Essex U1850 having bowed out in their match against Yorkshire, on 13 May, the other three Essex teams each contested their Semi-Finals – a triple header against Yorks – in Syston on 10 June.
ECF U2050 SF: Yorks 6½-9½ Essex – ESSEX TO THE FINAL!
At Syston, Leics. 10 Jun 2023. From Mark Murrell. Outrated on the vast majority of boards by 100 points with a morning late withdrawal to increase the odds in favour of Yorkshire, the team led from the start and did not look back. A sterling effort combated the top eight to halve the points, with Peter early on, then Ruqayyah on debut smashing a 2100+ and in the last game to finish with the match already won, Ivan, doing the damage. This together with Sasha setting up the early lead and then a powerhouse middle order drive from David, Ian and Malcolm, Essex took the lower half and the match. The upset never looked in doubt.
Essex meet Warks in the Final on 1 July.
ECF U1650 SF: Yorks 9-7 Essex
At Syston, Leics. 10 June 2023. A very close match. The points were shared in the bottom half, but Yorks shaded the top eight by 5-3, where Ryan and Jef each suffered their first loss of the season for this team. The reversal of one outright result to make it 8-8 would not help, with Board Count favouring Yorks (of course).
ECF U1450 SF: Yorks 4½-7½ Essex – ESSEX TO THE FINAL!
At Syston, Leics. 10 June 2023. Another close encounter on paper, but with Essex grit doing the damage in the bottom half by 5½-½ nullifying Yorks 4-2 advantage in the upper order, which saw Taylor Duke’s 100% record 6/6 ended. Nice wins by Ken Jardine and Michael Harrison, to name but two.
Essex meet Greater Manchester in the final on 1 July.
We have all the games in the U2050 and U1450 matches, with U1650 to follow.