New Milton 3 – 1 Poole C

Rock bottom of the table, and playing title challenging New Milton, it was always going to be tough, but a win by Bournemouth meant that we needed to get something out of this game. All we got out of it was a confirmation of relegation.

Dragi had a sliding doors moment and avoided the route that would have led to a win. Richie had an exciting Rook sacrifice but was unable to convert it. Mike battled through the end game an exchange down. And as for me…we exchanged Queens in the mid game, and as I Queened another pawn so the board was now occupied by 3 Queens (2 of mine, 1 of his) I thought of Eric and his chastising of juniors for needing excessive numbers of Queens to win. They did come in handy to secure the win with about 2 minutes left on the clock. But 3-1 wasn’t enough to edge up the table. The best we can do is match Bournemouth on points but have a vastly inferior board score. Winning 4-0 and hoping they lose 4-0 would still leave us behind. Thank you to New Milton for being splendid hosts this evening.

It has been a tough season playing teams that have outgraded us throughout. At most it was 94 grading points difference between us and our opponents across the match – losing that match 2.5 – 1.5 is good going, even if it doesn’t reward us with any points, and a difference of up to 46 on a single board. None of our games did we outgrade our opponent. It’s taken time to step up to the level required, and it’s helping each of us improve. Last season things came together and we were able to pull wins out of the bag against all odds, this season we haven’t managed to replicate that but we’ll go down fighting. I’m really proud of each of the players taking the step up, the regulars as well as the reserves who have managed to push us forward with some unlikely results. So many of the games our players were within reach of a win, but just one misplaced move and everything falls apart. Once more we shall take to the boards before the season is out, and until then, lets see how the other Poole teams get on in this hectic week of 4 games in 3 days (with some playing in 3 of them!). B&DCL Div 1 against Southbourne, Dorset League Div 3 against Purbeck and Team Handicap Knockout against Highcliffe. Good luck to all.

April 17, 2019