“A” team report from Martin Burns

The air hangs heavy like a dulling wine; get your Smiths’ tapes out. 

Read on; it will make thy two eyes, like stars start from their spheres.

2 matches to report on lately.

Macclesfield came to St Mary’s recently, and this time we had one of our stronger line-ups waiting to pounce.

Bart has not played many games this year, his affection for his homeland, and his dedication to his job, means he has missed a few matches. But when Bart plays he is a joy to watch; he seemed to be controlling the game in his slippers, as the footy pundits say, and won a nice game. Harry got a solid draw on bottom board. I huffed and puffed, and struggled to get any edge; but then my opponent crumbled in time pressure in the end game. To the untrained eye (both of mine), Richard seemed to be in trouble on top board; his opponent seemed to have a strong attack against an exposed king. After the game Richard, cool as you like, assured me that all was under control, and given that he handed us another point I could not argue. Match won 3.5/0.5.

This meant that, if we won our last 2 matches, then Crewe “A” would be champs again.

Our next hurdle was Holmes Chapel.  My opponent, Mr Bennett, had caught me by surprise on move 2, with a move I had never seen before.  I mean I know I am rubbish at openings, but come on.  Anyway I defended for the rest of the game and got to a drawn rook ending with relief.  I thought Harry was losing at one point, but was pleasantly surprised when he got a draw. Andrew was suffering from germs, and fell to his first “A” team loss of the season. Kamil, of course, won on board 1; reports were that he was in great form.

So, a draw pulled us level with Alsager. Alsager had one game left, against Macclesfield. We had one game left, against Fenton. We were half a point ahead in game points scored, and so I assumed we were still in with a chance. I mean, all we had to do was match Alsager’s score in our last match and we would win the league. All good.

Earlier today I had heard that my car has sailed through it’s MOT at the first attempt; without hesitation. The sun was shining. Then I got a phone call from the club secretary which darkened my mood. He informed me, and I could hear the pain in his voice, that the league’s first tie break was not, as I had imagined, game points, but was, in fact, matches won. Even if we won our last match 4-0, it would be no use if Alsager won.

Even worse news was to follow; Fenton have announced that, due to some unfortunate issues, they will default all their remaining games this season.

So it’s over. That’s it. Suddenly. Sniff.

I would like to thank Karl, Harry, Richard, Bart, Kamil and Andy for playing, and I hope they enjoyed the season as much as I did. Bring on next year.

Now for a bit more Smiths.