Harry Collins magnificent 100% for Chiltern A, Kidlington girls supreme
The National Junior League (South) season was completed at Cippenham on Saturday, 1st March, with the fourth set of matches played to a finish. Pride of place goes to Chiltern A, who won the Boys’ Division 1, thus taking 1st place out of the 18 competing boys’ teams. Harry Collins went through the whole season unbeaten, with excellent support from Mike Rutherford, and some valuable wins from no 3 player, Alistair Smith.
Throughout the season, Twickenham Brunswick A vied with Kidlington Forum A for second place, in the end prevailing by a mere two points: James Corner was their star player, with Alex Gough a good No 2 and Jack Richards and Michael Papior making up a strong quartet. Forum’s Simon Price and Jonah Stott competed with tremendous commitment in their 4th season of NJL and gained a powerful ally in Kavan Warrender. Their 3rd place finish was their best effort to date, but with cruel irony they were thwarted in their bid for the silver medals by their own B team, who finished the season in fine fettle, beating the A team 4-2 and Graham Spicer 4-2, and forcing a draw with Twickenham. Two 12 year-olds, Reece Chamdal and Josh Selby, did the most damage, each winning 5/6 on the day. Credit to Forum, who could so easily have fixed the result of A versus B, but instead elected to fight out their own fierce battle! ETTA medals were awarded to the top six teams, decided on an accumulative basis, which brought in Reading A (4th), Kidlington Forum B (5th) and Graham Spicer (6th). The trio of Michael McAllister, Danny Dockree and Siad Cole competed doggedly for Reading and would have been in the running for 2nd or 3rd, if all three had been available to play throughout.
Certificates were awarded to the top teams in Division 2, Crusaders (Matthew Gold, Joe Joubeily, Leo Rudolf and Daniel Goodair), and in Division 3, Chiltern C (Peter Illing, James Perks and Gian Remnant.)
In the Girls’ Division, Kidlington Forum retained their title with a superbly consistent display over the whole season, winning all the crucial matches and unbeaten. So dominant were they, that they really had it all tied up before the last round of matches began. Their success was all the more remarkable, because there was no one in reserve and all depended on Kristelle Brook, Vicky Coll and Chloe Yau playing in every single match from November to March. Top twenty ranked Under 13s Talia Banin-Reid (Ellenborough) and Jemma Walker (Cippenham), along with Megan Ashfield (Cippenham), provided high quality opposition, but failed to get the better of Kristelle, although Jemma got very close on this occasion (14-12 in the 5th!) The runners-up medals went to Cippenham A (Jemma, Megan, Rosalind Lane and Louise Williams), just ahead of Ellenborough (Talia, Amelia Chan, Angela Ai and Rachael Herriott).
Thanks to the organiser, who does a fantastic job for the South Region in providing such fine competition for so many young players, both in the National Junior League and in the National Cadet League. I hope that they all appreciate the tremendous work he does on their behalf.
John Birkin (March 5, 2014)