Friday, 13 March 2015

Emphatic scoreline seals promotion

Our fourth 5-0 score in a row secured promotion back to division one for the A team. Once again, the score flattered a little and an hour and a half into the match we were still looking for that elusive game point needed to ensure we finished in the top two.

Eventually Karl got the win - although he missed the promised pint from the captain who was still absorbed in his game! Karl looked like winning much earlier to my cursory glance but he opted to move into a rook ending and managed to get the first point on the board. David followed next, having rescued his position from an unconvincing approach to the opening - his own admission, not captain's criticism you'll understand.

This left three games to run and the top two boards didn't look like promising more than draws, but Trevor eventually broke through after his opponent moved a rook to a wrong square. Just one slip and Trevor will get you! Steve had his opponent's rook marooned but it was nursing a blockaded pawn on the seventh rank so chances for all three results. In the end, a swindle emerged which delivered a mating net with the two rooks, leaving Norman to forlornly queen his pawn two moves before mate was delivered.

Michael's opponent battled on but eventually succumbed to make it a clean sweep.

With the game points stacking up, we are now in a strong position for the title, but still two games to go including one against second-placed and fellow-promoted side Telford B.

Church Stretton A 5 Shrewsbury B 0

T Brotherton 1, M Smith 0; 
S Rooney 1, N O'Connor 0; 
M Bukojemski 1, I Salter 0; 
K Wakefield 1, I Davies 0; 
D Hodge 1, A Purser 0.

(There was some discussion on the night about the fact that Telford B's postponed fixture against their own C team had eventually been played, but that the C team had defaulted a board to give the B team an easy victory. The result was reported this week, although it's not clear if that was when the match was played as the fixture list was not kept up to date. Obviously, teams often struggle for players but an inter-club match should be played on the original date prescribed by the league controller, barring natural catastrophe, and be between two full teams. In the event, Shrewsbury B can't now catch Telford B, but if they had ended up on the same match points, I suspect there would have been questions raised. Matches are now being regularly postponed because a team can't raise a side which is not really an adequate reason. Perhaps the issue of postponements needs to be revisited at the next league agm.)

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