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  • 14-May (Bispham - please note date change)

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  • 25-Jun (Aughton)

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NYCA U18 TrophyPerhaps just once in a generation the stars align and everything falls into place. On this occasion nearly all of the team were available and the motorways to the venue at Northamptonshire were moving. And as a result a magnificent result was achieved by the team after a very long and tense struggle.

 

2014 U18 NYCA Team Champions

It was tough going all the way - Sussex and Berkshire also had very strong teams. In round 1 most games went to the wire, and we stood a point clear of Berkshire after 6 wins, a draw and a loss. Kit Hopkins was making his debut against tough opposition on board 2, but looked Ok for a draw before just going wrong in a pawn ending. Jordan Lewis and Tom Leah were clearly enjoying themselves on boards 6 and 8, although Jordan nearly went wrong in a very clearly winning position, and had to win the game all over again. Matthew Walsh ground out a precious point in mutual time trouble on board 4.

Things got even closer in round 2. Henry Broadley had to resign after a very tough board 1 encounter, and Kit once again tasted defeat against strong opposition on board 2. Wins on the other 6 boards made it 6 points out of 8. But Berkshire had done slightly better to go equal 1st with us on 12.5 points.

Round 3 saw Berkshire claim 4 quick victories and put us on the back foot. However the team stuck to their task and slowly but surely started to reel Berkshire back in. Judd Bennett and Jordan Lewis (who both finished on 3/3) started the comeback. James Walsh then won, and the pressure was building on Berkshire. Henry Broadley's opponent on board 1 was using lots of time, and eventually succumbed to Henry's relentless pressure. Kit Hopkins was the exchange down but had a couple of extra pawns steamrolling down the centre which eventually lead to an accepted draw offer. Matthew Fanning won (also 3/3) and suddenly a couple of Berkshire losses meant we needed just half a point to win the title. As cool as a cucumber, Tom Leah played a faultless ending to claim another full point (also 3/3) to give us the title, 1.5 points clear of Surrey and 2 points clear of Berkshire.

With 4 players receiving special medals for 100% performances, and then the team receiving the national U18 team trophy, it all seemed very worthwhile. Only 10 years in the making, and a great addition to the CV's of all the eight players!

My thanks to all the players, to all the other players who have played over the last few years, and especially to Stephen Chung who suffered a very serious car accident three weeks ago, although I am very glad to report he is now on the mend. My thanks also to all the parents who brought the players to lifts, and in particular to Mick Walsh, Pete Edhouse and Mark Broadley who accompanied the team all the way to the Midlands.

Congratulations!

Bill O'Rourke (U18 Team Manager)

Results of U14 Championship
  R1R2R3Total
1= Cheshire 10½ 9 9 28½
1= Sussex 9 10 28½
3 Kent 8 25
4 South Wales 8 23
5 Berkshire 8 6 19½
6 Manchester 4 3 7 14
7= Bucks 4 4 11½
7= Yorkshire 6 3 11½
9 Leicestershire 2 4 10½
10 Lancashire 2 8

 

Results of U18 Championship
  R1R2R3Total
1 Lancashire 6 19
2 Sussex 6 6 17½
3 Berkshire 7 17
4 Yorkshire 3 8
5 Kent 2 3
6 Manchester 1 0 2 3