Glorney Gilbert
International 2017

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Previous Reports - 2011

 
Trefforest, Glamogan University - From Peter Purland, ECF Junior Director

This annual event, which is now the British Isles Championships, is held in July, just before the British Championships and rotates round the four home countries. This year the event was held at Trefforest in Glamorgan University. Food, accommodation and playing conditions were all good but the hills! Is all South Wales steep sided valleys? At least we will have some very fit teams after this event.

David Levens stepped in at the last minute to take over running the teams and, although he has aged during the week, he did enjoy the experience and saw his teams produce the results. Traditionally we have been the strongest team at both U12 and U14 level and the U14 team, which was nearly full strength, carried all before them. The team was Marcus Harvey, Peter Batchelor, Henry Broadley, Adam Taylor, William Foo and Martin Oliver and, between them, they only dropped 5½; points in 6 matches. Despite this, William Foo was the only player to record a perfect score. Wales came second (I have to mention this) but were 10 points behind. The U12 team had suffered some drop-outs but those who did turn out certainly did England proud, scoring 25½; points to win comfortably. The team was Robert Fitzpatrick, Alexander Harris, Nishant Bommayya, Aditya Mavinkurve, Ananth Balaji and Marcus Rose. Ananth was the only other player in the whole tournament to score 6/6

The Gilbert Cup was beset by cry-offs but eventually we got out a very strong team (we do not usually play our World and European selections) but Lateefah Messam-Sparks and Sheila Dines joined Anna York-Andersen to try to regain the trophy won by the Scots last year. The first five rounds led to both teams being tied on 10½; with our girls facing the Scots in the final round and needing to win as the Scots had the better tie break. Anna drew first and, when Sheila brought in a draw I wondered if they knew what they were doing. They did! Lateefah had a won game and quickly secured the point that ensured the return of the cup to England.

It was, however, the Glorney Cup team that gave me the most satisfaction. We were minus our top 8 or 9 players for a variety of reasons and, as we had only won the event in the last game with our selected team in the last two years, who would have bet on this team? They were - David Grant, William Jones, Elliott Auckland, George Tunstall and Michael Rabbitte. However some players have pride in what they do and reputations (or ratings) count for nought. By round four they had surpassed all expectations and built up a 5-point lead but (I hate to say it) we had played Wales twice and they had a very young team whilst Ireland and Scotland played them on the last day and both scored 5-0 victories. The morning saw the Scots thirsting for revenge (even our team would admit to luck in the first encounter) and they got it with no wins for us and draws from David, Elliot and Michael. At this point the Scottish coach and an Irish parent were seen rubbing their hands and congratulating each other. What were our players made of? They had to get at least two points against the Irish! Well they went in together and determined. Elliott took a steady draw, David lost, but Michael drew. Ten minutes left, five minutes left then - George got that all important win and shortly afterwards William drew to ensure we finished half a point ahead of Scotland. They thoroughly deserved their victory. They had come and they had given their all, and we can be proud of them!