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Under 9 EPSCA Zone Saturday, March 14
Jim Wadsworth writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

Berkshire's county under 9 team finished 3rd in their 'zonal' competition, just behind perennial rivals Sussex. Wey Valley were the runaway winners of the event.

But how much better it could have been! The Berkshire team had a fantastic start, scoring nine and half points in each of the first two rounds. At the start of the final round, we were just half a point behind Wey Valley and in with a real chance of winning the event. Therefore with 10 minutes to go before those final games started we had a big team talk about slow, careful play; about finishing off the event in the same dominant style with which we had started; and about overcoming the traditional final round hoodoo. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to work - in no time at all, many players were trooping back to the team room with frowns on their faces having rushed their games and paid the price. At one stage there was even concern that qualification was looking challenging...

Happily, in the end sufficient points were secured and the rather relieved team duly collected their 3rd place medals. Hopefully an important lesson will have been absorbed in time for the final next month - for which the under 9 roadshow will be returning to Northampton.

Congratulations to those scoring 100%: both the top two boards (Matthew Wadsworth and Ryan Wong) and the fourth member of a legendary dynasty to play for the county, Lizzie Smith. Very well done also to those remaining unbeaten, namely Ben Dunbar, Michael Gilbert and James Kinsler-Lubienski.

The reserve team showed up well, coming second in their event.

Thanks as always to the parents - see you in Northampton!

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