Three title chasing wins, two more debutants, and one wooden-spoon race !

It’s been a busy week for the club with four matches played including trips to Chester, Newcastle and Cheddleton.

The first match saw our Wirral team take on a below strength Chester F team in a division 2 encounter. Early wins for Neville Layhe, David Hulme and Dave Price confirmed the points were safe before Simon Layhe and Karl Lockett agreed draws to wrap up a convincing 4-1 win, which took the team up to joint 3rd in the table with two matches in hand on the leaders. The team is very much in contention for promotion with matches to play against the top two.

Wednesday night saw our B team host Meir A in the NSDCA division 3. The Bees were in 2nd place in the table trailing leaders Newcastle C just on board points, and were soon in trouble as board 1 was won swiftly by the visitors. However the Bees are made of fighting-stock and despite appearing to be behind in two of the three remaining games, the points started to come in as Rick Renegade, Chris Rhodes and late replacement Dylan Sayers all overturned their opponents to swing the result in our favour and emerge as 3-1 victors. With this win the Bees returned to top of the table but have to wait and see if Newcastle C overtake them with their game in hand. The title looks like going to the wire with two matches left for us and three for Newcastle.

Also on Wednesday night our basement battling “C” team went to play Newcastle D in a division 4 game. Junior Harry Gardiner continued his good form with another impressive win a against a higher graded opponent on bd 4, before Doug Barnett eased a draw on bd 2. On board 3 we had our latest debutant with Adam Fields playing experienced Pete Shaw. A fine effort from Adam saw him gain an exchange before Pete’s experience proved too much and took the point for our opponents. The final game saw David Hulme taking on their captain Paul Clapham and despite David’s significant grade advantage was held to a draw by Paul’s solid play, to conclude the match with a 2-2 draw. The result took the C team off the foot of the table on board points, where our own D team have fallen to as we contest the wooden spoon.

Friday night saw our division 5 table-topping “E” team travel to Cheddleton and take on their full strength “I” team. Without regular stars Amy Lovatt and Steve Ballantyne, it was always going to be a tough match against a team that can near the maximum grade points allowed. Captain Nigel Gardner reported on the LMS as follows:

Another very enjoyable and competitive Friday evening at a busy Cheddleton club. With a couple of enforced changes to our usual line up both incomers performed admirably to force wins in tight matches. A great result from Chris again on top board and a very assured performance from our youthful debutante Julian on board 2 in a match that finished when most had left and were already at home. An excellent result for Dylan against a much higher graded opponent taking an early pawn advantage and slowly tightening the screw to reap his just rewards. Ali and I played out another draw although both enjoyed what was a challenging game. Well done to my team and many thanks to our excellent hosts.

This result takes the “E” team 4 pts clear at the top of the table. With 4 matches left to play our Es need one win and a draw to guarantee the title.

A great week for the club and special mention to our two new players Adam Fields and Julian Bulbeck.