A terrific team performance by our young U11 Girls’ team on Saturday 25th at Cheney School in Oxford surpassed all expectations by tenaciously wresting 3rd place from both Richmond and Oxfordshire in the final round of the EPSCA U11 Girls’ National Final.
Everyone arrived early and brought with them the self-belief and confidence for which the Sussex Girls’ team is both renowned and not a little feared. There were heroic performances to be found wherever you looked across the day, and even though our first-round score did not fairly reflect the skill and commitment with which the girls played, we knew the quality was there and that the results would come. Round two delivered a 100% improvement in terms of points earned and brought Sussex to within striking distance of the 3rd and 4th placed teams. Round three was an absolute nail-biter as Sussex continued to pile on the points and the pressure until there was just one game left in the playing hall between our Myrto vs Emily Du (Oxfordshire).
In a reminder of last year’s final board match-up, Myrto and Emily fought it out for a further 20 minutes before Myrto promoted her passed pawn and put her opponent to the sword. No other result would have delivered the podium finish, but it was a victory richly deserved. I cannot remember a year when 25% of our team finished with 3/3; the concentration levels exhibited by Bella, Marcy and Gemma left me exhausted just watching, but everybody in that team gave everything they had. Maria B played a critical strategic role on a very tough board and deserved 2/3 even though in the end we could not have caught up with Kent and Barnet who finished in 2nd and 1st place respectively, separated by just half a point. Katya P dominated her opponents from Barnet, Richmond and Oxfordshire and was the Gold medal winner of the Reserves tournament with another 3/3.
Jonathan T, Emilia H, Sophia B, Amelie R, Amy H and I asked a great deal from this team, yet they delivered everything and more with such grit and determination that all the top-tier teams will be hoping to avoid us next season. Parents and children alike have a great deal to be proud of and I hope they remember their day in Oxford for a very long time.
Aanya Adhikari, Hana Ahmad, Maria Bhattacharyya, Eliza Blin, Rose Burgess, Charlotte Chan, Gemma Cuthbertson, Lola Finlay, Nuvee Konara, Seha Konara, Christiane Langlotz, Eileen Mommsen, Marcy Page, Rhiannon Page, Katya Panchenko, Spriha Punjabi, Myrto Vermot, Isabella Walsh