Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Another tough one

A second trip to Shrewsbury in five days saw the A team suffer its second successive 4-1 defeat. This time it was Telepost A who, although without some of their top players, managed to grind out four wins.

Earlier in the evening it looked as if we might get something from the match. Karl Wakefield chalked up yet another win on board three against John Bashall to put us in the lead but Graham Shepherd lost his game to equal the scores. Board five was a bit of a rollercoaster with Francis Rooney who had stepped up as A team reserve, in a battle against John Westhead. Francis' early clever tactic on h7 misfired when he got his bishop trapped but for the second successive game he managed to create lots of activity for his rook in the endgame and his two passed king side pawns eventually forced John to give back the piece. With just K and R v  K, R and N, Francis turned down a draw as his opponent was perilously short of time. But in effort to keep the pressure up he moved a little too quickly himself, and fell foul of a knight fork which led to checkmate seconds before the flag fall.

This left boards one and two to finish, and both Trevor Brotherton on board one and Steve Rooney on two were well behind on the clock and eventually both lost on time.

It certainly felt a lot closer than a 4-1 defeat should, but it's the results that count! Onward to the final A team fixture before Christmas agains Shifnal Telford A on 8 December.

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