I am sure I have said before that you can judge the health - and future prospects - of a country's curling programme by the young people who participate. With this in mind, and with my enjoyable visit to Fenton's Rink in Kent earlier this year still very much in my mind, I am pleased to pass on this press release I have received about the English Schools Championship. I think it is just brilliant to hear that seventeen (!) schools entered teams for the competition.
"The 2011 English Schools Curling Championships, the sixth year of the event, were held at Fenton’s Rink, Tunbridge Wells, last week.
Twenty-four teams entered for the competition from seventeen schools. It proved once again to be a hard fought contest with six teams battling it out each day throughout the week, which culminated in Tonbridge Grammar School, Weald of Kent, Judd and Mascalls qualifying for Friday’s finals.
Judd won their semifinal game (7-5) against Mascalls and Tonbridge Grammar School won their game (8-4) against Weald of Kent, which meant that Judd and Tonbridge Grammar School played against each other for the title, and Weald of Kent and Mascalls played for third and fourth places.
In the final game it was evenly matched after the second end, the score 1-1; then Judd, captained by the current English Junior Boys' skip, Ben Fowler, upped their game and stretched ahead, finally beating Tonbridge Grammar School 7-3.
It was also a tight game between Weald of Kent and Mascalls but eventually Weald of Kent came through to win 7-5, after having to play an extra end."
1st: Judd - Ben Fowler, Ollie Kendall, Harry Kendall, Miles Partridge, Alexis Parrinder-Nichols.
2nd: Tonbridge Grammar School - Hannah Jackson, Nicole Payne, Sophie Lawson, Sarah Decoine.
3rd: Weald of Kent - George Sparks, Bonnie Marsden, Luisa Madgwick, Lucy Sparks.
4th: Mascalls - Nick Blackman, Dan Garcia, Tony Cookney, Maisy Edwards, Lauren Gill.
The schools entered were Angley, Bennett Memorial, Bethany, Cranbrook, Hayesbrook, Heathfield, Hillview, Judd, Mascalls, Maidstone Grammar, Sevenoaks, Skinners, St Gregory’s, Tonbridge Grammar, Walthamstow Hall, Weald of Kent and Wilmington Grammar.
The top photo is of the winners from Judd School:
BACK: Miles Partridge, Ben Fowler (captain), Oliver Kendall
FRONT: Alexis Parrider-Nicolls, Harry Kendall
Photo courtesy of Ernest Fenton