Saturday 5 February 2011

Staffs Terriers Pipped At The Post Again

Another disappointing result for the Staffs Terriers in the MCCU U120 County Championship at Fenton Sports & Social Club this afternoon.  In a very close match we were once again beaten by the odd point  -  6 1/2 - 5 1/2.  But it could have so easily been different.  with 2 matches still in progress we were trailing by 5 1/2 - 4 1/2 but the games in progress were both going in our favour and a 6 1/2 - 5 1/2 victory for the
Terriers looked the likely outcome.

Ernie Wilkinson, playing on Board 11, went into his endgame with a rook, knight and 4 pawns against a knight and a pawn.  However, he then took about half an hour to find the most tortuous possible way of winning.  One can only assume he was playing to the crowd !!  This levelled the match at 5 1/2 each and all eyes then turned to Richard Cantliff in the remaining game on Board 9.  Richard  was most certainly not playing to the crowd.  He went into his endgame with a 2 pawn advantage, which he then proceeded to turn into a pawn disadvantage.  He then delivered the coup de grace by putting his rook en prise, swiftly followed by the knocking over of his king.

So, once again, in what is becoming a habit over the past couple of seasons, we found ourselves in the silver medal position.

Well done to Tom Healey of Meir on Board 1 and Dave Johnson of Kidsgrove on Board 12 who were the only other 2 players to win their respective games.

Next up is our final County fixture of the season - an away match against Nottinghamshire on 26th March.  We can only hope that our fortunes change in this match.