The league season is over with mainly disappointing results.
One of our best players was unavailable for all but one match because of work commitments and another was ill for most of the season, but that does not fully explain why our Stevenson Cup and En Passant Cup sides won only one match each.
Our Harvey Cup side had an average of six players unavailable for each match and did well to be in the running for a semi-final place until losing its last two matches and finishing in mid-table.
However, our Intro Cup side, which was the only team to have a settled side, won their division despite never fielding a team with an average grade of as much as 90 and being out-graded in most of their matches. The semi-final against Medway was drawn 2-2, but we lost on tie-break, Janis Elton having won on bottom board. Janis, with a season’s score of 7/11, will surely be seeing her grade go up substantially.
At Christmas our Harvey Cup side have a 100% record and are the only team in the competition to not have either lost a match or conceded two draws.
Our side playing against Petts Wood in the first match of the season was rather weak with six players unavailable. When one player could not find the match venue and arrived seven minutes after the default time prospects did not look good, but Janis Elton equalized the score with a fine win against a player graded 32 points above her and Chris Cheeseman won a piece and the game. One of Petts Wood’s good juniors brought the score back level, but then Ian McAllan ground out a win playing against a bad bishop and Lee Brockwell, having turned down a draw offer, won on time to complete a surprising 4 – 2 victory.
In the second match of the season against Charlton seven players were unavailable, but Tony Packham and Greg Edwards won and then Ian McAllan’s opponent got his own king trapped in a drawn position. On seeing this Lee Brockwell agreed a draw in an equal position to win the match 3.5 – 2.5.
The Intro Cup is close this year with no team unbeaten. Having beaten Lewisham, Petts Wood and Gravesend and lost to Eynsford we are top of the division at Christmas. Captain Janis Elton has the best individual score out of all the teams in the division with three wins out of four games played.
In the first Kent League match of the new season our En Passant Cup side beat Dartford 3.5 – 2.5.
Greg Edwards, Bob Mitchell and Gary Sharp won and Ian McAllan drew. It was good to see Gary back and winning after his illness.
Sidcup once again competed in the summer quickplay, which is always thoroughly enjoyed by those participating. Each match consists of a team of 4, where each player plays 1 * 30 minute game, against each of the opponents players. As a result, 16 games are played in one night.
We were drawn in a league which consisted of Beckenham, Weald of Kent, Tunbridge Wells, and Eynsford.
We finished with 3 losses and 1 win. beating Eynsford, and only losing to a strong Tunbridge Wells team by the narrowest margin.
Thanks to everyone who played, and contributed to 4 very enjoyable evenings.
The regular inter-club league season is now over and the top two teams in each division are going forward to play semi-finals against teams from east and mid Kent.
Unfortunately in our winner-takes-all final En Passant Cup match we were defeated 2.5 – 3.5 by Gravesend, when a drawn match would have been enough to take us into the semi-final, and we finished third.
We also finished third in the Stevenson Cup without challenging for the top two places.
The Intro Cup team finished on 50%, while the Harvey Cup and Tom Fuller Cup sides had poor seasons, but avoided finishing last.
Better luck next year.
Sidcup managed to win against Dartford in their penultimate game in the En Passant competition.
Wins from Greg Edwards and Lee Brockwell, and draws from Tony Packham, and David Gilbert, gave Sidcup a 3-2 advantage with the board 1 game still playing.
This was a very interesting game in which both players had exposed kings with queens, one rook and opposite coloured bishops still in play, plus Sidcup’s Rob Pezet was very short of time. It wasn’t long before this game had attracted a large following awaiting the outcome. However, once queens and rooks were exchanged and pawn material was equalised, it looked a drawn game, apart from the fact Sidcup’s Rob Pezet now only had 30 seconds left on his clock. His opponent David Tucker however, very sportingly acknowledged it was a drawn game and accepted the draw offer to give Sidcup the win.
This means Sidcup remain unbeaten with 2 wins and 3 draws and currently need to beat Gravesend to guarantee qualification in 2nd place.
This game will be at home on the 28th March.
Lee Brockwell Team Captain
After a promising 2/2 start the wheels came off and we are now headed for a mid-table position.
EN PASSANT CUP
With five weeks of the season left the unbeaten En Passant Cup side are still in with a chance of reaching the knock-out stage of their Kent League competition having beaten Chislehurst 4-2 on 20th February. However, two other clubs are unbeaten and we have to play one of them in the last match of the season.
The Harvey Cup side has suffered from regular players being unavailable. Although it has never scored fewer than 2 points in a match, it has never scored more than 3.5 and we are bottom of the league
TOM FULLER CUP
The new Tom Fuller Cup side has been fielding sides weaker than the division really demands, but it is good experience and it did recently win a match against Beckenham.
The Intro Cup side is in mid-table, so we will need a good finish to the season to reach the knock-out stage of the Kent League. Nigel Threadgold has been the most successful player in the team and at one stage had the second best match record in the club (the best is David Gilbert, who has had a run of over 20 games unbeaten apart from one loss to an eight-year old).
All this season’s results can be found at www.ecflms.org.uk,
clicking on Kent League
and then Sidcup
(on the right).
The Harvey Cup side has started the season with mixed results.
Lewisham 4 crushed us in the first match with only Ian McAllan and Gary Sharp winning.
In the second match against Petts Wood, who arrived a player short, we were very lucky to win 3.5 – 2.5. A Petts Wood player was about to play mate in 2 moves when his time ran out.
Our third match against Gravesend seemed to be on course for a clear victory. Chris Cheeseman crushed his opponent and Don Chapman turned his game around to win. When IanMcAllan agreed a draw we seemed to have at least another point to come, but it all went horribly wrong and we lost 2.5 – 3.5.
The Sidcup first team got off to a flying start in the Stevenson Cup with excellent wins against Dartford and Sevenoaks 2.
Following a fine season last year, Rob Pezet has now been elevated to top board position with Ian McAllan, Tony Packman and Greg Edwards one grading point behind meaning that boards 2,3 and 4 can be rotated. With Dave Helps and Gary Sharp making up the team our average grade just keeps us within the maximum allowed for the Stevenson Cup.
Even without Rob for the Dartford match, wins by Tony and Gary on boards 3 and 5 with draws from Ian, Greg and David Gilbert on boards 1, 2 and 6 and a loss by Dave Helps left us with a 3.5 – 2.5 win.
Against Sevenoaks 2 we had a full strength side and with fine wins by Rob, Greg, Ian and Gary and a draw from Dave left Sidcup well in control. Tony’s clock finally ran out of time in a losing position but the result was unaffected leaving Sidcup with a 4.5-1.5 win.
There are no more Stevenson Cup matches for Sidcup until the New Year but things are looking good for 2018 as we perch at the top of the table.
Dave Helps (Stevenson Cup Captain)