Selsey 6th-9th March
Nationals took place at Selsey on 6th-9th March 2008. The groups and results were as follows:
|Derby (L 14-11)||Middlesex (L 14-9)||Bristol (L 11-10)||Wiltshire (VOID)|
|Essex (L 14-4)||Derby’C’ (L 14-11)||Derby (L 11-10)||Derby’A’ (L 11-4)|
|West Berks (L 14-7)||East London (W 14-5)||E. London (W 11-9)||Essex (W 11-6)|
|Warrickshire (L 14-7)||Berkshire (W 14-7)||S.E Staffs (W 11-10)||Camb ‘B’ (W 11-3)|
|Cambridge (L 14-4)||Staffordshire (L 14-8)||Cambridge (W 11-7)||Derby ‘C’ (VOID)|
|Semi Finals||Essex (L 11-4)||Berkshire (L 11-7)|
Preparations for Nationals had not gone exactly to plan. However, once there everyone was confident we reproduce the form of last year. First up were tournament favourites Derby. Oxford raced into an 8-3 lead without even breaking a sweat. What happened next still can’t be explained but without so much as a whimper Oxford capitulated to a 14-11 loss. This left many stunned and Oxford were straight back on against Essex.
The first leg against Essex was another nightmare, going 8-1. Combined with some bad luck and an insane moment with the tournament referee (who happens to also manage and play for Derby A!!), the second leg didn’t go much better. Oxford soon lost 14-4.
The second day started badly with the news we’d lost another player due to injury (ankle) meaning David Graham had to join the B’s not the A’s. Cambridgeshire, the team we beat in the Semi’s last year showed no mercy either. Special mention to Jaz Venning who showed the rest of the A team how to do it while filling for a late Kieran. Another 14-4 loss. The rest of the matches I can’t comment on as I left due to illness – however thanks to Laura Street, Lauren Thomas, Steve Lakeman and Jaz Venning who all recorded wins in filling in.It was a performance best forgotten for A’s. The new season begins next month and Oxford will be looking to rebuild and challenge for this title again.
Oxfordshire youth went to the finals with great hope of making the final. They started well with an 11 – 5 victory over luckless Essex. Wins from Andrew, Adam, Jamie, Craig and Peter putting us 5-2 up. The second set we won by the same score; Yousif was on to win the match but got bogged down; for Adam, who must be the only youth player to have so many break and Dishes against his name, today was no exception. In the end Yousif did bring the bacon home.
Going into Saturday we faced favourites Derbyshire ‘A’ and losing to this team of machines was no surprise. We lost 7-0 in the first set but a quick chat to the lads and we won the second set 4-3. That was as good as it got. The highlight of this match was Peter’s break and dish.
Now up against rivals to oxford for many a year, we played Cambridgeshire ‘B’. We won the first set 6-1 (could have been 7-0 apart from yousif rattling the black). We won the second 5-2 (again could have been so different with Sean and Yousif both rattling the black ball). The third set was not needed. This put the Oxfordshire boys into the Semi-finals for the very first time and it will not be the last.
Into the semi and we came up against region rivals Berkshire. It was a very tense start and before we knew it we were 4-0 down. Jamie and Peter put pride and some hope back by wining their frames, but we had it all to do being 5-2 down. At last the lads played much better by wining the next leg 4-3 and now we were only 6-8 down. Going into the last set, and knowing they will hit us with there big players, I tried the same but sadly it did not work with Andrew and Adam both losing along with Peter in the fourth game. We went down 11-7. However, a good 3/3 for Jamie.
Also we had two players (Andrew Gee and Craig Coles) do well in the youth singles with Craig falling at the quater final stage and Andrew losing out in the Semi-finals. Both players played some of the best pool beating several England players and Derbshire ‘A’ players enroute.
A very good effort boys I have to say. I was close to tears at the end so if you want to see the bigbossman cry you will need to go one better next year.