Broadstairs   2              Woodnesborough    3

1 Nick McBride (e160) ½-½ Harry Sharples (150)
2 Bob Page (141) ½-½ Emily Green (146)
3 John Couzens (125) 0-1 John Thorley (142)
4 Reg Pidduck (107) 1-0 Mark Towlson (101)
5 Michael Doyle (90) 0-1 Dennis Stokes-Carter (85)

Bob Page writes:

For the second successive year we were dispatched from the Mick Croft Cup by Woodnesborough and while any defeat is disappointing, I don’t think we can have any complaints. We had a strong team under the rules of the competition (max 625 for all players) but Woody’s aggregate was 624 so it was always going to be tough. However, we won only one game and that was an outrageous swindle that Mark Towlson, Reg’s opponent, will not want to see again – but you can as it features in our Swindle of the Week above this report.

The evening began with a winning toss giving us white on three of the five boards and within an hour we were 1-0 up thanks to Reg’s extraordinary win. Thereafter, things did not go quite so well. Michael had an even game but once his opponent created a passed pawn on his a-file, he was always under pressure and his resignation evened the scores. I should have won my game but Emily kept finding the only move to avoid mate, eventually creating a mating threat of her own which I managed to prevent with a curious perpetual check: I had to keep checking to avoid being mated while she had to repeat to avoid me winning a piece and the game.

At 1½-1½ we were still confident. One point from the last two games would give us victory as with the scores level the bottom board is eliminated. However, despite battling gamely against a stronger opponent, John was always struggling to maintain parity and eventually had to resign at about 11.00, and Nick’s promising position earlier in the game disappeared with a misjudgement that lost him a bishop for a pawn and a draw was the best he could achieve. Never mind – we all agreed that just like the old football cliché when a team is eliminated from a cup competition,  we would now concentrate on the league so we shall have to settle for the Millar Cup this year.  Well done, Woodnesborough, and good luck in the final.

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