Kent U9s take third in the EPSCA Final

On Saturday 26th April our Kent U9 squad all had an early start to travel to Nottingham for the Inter Counties Final. Most by car or train that morning, but 1 or 2 the previous night, we all arrived safely and in time to do battle with the 17 other best county teams in the country. Those included our usual rivals Barnet, Wey Valley, Sussex and Nottinghamshire but perhaps it was Hertfordshire that proved to be the surprise package of the day.

Each round scores being from the 12 members of the main team, we achieved 8.5 in round 1, 10 in round 2 and 9 in round 3 totalling a very creditable 27.5/36. You may recall that Kent won the event last year and though that was an amazing achievement, in fact we only scored 25pts on that day. This time 2.5 pts more was only enough to secure 3rd place, a mere half a point behind 2nd place behind Hertfordshire.

The Kent reserves did manage 2nd place in their separate competition to claim an additional medal and at this point I would like remind everyone of the contributions to the extended squad of Efe Shimwell, Ishaan Yewale, Mason Graves-Brown, Dennis Ivin, Radha Ratnesan, Jai  Singh Chaturvedi and Yong Gui Wang. They all contributed to our zonal win at Eltham and we definitely had more talent to pick from than from any year before. Provided all concerned continue to put in the work, I can only see us going from strength to strength. All 24 could conceivably fit into a 24 player U11 team in 2 years’ time (isn’t that an appetising thought!) and many will still be available for the U9 team next year too!

So, enjoying a wonderful day was Haolin ‘The Master’ Zhao, ‘Rampant’ Ranesh Ratnesan, The Bobster (Robert Akeya-Price), ‘Killer Queen’ Naviein(aah) Haridas, Charlie (Metcalfe) ‘The Cheeky Champ’, Thomas ‘The Hit Man’ Gardner, ‘Hurricane’ Huseyin Gueriane, ‘Magnificent’ Moad Shamekh, ‘Nimble’ Kimball Catling, ‘Awesome’ Anika Roy, Alex ‘Lethal’ Levin, ‘Axeman’ Abishaik Gnanethiran, Oliver ‘The Destroyer’ Dobson, ‘Dangerous’ David Dallakyan, Shaun ‘The Power’ Passari, Charlotte ‘Brutal’ Bruce and ‘Super’ Saahil Bansal.

I could offer a special mention to the main team 3/3 maximum’s of Haolin, Ranesh (Birthday Boy!), Charlie and Abishaik or indeed to the terrific reserve score of 2.5/3 from David, but in truth nobody had a bad total and in most other years we would have come away with golds all round.           

Congratulations to Barnet for an unbelievably good score and thanks to all those who attended on the day including anxious nail-biting parents and of course the managers Ratnesan and Bansal senior(!) for all their hard work.    

1st Barnet 31.5

2nd Herts 28

3rd Kent 27.5

We’ll be back, but for now over to the U11s…


GM Chris Ward