You would be amazed how often people mention to me the similarities they see between the Manchester United team of the late 1990s and Kenilworth B. Ok - strictly speaking you wouldn't be - as this has never actually happened, but stick with me as I explain...
After three September matches had left us top of Division 2, we then had six weeks without a game. Just as Manchester United once skipped the FA cup to play in the world club championship, leaving whilst top of the Premier League and returning many weeks later to find they were still top, Kenilworth B found themselves in a remarkably similar position. Of course where as Manchester United had been sunning themselves in Brazil, we had been spending up our time racking up an inordinate number of losses in the Coventry League (especially me.) But no matter, we were still top of the League despite our long lay off, as we headed to Daventry last night to play their A team.
No team bus, no throng of autograph hunters on our arrival. Just the usual bitterly cold November night and some vague musing as to where best to park. Once through this, we settled down and ground our way to victory!
Mike drew with Kevin Bowman on 2. It looked quite interesting to me. [Mark might have had a different view.] Phil seemed to go from even against Abbie Stevens into a superior endgame which he won very comfortably. Dave definitely cementing his man of the match/ player of the week status won comfortably against Alan Ely for his second victory in successive nights. Go Dave!
So we were 2.5 - 0.5 up, which just left it for me to fail to make the same escape from "ground hog" day that the Coventry League team had made the previous day. My game against Stephen Willetts followed a pretty familiar pattern for me of late. It was very long (well over 100 moves, I'd lost track by the end and we were both down to a minute or two each on the clock.) It was very complex and exciting, with me on the defensive for a lot of it. Ultimately we got down to Queen, Bishop and three (Steve) vs Queen and 5 (me), but in the flurry at the end I missed the best defence and extended my recent run... To be fair, Steve's last grade was 176 and I didn't play badly. As we all know Chess is great when you win and painful when you don't, but there's always another game!
Most importantly the Manchester United esq/ Kenilworth B march on! Albeit, the speculation that Roy Watson is doubling as a super agent and is poised to make Anish Giri our next signing (doubtless to replace the current misfiring Board 1!) remain unfounded. (At least I hope so...)
So not the best night for me personally, but a great one for the team and we move on... We were close to promotion last year and we are really giving this a great shot!