So it is all over.
Yesterday we played an absolutely tremendous match against Poland that will surely go down in history.
Ten down due to the carry over we bid two grands and two small slams in the first set of 14 boards and outplayed them on most of the others to take the lead by 47 imps. (72-15, +57 over 14 boards)
The next two sets were tight and we lost 10 imps and then 28 imps to leave us 9 up. Sadly the last set my team was tired and the bridge was not up to the great quality they had produced throughout the week, and we lost very heavily in the end.
It is a shame because Poland are clearly the best team here of the other nations, and at the time of writing have just disposed of France by over 120 imps, winning every set in a match that wasn't at all close. USA 1 scored a very popular victory when they overcame a huge deficit to beat the unpopular Israel team by 32, but I suspect tomorrow the match won't even go the distance and Poland will win the Gold medal by a large amount.
Team England continue to play in the Transnational Swiss teams which runs alongside the final knock-out matches, so you can continue to follow their results on the same site.
On a positive note I am incredibly pleased with the courage and determination that my team showed. Their behaviour and attitude throughout the tournament has been exemplary and I was proud to captain them.
It is worth remembering that Toby, Michael, Chris and Freddie only made their international debut six months ago in the Channel trophy, and have never played even a European before. Although Shivam (the oldest member of the team!) has played several, Alex has never played a World Championship before and only played one European last summer. I think they all have a great future ahead of them.
This will be my final blog, the team returns home on Sunday evening though most of them will be in action during Brighton if you want to congratulate them on a great campaign.
Michael Byrne Under 20 NPC 2012 World Championships
Alan Shillitoe Under 20 Coach 2012 World Championships