Another fantastic night at the AMAL saw the club host two matches with the B team playing Cheddleton E in division 3 and the Perry Cup B team playing Meir.
Martin Gill’s Bees went into the Division 3 match with a 100% record but knew they had a battle on their hands against the experienced Chedd team with Mr & Mrs Blackburn being accompanied by Bill Armstrong and skipper David Hallen. It was no surprise then when the bd 4 game could find no winner as David Hallen kept Chris Rhodes at bay. The match swung Crewe’s way when Rick Renegade extended his superb unbeaten run with a win on bd 2 after another explosive attack was mishandled by the opposition. Rick has now scored 8.5 out of 9 in the NSDCA, with his only defeat this season coming in the Wirral League knockout when the whole team was outgraded by Chester’s big guns. Captain Martin Gill on bd 3 seemed to have found the way to win a tough game with Sandra Blackburn when he made a crushing blunder to hand the full point over and leave the match all square with just the bd 1 game to finish. This saw Karl Lockett in command for the Bees as he gained the necessary win to edge the team over the line 2.5-1.5. The B team have so far won all four of their matches by this same narrow score line and would have been further pleased by the news as the top of the table Newcastle C lost their 100% record as they were narrowly beaten by Alsager’s B team to leave our B team in 2nd place with a game in hand on the same number of match points.
The other match at the club saw our Perry B team as massive underdogs against Meir. With Nic Bolide making his first competitive appearance for the club he put a spirited fight against Anthony Cooling before being last to finish. Earlier on had seen Richard Hind get into a promising position before Stuart Green’s wealth of experience proved too much to give the visitor’s the early lead. On bd 2 junior Harry Gardiner played a mature game to hold a pawn advantage and then control the only open file with his Rook. Having gained central dominance he was able to pick up a further pawn with his active rook and so give Crewe their first point and a glimmer of hope in the match. The bd 1 battle saw an even contest tip Crewe’s way when Phil Wright gained a minor piece for a pawn. With a Rook each and several pawns including an ominous looking g pawn for his opponent the game was too close to call until Phil engineered a huge advantage by giving back his minor piece for the threatening g-pawn and allow his rook to get amongst his opponents undefended queenside pawns to pull off a superb win. As the dust settled it emerged that Crewe’s Perry B team had got through to the semi-final by virtue of the board count tie-break rule after the 2-2 draw. This was an inspired performance by our under-dogs as Phil Wright gained his first ever win for the club and junior Harry Gardiner added another scalp to his growing list of higher graded opponents. Overall a superb effort by the team as they were outgraded by approx 140 points ! They will face either Cheddleton or Fenton in the 2nd semi, with our Perry “A” team travelling to Newcastle in the other semi-final.