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U/11 Wiltshire v. Berkshire Sunday, January 22
Chris Archer-Lock writes:

The Berkshire Under 11 team emerged narrow losers from the annual fixture with Wiltshire. Wiltshire won the first two rounds by 7½-6½ and then 10-4, before Berkshire showed resilience in coming back to win the final round 9½-4½ and narrow the overall match score to 22-20 in the host's favour. As with the Under 9 match, a close-run event provided excellent competition and practice for the slower county matchplay format.

We were aware that Wiltshire were fielding a strong team, and the first round ended with a satisfactory deficit at 6½-7½, especially since this was retrieved from trailing 5-1 at an early stage. The second round also began with a run of defeats, but in this case a number of marginal games later went against us, and the outcome was a disappointing 4-10 scoreline. Credit is certainly due that the team was not deflated by this, but was determined to win the third round. This time, the early results went in our favour, and we also managed to score in the tight run situations which arose near the time control. The team should take heart from this, and remember that the closing stages in the final round can often be decisive for qualification, even if that was not the case in today’s friendly.

In spite of strong opposition on the top boards, both James Holland (3/3) and Rachel Davey (2½/3) again headed the team in excellent style. Edward Wise and Florence Mitchell both played patient games which went the distance and also earned 2½/3 points each.

Well done to all for the staying power and team spirit shown in an event which provided excellent experience for all those who took part.

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