The last matches in the qualifiers for the online Minor Open and U1800 would see both Essex teams go through if they could win. Both would meet the all-conquering Northumberland, who are also in the Open Final.
Essex Minor Open romped past Gloucestershire, Essex winning 8½-3½. In the other matches, Northumberland beat Hants (already out of the running) by 9½-1½, Cheshire & N Wales beat Somerset 7½-1½ (over 10 boards and one of those was 0-0) – Cheshire & N Wales could have finished second if Essex had lost but were ultimately disappointed – and Cumbria Beat Berks 7½-4½. Essex play Northumberland in the Final.
Essex U1800 were unable to match the Minor Open’s success, with a much weaker team than had played in the first match against Northumberland. Leics were particularly hard on Essex in the top half, winning the top five boards and scoring a match-winning 6-1 over the top seven. So its Northumberland v Leics in the U1800 Final.
Northumberland, as noted above, are also in the Open Final, where they play Devon. We await with interest to see how they cope with fielding three teams simultaneously – Finals day 18 September.
Full details and all the games via the links below. The pages at the end of these links also give connection to the match details in ECF LMS.