The first rounds of County Junior Division 2C matches were played on Saturday 3 November 2018 with three rounds of matches played. To reduce traveling distances this first round was split into two halves, the eastern half Bedfordshire, Essex 2, Hertfordshire and Suffolk played one another at NETTS, Earls Colne whilst the southern half of the Division, Berkshire, Oxfordshire. Surrey 2 and Sussex 3 played one another at the Graham Spicer Centre, New Malden, Surrey. Unfortunately, at the last minute, Bedfordshire found themselves with just one girl player for their team. All matches were played on two tables.
Junior Rankings (when in the TTE Junior Ratings List) are shown in brackets. The Essex Team was Daniel Young (366), Arran Hutchinson (367), Harry Keys, Maliha Baig (171) and Olivia Jones, the same three boys that played up for the first team match at the end of September.
In their first match the team had neighbours Suffolk to play. Not a good start with Arran and Harry both losing 3-0 to James Davies-Stokes (764) and Luke Davies-Stokes (593) respectively. After having game points Harry lost the third game 14-12. Maliha beat the higher ranked Lucy Curtis (332) 3-1 after losing the first game while on the other table Olivia failed to take the game point she had in the first game but won the game point in the second. She went on to lose the match with Riya Kumar 13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8. Daniel was heavily beaten (3-0) by Kian Burgess (851), the highest ranked boy on the day, while Arran had a good 3-0 win over the higher ranked Luke. Olivia won her opening game against Lucy but lost the next three and Maliha beat Riya 3-1 after winning a marathon first game 18-16 and losing the second 12-10. To Maliha that was just the warm up to winning the final two games 3 and 4. Daniel and Harry lost the last two matches both 3-0, Daniel 10, 4, 10 to James and Harry to Kian. By this time Harry was beginning to feel that his slight back injury was getting worse and movement restricted. A 7-3 defeat.
For their next match it was the western neighbours, Hertfordshire, they had to play and their boys all ranked above the Essex boys. In his opening match Arran went 2-1 up against James Hamblett (406) but lost the decider to 4 while on the other table Harry lost to Victor Rioja 3-1, all close games and Victor stayed unbeaten all day. Olivia lost heavily to Isabelle Lacorte (244) but for Maliha it was the other way round, a quick 3-0 win over Emily Ravetto. Later on Olivia played Emily and lost in the deciding game after coming back from 2-0 down. Arran, Maliha and Daniel all lost their second matches 3-0 and for Harry it was heartbreak when unable to convert match points in the deciding game against Samuel Flaum (519). Earlier Samuel had taken five games to beat Daniel. A disappointing 9-1 defeat, particularly as Herts won all four deciding game matches.
For their last match Essex played Bedfordshire who only had one girl player. Harry insisted in playing despite more agony from his back and played James Burt (349) first, losing 13, 10, 7, no luck in the deuce games. On the other table Arran was involved in a very close match with Joe Peckham. He had to come back from 2-1 down to win -10, 6, -9, 10, 13. Another five game match for Olivia against Shaniely Edwards, she came back from 2-0 down but just failed to win the decider, losing it 11-8. The next match was between the two number one players, Daniel and Oliver Horswell, which Oliver won 9, 10, 10. Against James, Arran had to come back once again from 2-1 down to win the fifth game 11-8. Maliha then won her girls match 3-0 to make the match score 4-4 and all to play for in the last two matches. Daniel lost the first game to Joe but he came back strongly to win the next three. Could Harry do anything in the last match to get a win. He certainly tried. Losing the first game to 4 he might have won the second but lost that to 11. Determination set in and won him the third 13-11 and the fourth to 8. Leading by a couple of points in the deciding game his opponent’s time out changed the course of the game and Harry then lost it 11-8 so the match finished in a draw.
The final round of matches will be played at BATTS Harlow when there will be four rounds of matches to play on Saturday 1 December.
|JUNIOR COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS - DIVISION 2C - 2018 – 19|
Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary and Cadet Division 1A Organiser.