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London Juniors at Yarmouth 28/2-2/3/14

Inter CountyDespite finishing 3rd in the region, the juniors were fortunate enough to be given a wild card, as one of the other regions didn't field a junior section. For most of the lads, it was their first time at Yarmouth, but would give them valuable experience for when they qualify on merit.

The draw was particularly cruel, being pitched against Leicester at 9am Saturday morning. I have my doubts as to how many of them would normally be awake at that time, let alone be ready for a 44 frame match!!

And so it proved. Whilst there was no shortage of application, I certainly counted three or four times where winning positions were squandered needlessly. Leicester ran out comfortable winners, 23-12, showing what a difference a few frames makes. Had those opportunities been taken, the score would have been a lot closer going into the final stages, and they would have been under more pressure.

Leicester went on to win the main event.

So on to the knockout cup, with improvements required to ensure the weekend didn't end early. Being drawn against Kent was an opportunity to lay down a marker for the season. Although Kent had finished ahead of London in the region, everyone was hungry to put the record straight.

The final score of 23-13 (maybe 23-14) certainly did that. The improvement was huge. The lads mixed the game up, playing safety's rather than going for speculative pots, and punishing their mistakes. On that performance, Kent will not be relishing the game in a fortnight's time!!!

One more win would now put them into the semi-finals, and the next opponents were Bristol A. In the first round proper, Bristol beat Sussex 24-22 after a play off, so the lads were under no illusions this was a tough game.

Unfortunately they got off to the worst start imaginable, going 6-0 down. Looking at the Bristol team, they didn't appear to have anyone over the age of 15!! The lads had their backs right up against the wall, but they came back fighting. This was their third match of the day, which I think is hard enough for adults, let alone youngsters, and most of them were breaking new ground with it all.

That said, they scrapped for all they were worth all the way through. High fives for every frame won, and consoling pats on the back for losers. Ultimately though, the mountain was just too high, and Bristol won 23-19, very relieved to have got over the line.

Sean Halligan declared that he was proud of their efforts, and the improvement over the day was immense.

Whilst the weekend didn't result in a fairy tale trophy, the juniors gained so much experience they can take into this season.

The aim now is to win the region, and I think they can!


#1 | Rupe on March 11 2014 16:12:21
Since I'm always playing or having to do other things elsewhere during the year, I rarely get the chance to watch the Juniors play their matches. So it was really nice to be able catch a fair chunk of the Kent match at Yarmouth. And I have to say that I was mightily impressed both by the standard of play and the team spirit. Well done to all, I'm sure the experience will stand them in very good stead.
#2 | MrBojangles on March 12 2014 05:09:11
Good report Jason.

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