Middlesex Juniors are champions again
Following the success of the Middlesex juniors in winning the national U18 and U13 County Championships last Sunday, the U14/130 team beat Berkshire 16.5-7.5 in the U14/130 Southern Counties Final held in Maidenhead on Saturday.
This is a fantastic feat by the U14/130 team and Middlesex Juniors ended the week with three trophies.
The team in Board Order was Gabriel Balouka-Myers, Reuben Balouka-Myers, Harrison Willmoth, Jacob Goldberg, Liam Reed, Tim Lewis, Dylan Hung, Devin Karia, Tej Shah, Lara Mallin, Toby Balouka-Myers and Raphael Balouka-Myers.
This was a fabulous team effort with great results across the Boards. Eight of the players were undefeated with five winning both matches - Reuben, Dylan, Devin, Toby and Raphael. Gabriel and Lara had a win and a draw. Liam had two draws.
The U14/130 team played five matches across the season starting with Essex in November and ending with the Final on Saturday. The team had wins against Kent (13-11) and Sussex (16.5-7.5), draws with Essex (12-12) and Surrey (12-12).
Many of the players who played in these zonal matches were not available to play on Saturday but their contribution to the team's success also need to be recognised - Sam Cohen, Max Faircloth, Emmanuelle Gelain-Sohn, Nikita Nunes, Zachary Potel, Adam Rosenthal, Charlie Sprung, Ruben van der Lubbe, Arnav Varma and Joshua Wong.
I also followed the policy of giving priority to children in Year 7+ in team selection even if their grades were lower than the stronger Year 5 and 6 players. But when we are short of players younger siblings played on the reserve boards or on odd occasions on the lower boards in the team.
For the Final, Toby and Raphael stepped in to play on Board 11 and 12 and did fantastically well - securing maximum four points for the team. In fact the Balouka-Myers boys had a great chess day scoring 7.5/8 - almost 50% of the team's final score of 16.5.
This was the last game of the junior county chess season. Many thanks to all parents for their support and help.
Middlesex U14 Team Manager