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Under 11 EPSCA Girls Saturday, March 28
Lucy Head writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

The Berkshire U11 Girls’ team headed north to Bolton for this year’s E.P.S.C.A. with 11 other counties competing. The line up was tough but our team ranging in age group from 11 down to 5 were determined to try their best.

The first round was our least successful winning three points but this didn’t put off our fighting spirit. Romina Findel-Hawkins had a good and quite quick win over Oxfordshire, Chloe Rogers defeated Lincolnshire and Louise Head had a long and difficult game against Barnet’s no 1, but got there in the end and won her game. After an hour and fifteen minutes, there were only two Berkshire girls still playing, board one and board twelve where quite amazingly, Isabelle Gilbert (aged 5) was still battling against Barnet. Unfortunately she lost her first two games by running out of time (50 minutes on the clock each), but she came out quite happy. The concentration of someone so young was impressive and she wrote all her moves down!

The second round brought more success with some good wins and smiles further down the boards from Isabella Roper, Katie Rennie, Amelia Walcott and Alisha Watts. Chloe played a particularly impressive game winning against Sussex. Brent Smith, who was our board steward, said he saw some strong games by Berkshire and many were quite close, which is encouraging for the future.

Round 3 saw a few more wins throughout the team and some winning their first game of the day. Lizzie Smith had a long game in round 2 and was unlucky not to win, but round 3 brought success. There was a good win for Isabella Roper against Wey Valley. Lily Kapoor also battled hard and beat the Oldham No 3. On top board, both players were shedding each other’s pieces till there were hardly any more to get rid of, so decided on a draw. At the end of the third round, Isabelle Gilbert got a hug from her earlier Barnet opponent, which was a nice way to end the competition.

Although Berkshire didn’t come in the top few, it was encouraging to see that nearly all the players won a game and particularly well done to Chloe Rogers and Isabella Roper for winning two out of three games.

I would like to thank all the parents for taking their children to Bolton for the weekend and well done to all the Berkshire girls who tried very hard as a team and were extremely supportive of each other. Let’s hope next year’s E.P.S.C.A. is a little nearer home!

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