The A team narrowly missed getting some points against Telepost A going down to a 3-2 defeat, having looked like taking the spoils earlier in the evening.
The hosts were without many of their first team players which was partly evened up by Condover & Church Stretton missing top board Trevor Brotherton. This meant that captain Steve Rooney took on Nigel Ferrington, although it was a short contest as a half-baked plan to swap an exchange for a semi-trapped queen ended in a rout of the queenside and a lost position. Fortunately, the other Rooney played a lot better as Francis' king's gambit tore into Vinny Crean's position, first winning an exchange and then a whole rook putting the score on 1-1.
The other three boards were fairly balanced although we looked ahead on at least two of them, but it was not to be. Graham Shepherd's promision position suddenly turned into disaster as a mating net by Peter Crean slowly strangled him. This was followed by Eric Elwell losing out to Keith Tabner. Eric was an exchange up early on but lost a piece to even the scores and then, once the queens were swapped, found Keith's minor pieces more than a match for his rook.
So the match was now lost but Michael Bukojemski, undeterred by a fraught journey to the match, used his extra pawn advantage against Matthew Clark and proved that opposite bishop endings are far from a certain draw. The opposite bishops ending followed a sharp tactical battle along the central files with both kings exposed to back-rank tricks. With only around ten minutes each left on the clock, Michael engineered a swap of all the major pieces resulting in an ending where a superior king position and pawns on both sides gave him a decisive advantage which he coolly converted into a win.
Telepost A 3-2 Condover & Church Stretton A
1. N Ferrington 1, S Rooney 0
2. M Clark 0, M Bukojemski 1
3. P Crean 1, G Shepherd 0
4. K Tabner 1, E Elwell 0
5. V Crean 0, F Rooney 1