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NYCA Under 16 and Under 12. Saturday, November 10
Keith Tunstall and Chris Archer-Lock writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

Berkshire sent two teams (under 16 & under 12) to the second and final NYCA event of the year held in Birmingham.

The under 16 team started well with characteristically long games to take 5 points from 8 - 3rd out of the 8 teams. Round two again saw only two losses, but with no draws this meant 6 points putting the team in equal first place with Sussex, just one point ahead of Cheshire and North Wales (CNW). Round three was a turning point. Although we scored 5 points, CNW took both points in our matches to move into first place with a near perfect round (7½/8). This put Berkshire in second place, 1½ points ahead of joint third place (Sussex & Kent).

The final round was set up for an exciting finish. It didn't disappoint. Berkshire started the round well with points early on. However, the competition was fierce and the games long and hard. When the dust had settled, we had only managed to secure 3½ points. The chasing pack was at our heels... Was it enough? It certainly was. For a team with only one true under 16 player, Berkshire came a magnificent 2= with Kent on 19½ points, just 3 points behind the winners - Cheshire and North Wales. It really couldn't have been closer since fourth place were Sussex on 19 points!

This was a great team effort, with two players unbeaten on the day (James Holland & Ben Vandersluis). There was just one player with a 100% record in the under 16 team - George Tunstall (who extended his unbeaten status in the NYCA to 20 matches over three seasons).


The Under 12 team also enjoyed a trophy-laden journey home after securing a fine third place in a hard fought contest. In the first round a respectable 6½ points set the way, and it soon became clear that scores at this level would be competitive against all bar the eventual winners Sussex. Round two saw our lowest score, 5½, but even so we remained well in contention, and an earlier finish enabled the team photo to be fitted in with acceptable breathing space. Round 3 saw the high boards set about the opposition with vigour, but in spite of a lower return on the lower boards, again a solid 6 points were scored, setting up a nail-biting final round.

Berkshire players had been involved in many of the longer games in most rounds, and with a gap of half a point over fourth and a single point over fifth, we were now challenged to battle to the end for every point and half point, to secure at least the third place trophies. In a very exciting finish the team did exactly that, and it was very pleasing to see two of the longest and most determined games played on boards 10 and 11 by Max Papachristos and Reece Rogers, each epitomising the fighting spirit and finally eking out a full point, and joining Jonathan Matthews in securing a crucial final round 3/3 on the bottom three boards. This gave the team its best round of 7½, and an overall 25½ points. Showing that the success was earned from top to bottom of the team, the impressive result of Roy Zhang should be noted on his return to board one, where he scored a devastating 100% against challenging adversaries including from Sussex and Kent.

The well deserved third place was duly achieved, joining the U16s, U18s and U14s in capturing more trophies.

Well done to the players and thank you to the parents for driving the teams to success.

Related links

Under 16:
Results
Last Season's Results

Under 12:
Results
Last Season's Results