Friday night saw the first annual challenge match between Crewe and Cheddleton, played at St Andrew’s Methodist Church. Crewe were grateful for the host team’s patience as two cars got delayed en-route meaning the match did not get under way until shortly after 8pm. First blow was struck by Chedd with choice of colours going in their favour in the 13 board match. Captain Caroline (Mountford) had sportingly picked a team to match Crewe’s much lower based club grades, selecting 7 juniors in their team while Crewe had only 3 juniors available.
First game to finish was a draw on bd 12 between juniors Harry Gardiner and Emma Scotchford before Chedd’s junior James Jones won another junior battle on bd 13. Les Hall soon leveled the match for Crewe with a win on bd 9. Next to finish were juniors Joe Alcock and Josh Brown both picking up wins for Chedd to put the hosts in a commanding position before Amy Lovatt played very patiently to win the bd 11 game and keep Crewe in close arrears.
The match turned decisively in Cheddleton’s favour as Colin Abell and Roger Edwards won their games with black pieces in convincing fashion. Draws for father and son Neville and Simon Layhe (grade 97) were good rewards, especially in Simon’s case saving the game where a piece appeared to be trapped against his grade 133 opponent. Karl Lockett won a fine game for Crewe on board 1 to notch up our only success on the top 8 boards. David Hulme was last to finish when battered into submission by Bill Armstrong to leave the final score at 8-5 to Cheddleton.
Immediately the match finished just after 10.45pm Crewe’s captain congratulated Cheddleton on their win in a match played in a fantastic and friendly spirit and laid down the challenge for Cheddleton to reciprocate the event in 2018.
Many thanks to Caroline at Cheddleton for arranging this first challenge match between the two clubs.