were in second place behind Richmond and with the hosts close behind!  

The team talk revolved around not letting a good start slip away and did the team deliver in round two with an even better score of 16/20.  This time there were particularly strong wins for Jerry, Ben, Charlotte, Jake, Dmitry, Olga and Zoe.  Richmond had had a relatively poor round to drop to third - however Kent did even better than us and leap-frogged us into first place.

I think all the good play took its toll and performance dropped a little for the final round.  Still there were very good wins for Harry, Jake and Shayan, plus a good draw for Leonard. A score of 12.5 for the round was very good and Kent only managed half a point more to remain above us, however an outstanding score of 19.5/20 by the Richmond team took them up to first place for the day and in turn put us down to third.

All the team members scored points and several were unbeaten Adhvaith included.  Our first timers, Ben, Linards, Toby, Jaideep, Felix and Alex all played well scoring 8/13 between them for the team.

Most of the team stayed to get their medals, which meant a rather unpleasant journey home in the snow which was starting to settle on the roads by the time I got home.

Thanks to all our volunteer board stewards and thanks to the coaches, parents and supporters.  Thanks also to chief arbiter Nathaniel Lutton and thanks to Jo Wildman and her Kent team for organising the day.

Finally, well done to the team for an excellent third place performance and the best score for Essex in the U11 zonal since 1998. See you in the final!

Full result at 2018 EPSCA U11 Zone East


Mark McCallum

Under 11 Team Manager