Two weeks ago I wrote “Crewe 2 in outside contention…..”, and I am delighted to report the team led by inspirational (unknown to him) skipper and club chairman (aka Baldrickprice) Dave Price completed the unlikely task on Saturday afternoon.
Crewe2 finished the campaign with a hard-fought win against Lee Tilton’s underdogs Crewe 3. It was only on bottom board where Crewe 2 managed to seel the deal with a 5-3 win. The top three boards finished at 3-apiece as Kobus Nienaber grabbed a win and a draw for Crewe 3 on top board, and Lukasz Michalek did the same for Crewe 2. Lukasz’s opponent Nigel Gardner performed the now-standard-heroics of taking a half point from the much higher graded opponent, and Adam Fields shared a 1-1 score with Neville Layhe. And so it was left to chairman Dave to gain the crucial two points in his games, with one in the bag on Thursday and the second game delayed until Saturday, due to his opponent being unwell. The final score being 5-3 to Crewe 2, to finish the season on 8 pts from 5 matches.
This victory alone would not have secured the “virtual trophy” if previous league leaders Holmes Chapel (HC) had avoided defeat in their final match. It was fitting that Macclesfield played their strongest team of the season against the defending champions and inflicted HC’s first ever loss in the NSDCA online leagues by the narrowest margin possible of 4.5-3.5. However it was still due to help from the friends of Crewe 1 in the 4th round of pairings who took a vital point off HC in a drawn match, that contributed to the title, as Crewe 2 finished just one point ahead of HC, Cheddleton and Macclesfield.
Crewe 1 concluded their campaign with a 7-1 success against bottom of the table Kidsgrove, as Harry Gardiner, Simon Layhe and David Hulme all scored two points to supplement Karl Lockett’s one point on top board.