YOUNG players from Braintree Basketball Club led the charge for Essex junior sides to claim honours at the East Inter-Counties Under-13 and Under-15 tournaments.

Both the Essex girls and boys teams took gold in the under-13s, while there was a silver double for the county’s girls and boys in the under-15s and Braintree players were to the fore in the successes.

The club’s Harry Barnes helped secure the East Inter-Counties Under-13 boys’ title on the opening day and Sophie Phillips, Olivia Tubbs and Nina Penrose were in the girls’ side that matched that success with another golden performance.

On top of the team success at county level basketball, Phillips has been invited to attend Basketball England’s talent pathway, the ASPIRE programme.

But that wasn’t the end of Braintree’s talented youngsters helping to achieve county glory.

The following day saw Caitlin Whittaker and Imogen Kwei playing for Essex’s under-15 girls’ squad.

They were undefeated in the group stages, but finished second behind Norfolk after a narrow defeat in the play-off final and that was a finish matched by Essex’s under-15 boys.

Braintree’s Joe Simmons and Jamie Greenaway were part of the Essex boys’ side that was just edged out in the final as they took the silver medals.

However, there was individual glory for Greenaway as he won the Most Valuable Player award of the Under-15 Boys’ East Inter-Counties Tournament.