Whilst the wall between us and League victory has got a little higher today, following last night’s 2-2 draw with Shirley, it can still (just) be climbed… And we are definitely the team to give it our all!
The task before us now is to beat Leamington 4-0, to finish the season in a dead-heat with Olton at the top, on both points and Board count.. So in our hands and down to us.
Just like at Agincourt, the fewer of us, the greater the share of the glory to be had. One way or another, we will be able to look back and say we were there! We also beat Leamington 3-1 recently. Surely we can go one better now???
Particularly as last night’s man of the moment, Mike Donnelly has re-discovered his winning touch. After I had drawn I told Mike he had to win and he duly obliged in style. If he carries such form into next week, we have to have a chance. But this is to get ahead of ourselves a little…
The evening started quite promisingly. Phil was winning out of the gate, Mike looked better and Dave and I were both pretty comfortable. Phil even turned down a draw (rightly as he was best placed of the four of us at that point) and has been in amazing form.
Unfortunately whether we were going to win the match became more problematic as the night went on. Dave couldn’t find a way through against John Asbury and was the first to finish with a draw. (By the by, John holds the record against me for the longest period of time between our first and second games. I played him in a Congress when I was twelve and then played him again more than twenty five years later…) Anyways, I was next to finish against Dave Thomas. The good news was that Dave played down a line I’d been watching a video on quite recently. The bad news was, he played it very well and we reached an opposite coloured Bishop ending. We both manoeuvred around for a bit, but the draw was pretty inevitable. So 1-1. Mike played beautifully to beat John Freeman. A really nice game. But the problem was Phil…
Phil’s recent form is the main reason our title challenge has remained on track, but last night it wasn’t to be. Something seemed to go badly wrong somewhere and a winning position became a losing one against Frank Jiminez. Phil battled back to something extremely unclear, but unfortunately lost on time in the end. He deserved more, but we couldn’t have asked for more from Phil this season and we’re done yet.
So onto Leamington. It’s a tough chance but it’s a chance. A lot of teams would love to go into their final game of the season with a chance of glory still on. Well this year, that’s us!