The Exeter & District League’s annual “Coast vs Country” match took place on Tuesday 12th June at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, by the kind invitation of the Management. This event started in 2003 as a celebration of the League’s 50 years’ existence and has been held ever since. The Coast team comprises players from the clubs of Exmouth, Sidmouth and Seaton, while players from Exeter and Tiverton make up the Country team. There is always a problem equalising the numbers in both teams and there has to be a bit of flexibility, with one or two players helping out the opposition, but the matches are usually very closely fought.
This year, the recipe was complicated somewhat, by a late influx of juniors, and after the teams were evened out, the even later withdrawal of John Morrison, left 11 yr old Guy Susevee without an opponent. Nevertheless, he ended up having probably more chess than anyone else in the room, as the early finishers gave him several friendly games.
Looking at the team lists on paper beforehand, the Coast team were bracing themselves for a sizeable loss, as they were outgraded by 6 points per board, on average, but it didn’t work out like that, with the Coast eventually winning by one of the bigger margins in the series 11.5 – 6.5. 9 year-old Reese Whittington set the ball rolling by beating his opponent in 8 moves, and it went on from there.
The final details were as follows:
|1||Stephens J. K.||175||Exmouth||½||½||Hewson, B. W.||186||Tiverton|
|2||Abbott M. V.||170||Exmouth||1||0||Annetts, I.S.||156||Tiverton|
|3||Wensley, O. E.||165||Exmouth||½||½||Keen, C||155||Exeter|
|4||Shaw, M||160||Exmouth||0||1||Duckham, J||155||Tiverton|
|5||Gosling, B. G.||159||Exmouth||½||½||Dobber, P||149||Exeter|
|6||Belt, M||131||Exmouth||1||0||Marjoram, W.||148||Exeter|
|7||Scott, C. J.||130||Exmouth||½||½||Atkins, K. P.||148||Tiverton|
|8||Jones, R. H.||131||Exmouth||½||½||Body, G||147||Exeter|
|9||Palmer, E||125||Exmouth||1||0||Waley, J||132||Exeter|
|10||Hodge, F. R.||122||Exmouth||0||1||Amos, J||130||Exeter|
|12||Ebanks, O||105||Exmouth||0||1||Maloney, J||120||Exeter|
|13||Blake, S||100||Exmouth||1||0||Scholes, R||114||Exeter|
|14||Porter, L||88||Seaton||0||1||Thomson, D||114||Exeter|
|15||Haines, M||88||Seaton||1||0||Maynard, A||100||Tiverton|
|16||Trott, T||92||Ex. Juniors||1||0||Aldwin, B||98||Tiverton|
|17||Whittington, R.||85||Ex. Juniors||1||0||Murray, T||80|
|18||Susevee, Greg||84||Sidmouth||1||0||Finch, T.||64|
In recent years this event has been combined with the presentation of trophies to teams who have won their leagues during the season. This year it was decided to hold that back until the AGM in September. However, one presentation was made; this was by Devon’s match captain, Brian Hewson, to his Player of the Year, Mark Abbott, who had won all his 5 games for the county during the season. As neither would be at Devon’s AGM on the following Friday, it seemed appropriate to take this opportunity.