Ringwood A 2.5 Highcliffe A 1.5, B&DCL Div 2; Ringwood B 2 Wimborne D 2, B&DCL Div 3; Highcliffe B 3 Southbourne C 1, B&DCL Div 3
15 Jan. Ringwood A moved to equal 2nd with Wimborne C. Very close match with 3 draws on the top 3 boards, but Richard Perrin just edged it v Rob Halse to seal the outcome for the Ringwood team. But Rob also had chances in a rook and pawn ending and their game could easily have been a draw, and the match a draw. All credit to Rob Halse, when sending in the result confirmation and showing some humour after a disappointing evening: “That novice Halse cost Highcliffe the match!”
Same venue, same evening, Div 3 highly placed Wimborne D were down 1-2 to Ringwood B, after 2 draws and a win by Ringwood’s Pete Donaldson on board 1. But in the final game to finish, on board 2, Tim Joyce made his material advantage count v Rob Davenport with a crucial win for the visitors to end 2-2.
Highcliffe B completed the double over Southbourne C, winning 3-1 despite being well out-graded on the top 3 boards – over 4 boards 493 to 569. Excellent wins on the top 2 boards, by Neil Salinger and rising young star Adam Ursell, plus draws on boards 3 & 4 ensured victory. Southbourne Captain Brian Curran reflected “Bad night for Southbourne’s top boards”. Highcliffe B are now in 2nd place, Southbourne C stay equal 3rd. But this division remains very close, just 3 league points separating 5 clubs, so all to play for.