“A” team lose title on game points

Last night saw the NSDCA Division 2 title decider take place between our “A” team and top of the table Cheddleton B, and going into this match we trailed the leaders just on game points which meant any win would secure the title. The visitors turned up with a team dead on the max 725 team point limit with David Buxton (grade 195) leading their cause. Our best chance of success would come from our lower boards who had done so well through the season to put is in title contention.

Early indications showed us heading for trouble on board 1 and an equally positive position on board 5. The first result came in with an swift draw on board 4 from our top scorer Neville Layhe which increased Chedd’s chances of winning the title. Soon followed board 3 where our 100% performer Ola Titiloye was held to another draw. On board 5 Doug Barnett was in the ascendancy with a pawn and exchange gain but unfortunately let his opponent off the hook with the 3rd draw. Cheddleton secured the Div 2 title when David Buxton converted his long term material advantage into a win after a fighting effort from David Hulme was repelled on bd 1. This left Karl Lockett in play on board 2 who carved out an endgame advantage after 10pm, almost let it slide away, and then found a way to win in increment time to level the match and bring our “A” team season to a conclusion.

Captain David Hulme has been delighted with the team’s improvement since finishing bottom of the table in 2014/15 and 3rd bottom last season, to finish level on match points with the champions Cheddleton B and only losing out on game points.

Congratulations to Cheddleton B on pipping us to the title.