What a day! Our target at the start of the day was to improve upon last year's 10th place from 19 teams, and 18½ / 36 points. A brilliant first round saw a tremendous performance from the bottom half of the team, and a total of 8½ points put us third, behind Wey Valley (who racked up a very impressive 11½ / 12) and last year's champions Hertfordshire (9). Richmond, perennially strong, were a point behind us, while Bucks and Somerset, who had finished ahead of us in the SW zone, trailed behind.
In a topsy-turvey round two, Wey Valley scored 'only' 7½ but a total of 19 just kept their lead, ahead of Richmond who scored 10½ to move to 18 and surprise package Manchester, who added an astonishing 11½ to their first-round total of just 5½, to move into third with 17 points. Our six points was a little disappointing but we clung on to fourth place with 14½; Herts scored just five but were breathing down our necks on 14, along with Leicestershire. We needed a strong final round...
With Joseph Foster and Joseph Barr moving up the reserves into the main team, the bottom half delivered again, scoring an unbeaten 5 / 6. It was tough at the top and Ewan was unlucky to go down after holding an advantage, but wins from the last two finishers Martin and Marcus gave us eight points for the round, and a total of 22½. Way Valley and Richmond were clear but Manchester were dropping lots of points -- would our score be enough for a set of medals?
Unfortunately Herts scored nine to sneak by us by half a point, and then the Manchester board 1 salvaged a win from an utterly lost position, to tie with Herts on 23 (but losing out on tie-break). So we finished fifth, but this considerably exceeded expectations. Well done to everyone, particularly John Bethell, George Guilbert, Dan Juniper and Joseph Foster who scored 3 / 3, and Eamon Devaney-Dykes and captain Martin Thetford who were unbeaten on 2½. And of course thank you to all the parents and team managers who organised, helped, shopped and supported. A result to be proud of!
|Pos||Team||r 1||r 2||r 3||Total|
|Board||r 1||r 2||r 3||Total||Opponents|
|5||Guy Bennett-Jones||0||0||0||0||Wey Valley||Liverpool||Richmond|
|8||Andrew Rippington||1||0||0.5||1.5||Richmond||Wey Valley||Liverpool|
|James Lawton Smith||0||0||1||1|