Under 11s at the EPSCA Final
The Essex Under 11s played in the EPSCA Under 11 Final at Waterhead Academy in Oldham on 6th May 2017.
The 15 teams competing were Barnet, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire and North Wales, Essex, Kent, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Oldham, Oxfordshire, Richmond, Staffordshire, Sussex, Tameside, Warwickshire, and Wey Valley.
Hats off to Oldham and Tameside for stepping in to organise the final this year, however this did mean that travel would be a considerable challenge to the southern teams. We tried something new for us this year with a coach to the final, which meant less driving for parents and manager, however it also meant a very early start (5am for some) and a very late finish.
Getting the team together was also a struggle with five new players, including a talented player from Suffolk, and no reserves. The good news was that no one dropped out at the last minute so we had a full team.
Round one started well with a couple of quick wins, however this is the final and three losses soon brought reality home. From then on it was a bit of a roller coaster with good wins for Lui Michael and Jake, and good draws for Mannan and Fraser. Last to finish was Abbey with another good win, bringing the team total score of 9½ and 8th place.
Round two was a real tale of two halves. After 40 minutes the team had scored 2½ points from 12 games, but then a complete change with good wins for Lakshan, Rowan, an outstanding draw for Stewart and great wins for Giulio and Fraser all against strong opposition. We somehow ended up with a good score of 10 points for the round.
The final round was similar to round one with a couple of quick wins, then ups and downs. Nice wins for Harry and Olivia, a good draw for Mannan and a great win for Joshua. In the end we managed 9 points, to give an overall score of 28 ½ and 8th place, very much on our own.
I was very pleased with this performance by the Essex team. The travel clearly had an impact, particularly on the younger members of the team, but everyone tried hard, enjoyed their games and there was a tremendous team spirit throughout the day (see photos of nearly all the team below).
Full result is at http://www.oxfordfusion.com/epsca/TeamsOverall.cfm?EventID=103
Thanks to all the parents and helpers, especially Nate (and the comedy wig), for being so supportive both before and throughout the day. I should also thank our coach drivers, Luke and Terry, who had an even longer day than us and drove us there and back without a hitch.
Also thanks to Steve Mason and the other organisers and our arbiter for the day, Julian Clissold. Finally congratulations to Richmond on winning the event.
Mark McCallum (Team Manager)