Merseyside County Closed incorporating Youth Games - 30th April 2005
Gold: Jade Atkinson, Ben Cantlay, Alex Clements, Matthew Daly, Callum Davies (senior), Shaun Egan, Mathew Fazakerley, Cormac Hayes, Richard Jarvis, Vikki McKay, Eve McQuade, Jamie Mercer, Heather Taylor (senior), Lisle Taylor, Charlotte Wright.

Silver: Anthony Daly, Hannah Davies, Alex Dodd, Luke Fazakerley, Hannah Shakespeare, Phillip Taylor, Joseph White, Alisdair Wright.

Sam Campbell x2 (Senior) & (Open), Lee Harris, Duncan Swiffen.

Runner Up: Laura Barlow, Sarah Glover.
A big thankyou to Chris Soakell for writing the report for this competition (and to Michelle for typing it up!)

On Saturday 30th April, we went to Sutton Leisure Centre in St Helens for the 2005 Merseyside Competition.  I was expecting a busy day as there were 30 entries from our club!  I was also dreading a very late finish, going by last yearsí performance as we didnít leave Sutton Leisure Centre until 20.45!  However, we were promised a smoother operation this year plus more mat areas, and we were not disappointed.  After booking in at 9am, our first club member got off to a flying start with a first place performance.  Two of the players who had entered from our club couldnít fight today, so only 10 members fought in section A (red and yellow belts).  The precedent had been set by Cormacís fantastic start, (which was almost ruined by our over enthusiastic cheer leaders!!!) and we raked in five 1st places, four 2nd places and one 3rd place.  All these players fought well with everyone winning at least one contest.  Shaun Egan won four fights; his first with the throw of the day, a perfectly executed uchi mata.  Lisle nearly hospitalised one poor girl (donít underestimate Lisle by her seemingly quiet exterior; she is indeed a judo monster!)  After section A had been completed, it was on to section B, (orange belt and over) and also section A teams.

Section B was run as a normal competition with no restriction of numbers in each weight category.  We had fifteen entries in this group, some club members having to compete against each other as they were in the same weight groups.  Our run of good form continued in this section with eight 1st places, four 2nd places, one 3rd place and two runners up.  There were many great performances, with a notable and popular win for Jade who won her fifth and final contest against a Great Britain Cadet Squad member. 

In the section A team contests, more individual performances gave our boys team no.1 a 2nd place, and boys team no.2 a 4th place, although with a little bit of fair play and sportsmanship from other team coaches (no names mentioned!!), we could have pushed for 3rd place.  Winning at all costs is no way to teach players the spirit of judo.  Well done Joseph for putting up a really good fight.  Boys team no.3 pipped St Maryís to 1st place, as Alex Dodd who was the only one able to fight, won his contest.

Section B teams (boys and girls), saw all our more experienced players split between teams so that everyone entering as an individual would also get a second go in the teams.  We did well, securing one 1st place, three 2nd places and one 3rd place.  Again, some good individual performances with Eve beating the Cadet Squad member (not a good day for this poor girl!), but narrowly losing out to Hannah who caught Eve with a throw and was able to hold her down for the win.  Well done also to Richie who won seven contests during the day with Ippon!

In the Senior section, Heather and Callum both came 1st in their respective groups, and Sam fought with great determination for a well earned 3rd place.  Not content with that, Sam then entered himself into the Open category!  He won his first fight and was put down very nicely in his second fight which left him with a further bronze medal.

All in all, a great performance from each and everyone who took part.  Itís almost impossible to mention everyone personally as there were so many of you there, so a very big WELL DONE to you all! In the individual events, we had a total of 76 contests and won 56 of them!  Considering the club was built from scratch only four and a half years ago, we are now certainly a force to be reckoned with, both locally and nationally.  I have had an email to say that it has been commented on by Sutton Leisure Centre and the organisers of the competition that the conduct of all those who attended the competition was excellent.  Another very good reason for you all to be proud of yourselves!

Chris Soakell
Senior Club Coach