Westway And St.Olave's Into U13 Final
12/02/19: Westway & St.Olave's qualified for the final at the U13 National Schools' Championships in association with Advanta Wealth at Eton yesterday.
Mark Williams reports:
60 pairs from 11 schools entered this competition, which excludes the semi-finalists from last years Under 12 competition.
3 pairs qualified from each pool, with the pool firsts getting a bye to the 3rd round; each second round match was a pool 2nd v pool 3rd played over one game.
Major transport problems meant that the competition was slow to start, and most of the pools went largely as expected: Westminster Under 2 having a very good game to beat Q E Barnet 1.
In the second round, there were three instances of pool 3rd defeating pool 2nd: Highgate 7, Highgate 6 and St Olave's 5 being the successsful pairs.
In the third round (best of 3 games), there were again three instances of pool 2nd defeating pool 1st: Ipswich 2, Highgate 4 and St Olave's 4 being the successful pairs; Summer Fields 2 narrowly won the first game against Belmont 2 before losing the second quickly and being forced to retire, and Highgate 6 gave Berkhamsted 2 a scare in 2 very close games. The match of the round was between Ipswich 1 and St Olave's 3: the latter won the first game 8-12 before Ipswich countered strongly 12-2. The third game was neck and neck, set to 15, with Ipswich triumphing by 2 points.
In the fourth round (best of 3 games), St Olave's 4 fought hard against Belmont 1 and came close, but there were 2 fine 3 game matches: Highgate 1 narrowly defeating Berkhamsted 3, and Ipswich 1 creating a major upset in coming from behind to defeat Berkhamsted 2.
In the quarter-finals (best of 3 games), Westway 1 won impressively against Ipswich 1, Highgate 1 pushed St Olave's 1 hard in the second game, but the latter won through; Summer Fields 1 upset the seeding in two well contested straight games, but the match of the round was between Berkhamsted 1 and St Olave's 2, the latter winning in straight sets by the narrowest of margins in a terrific contest which again upset the seeding.
Both semi-finals (best of 3 games) were fairly one-sided, but Westway 1 were particularly impressive in trouncing St Olave's 1; St Olave's 2 were pushed hard by Summer Fields 1 in the first game, but won the second game convincingly.
The final (best of 5 games) will take place on Saturday 23rd March, and it will be interesting to see if the Westway pair can continue their impressive attacking and consistent play; it would be an historic win if they do so.
St.Olave's 1 beat Highgate 1 12-1, 12-8
Westway 1 beat Ipswich 1 12-1, 12-2
St.Olave's 2 beat Berkhamsted 1 13-11, 14-12
Summer Fields 1 beat Belmont 1 12-8, 12-9
Westway 1 beat St.Olave's 1 12-5, 12-2
St.Olave's 2 beat Summer Fields 1 12-7, 12-0