Last Friday saw the 3rd Annual Challenge between Crewe and Cheddleton, taking place at Cheddleton. This year the match was contested over 12 boards and without Crewe’s top players being available, Chedd arranged for the teams to be closely graded in the spirit of this fun and friendly contest. The crucial toss of the coin went in favour of Chedd so they had the unusual position of being white on odd boards at home !
Ben Harrison having just completed his “A” levels got the visiting Crewe team on the score board first with an early success on board 12. Harry Gardiner was elevated to board 4 and managed to put Crewe 2-0 in the lead before the first of several draws maintained Crewe’s lead. Dave Price (on board 7) had a predictable draw with Sandra Blackburn at a similar time to Neville Layhe on bd 5 with David Millington. Doug Barnett extended our lead with a further win on bd 6 before Chedd’s first success came on bd 9 for Dave Hallen. Crewe edged closer to the winning line when bds 1 (David Hulme & Jon Blackburn) and 3 were drawn between Simon Layhe and Roger Edwards. Next to finish was Crewe’s outstanding performer with Les Hall getting another draw on bd 8 facing the biggest grade deficit of the night as we got even closer to victory. Mike Keenan on bd 11 ensured Crewe’s victory to put us on 6.5 pts before Cheddleton stormed back with late victories in the remaining games for Bill Armstrong on bd 2 and last to finish Harvey Murray-Smith on bd 9 to conclude the event.
Crewe emerged narrowly victorious by score of 6.5-5.5 and invited Cheddleton to the 4th challenge to played next year at Crewe, with a buffet to be provided. This is Crewe’s first win in the event at the 3rd attempt, with Chedd having won both previous encounters by the score of 8-5.
Thanks go to Caroline Mountford who did not play for Cheddleton, but very kindly ensured the two teams were closely graded.
Full score card on the LMS at