Thursday, April 12, 2012

The 'B' Team Get Closer

The 'B' team are edging nervously towards the top of Division 3. A 2-2 draw at 3rd placed Newcastle 'C' last night took us to within a point of Cheddleton 'D', with a match in hand and only 2 left to play. A point from this match looked extremely unlikely at one point. Tony Holdford got us off the mark with an excellent draw on Board 1 against a significantly higher graded opponent. Derrick then followed up with a draw on Board 2 to leave the match level at 1-1 halfway through the evening. At this point Rob and Geoff on Boards 3 and 4 looked to have lost games. Geoff was a pawn down, then lost another one and found himself in a hopeless endgame position and duly resigned. This left us needing a win on Board 3 to get anything from the match. At this stage the possibility of a win looked remote. Rob had miscalculated a Knight sacrifice in the middle game and ended up with 2 pawns for the piece. However, he was obviously on a mission to be the Fenton saviour and some excellent play saw him retrieve the piece, albeit at the loss of the exchange, and go into the endgame with a Bishop and 4 pawns against a Rook and 3 pawns. Unfortunately for his opponent Rob's extra pawn was a passed pawn and it marched inexorably towards the Queening square before he resigned. We might well look back on this match at the end of the season and say that it was this performance from Rob, salvaging a vital point for the team, that won us the Championship. The next 'B' team match is at home to bottom of the table Kidsgrove on 23rd April. On the same night our nearest rivals, Cheddleton 'D', play their final match of the season, away to Holmes Chapel Pawns.