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Under 11 Team event: Berks, Bucks, Oxford Sunday, February 12
Mark Grayson writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

It was certainly a game of two-halves for the U-11 team that faced Buckinghamshire and Sussex on Sunday 12th February at Ridgeway School in Maidenhead. After the first round, Berkshire were firmly in third place having come away with a measly 4 points from the 20 on offer, returning just ½ from our 10 games against Sussex and 3½ out of the 10 on offer against Bucks – a team that we had beaten in a friendly earlier in the season.

After a team talk emphasizing the importance of slowing down play, the transformation was evident. The second round saw us come away with 11 points from the 20 on offer, convincingly beating Buckinghamshire (7 points from 10) and competing with Sussex, bringing back 4 points from the 10 available. We were still in third place, but now only by ½ point.

More team talk now focused on threats (which had seen Berkshire lose material early in the openings during previous rounds) saw the transformation complete. Berkshire returned with 13 points from the 20 on offer, dropping only 2 points from 10 available against Buckinghamshire and coming away with 5 out of 10 against Sussex!

The final result saw Sussex take first place with 42 points, Berkshire second with 28 points and Buckinghamshire in third place with 20. Our performance in the final two rounds clearly demonstrates Berkshire’s ability to compete with a Sussex team that finished in the top 3 of the EPSCA national competition last year. The capability to take points throughout the board order was particularly pleasing, with 14 of the 20 players coming away with 1.5 or better out of 3!

Banishing those early blunders and slowing down our opening play has got to be a skill we look to develop in advance of the EPSCA zonal competition on 17th March in Swindon.

Related links

Last Season's Results