Our recent promotions meant that all three of our teams were in relegation battles this season, with two of the three managing to stave off the drop.
The A team started well, with three wins out of the first four matches. Once our star player Morgan Blake (4/5) left the area, points became harder to come by, but we had enough in the bag to secure our place with a few games to spare.
In Division 2, the B team also started well, but struggled to field a full team in the middle of the season, leading to a couple of costly forfeits. Andy Price came in and helped the fight with 5.5/8, but a narrow failure to draw the last game at Solihull sadly led to a relegation.
The C team struggled early on in their first crack at division 3, losing their first five. As the season wore on, though, they managed some impressive wins, and beat Stratford 3-1 in a relegation showdown at the end of the season. Rob Mantell’s score of 4.5/9 was our best as the team upset expectations.
We were unable to repeat last season’s success in these competitions, with the Open and U120 teams both failing to win their opening match.
Jason Madden was able to add to our trophy cabinet, picking up the U125 trophy for the fifth time. Tom Darling (in the Open) and Ola Olaleye (in the handicapped rapidplay) also made finals, making for another solid year in these competitions.
Ben Egid won the club KO for the first time, beating Ola in the final with a strategic masterclass.
Tom won the rapidplay for the fifth time in a row, scoring 9/12 and beating Andy Collins in a series of four tiebreakers after they both finished with the same score. He also defended the club championship against Ben.
Rob had another productive year, winning the Plate for the first time and repeating as the U125 rapidplay winner.
The George Boots Shield, given for the best single game performance, was won by Peter Leggett for the third year in a row, this time beating a player rated 32 points above him.
ECF National Club Minor Championship
Peter’s big win came on the first day of this competition, an improbable comeback from a queen down. Sadly, that was an isolated highlight, as we won only one of our four matches.
Sumiran Lohani returned to India early in the season. He was one of our most popular players while he was here, as well as being cnosistently successful over the board; we wish him well in his new job.