PAUL ALLEN reporting
This year’s boys’ U13 county campaign was always going to be tough with all bar one player in the squad only just turning eleven.
Despite giving their opponents an age advantage it turned out to be a very rewarding season.
After coming a close second in both stages one and two led by assistant county U13 coach Steve Snelling, the team found themselves in the national trophy final.
With head coach Paul Allen back in the fold having been overseeing the boy’s U15 team for the first two stages, both Steve and Paul set about masterminding a possible early and unexpected title for their young U13 team.
The boys started the day brilliantly with a professional performance way above their years in putting aside hosts Oxfordshire 5-0 in the semi final.
In the final Essex once again met Surrey, in fact it would be the third meeting in three stages! The score from the first two stages stood at one win each, both times the matches had finished a close 3-2.
This time around proved to be no different, the tie once again finishing 3-2 unfortunately this time to Surrey. Solid wins from Oliver Green and Joel Braddock at strings one and two gave the Essex team a great chance. However despite giving it their all, neither Michael Tallentire, Harry Martin nor Max Hyde could scrape a win at strings three, four or five to clinch the all important third tie.
Overall a positive county campaign with a young team gaining great experience along the way, next year they will definitely be the ones to watch!