Under 11 event: Berks, Bucks, Hants and Sussex
Sunday, January 28
Chris Archer-Lock writes:
The Four Counties event at Claires Court saw a good Berkshire performance, finishing second behind excellent Sussex opposition and ahead of local rivals Buckinghamshire and Hampshire.
The draw gave Berkshire progressively more challenging matches in each round, as we overcame Hampshire 16½ - 3½, then Buckinghamshire 11-9, before losing by the narrowest margin 9½-10½ versus Sussex in the last round. It was particularly pleasing that the team raised their game in the last round against a county who were national runners up last year, and this was excellent practice for playing some of the strong ex-eastern counties who have migrated to our zone for this March.
The first round saw an overwhelming victory against Hampshire, unfortunately aided by the non-arrival of an number of opposition players. Nevertheless it should be noted that Hampshire gave Bucks a tough match in round 3, so Berkshire did well to win by this margin.
Round two saw us just overcome Buckinghamshire, 11-9 with two defaults, probably not our best round, but it was good to see Buckinghamshire back closer to their usual form after an under strength performance against us last autumn. This adds to the prospect for our return friendly challenge match away to Bucks in March.
For round 3, the players were aware that we faced high class opposition, and responded very well, almost snatching the match but eventually being edged out by a single point. This round contained some notable individual wins, including by Roy Zhang and Matthew Wadsworth, but anyone who took points from Sussex today (and there were many) can feel pleased!
The reserves tournament became a Berkshire v Sussex mini-match, and the visitors eventually prevailed by a single point, but were pretty well matched by Berkshire, showing our strength in depth.
Scoring was well spread around the team, and this was a good day's preparation for the South West zone, with the final round seeing several long games against the most challenging opponents. In the team room, the players also made a good attempt at solving combinational puzzles, and we can look forward to further training and other competition events before the Under 11 zone on 17th March.
Last Season's Results