News just in from Cheddleton, that the E team were 4-0 winners tonight in their penultimate match against the host’s H team to secure the division 5 title with a match to spare. Thanks to wins from Chris Rhodes on bd 1, Amy Lovatt on bd 2, Adam Fields on 3 and captain Nigel Gardner on bd 4 confirmed the E team as champions. Special well dones to Adam on his first win for Crewe and Amy for a perfect 100% record to date.
Congratulations to captain Nigel (8.5/11), and regulars Chris Rhodes (9/13), Amy Lovatt (11/11), Steve Ballantyne (7.5/11) as well as the supporting squad.
Here is match report from the skipper:
The E team travelled to Cheddleton on a warm Friday evening with Adam substituting for Steve who we all wish well to. We out-graded Cheddleton but as 2 of their players were juniors you never know what their true grade is until the games start. The evening started inauspiciously well when Amy didn’t have a pen and Chris arrived with seconds to spare; all good for raising the tension.
All four games started evenly and after the first hour there wasn’t much difference on any board; however it did feel as though we were gradually taking a slight upperhand. The expectations began to rise as Adam found an opening and continued to finish off his opponent relatively quickly for his first league victory for the club. That was 1 point of the two we needed to win the league. Boards 1 & 2 were slugging it out but I was extremely relieved to make my creeping advantage tell to find myself 3 pawns and a rook for a knight up. The junior opponent wouldn’t lay down but the end was final; 2-0 up and the league was ours.
Amy had managed to get herself a bishop for a pawn up but had taken over an hour on the 12 moves after her opening and had 2 minutes on the clock whilst her opponent had 20+. Still, the pressure told and a mate suddenly wrapped up the game; 3-0. Chris’s game continued for another 15 minutes alone but he had an ever increasing advantage which he drove home and what had initially seemed a potential banana skin turned into 4 – 0 win.
A very enjoyable, satisfying and rewarding Friday evening and a great way to take the title. Many thanks to all those who have played for and helped the team over the last 7 months. The 4 core players have turned out regularly and successfully and have been ably supported by a number of walk on appearances that have often made the difference between success and the other thing.