A long-winded headline to cover this week’s three matches. Starting with the 2nd match of the week which saw our Intermediate (U130) team successfully retain the Cup trophy after a tough battle with friendly rivals Newcastle at The Bridge Club. Early draws were achieved by newcomer Julian Bulbeck on bd 4 and the ubiquitous Dave Price on bd 5. The match was tilted in our favour as Amy Lovatt used the early piece gained to trap the opponents King after utilising all but a few seconds of her time allowed, as she asked our roving reporter to record moves once she was below 5 minutes remaining. Just as Amy was about to win, success was guaranteed for the team as Doug Barnett’s draw offer was accepted on bd 1. Shortly thereafter Chris Rhodes added another win with a flourish to complete the match score at 3.5 – 1.5. This takes Chris’s unbeaten run in all NSDCA games to 25.
The Perry B team (U110) traveled to Cheddleton on Friday night as massive under-dogs. The Fabulous Four played heroically according to captain Dave Price, who acted as team chauffeur as well as non playing captain. Harry Gardiner was first to finish with a well earned draw on bd 2, having held an exchange advantage in the early middle game before coming under pressure from advancing King-side pawns and taking the draw offer. Next to finish on bd3 with another draw was our latest debutant, youngster Lukasz Michalek playing his first ever competitive match – congratulations to him on holding his own against a very experienced opponent. Steve Ballantyne battled manfully on bd 1 before losing to one of Cheddleton’s rising stars – junior Sam Parry, whose grade is currently 117 and likely to be much higher in the next grading list. Last to finish was Kobus Nienaber losing to another up and coming junior, Joe Alcock already graded 108. The final result was a loss 3-1, but the Fabulous Four were a great credit to our club playing against a team whose current grades were over 100 pts greater than ours.
The journey home was an enlightening tale as junior Harry Gardiner impressed the group with his recollection of all world champions from the late 1800s to modern times.
The other match played earlier in the week was a Wirral League encounter between our promotion chasing team and Division 2 established Chester E, played at Hoole Community Centre in Chester. This score-card showed David Hulme playing on bd 4 for Crewe and also on bd 5 for Chester !! Luckily for us our captain (Hulme) put the first point on the board with a swift win in a wild game where fortune was on our side. Neville Layhe picked up a good draw on bd 3 against a rapidly improving Chester junior already graded 142. Our bd 5 Dave Price fell victim to an attack from the other Dave Hulme to give the strange looking balance of two wins by Dave Hulme. Some while later we lost the bd 1 game, leaving the Walsall Warrior, Rich Wiltshir striving to level the match for us which he duly did in calm fashion. The result takes us to 3rd in the table and still with an outside chance of taking the division 2 title if we can win all 3 remaining matches, but the odds are against us as we have tougher matches than 2nd placed Atticus and also have to face table topping Buckley/Mold 1 in our penultimate match.