After wins against Newton Abbot and Tiverton, and a streaky draw against Exeter, Exmouth went into their last match knowing that even a narrow loss would leave them 1st= on match points, while even a draw would make them champions again. As the teams assembled at Teignmouth’s venue, the Alice Cross Day Centre, there was nervous banter between the players, with some mention of the possible odds on a 6-0 win for Exmouth, but this was only gallows humour from some of the home team; Exmouth were taking nothing for granted.
The only presumption was to be taking a team photograph with the cup, but this was only because it was probably the only time the team would all be present in the same place at the same time. Naturally, it wouldn’t be used if Exmouth lost the match. To keep things even-handed, a team photo was taken of the Teignmouth team as well. (see below).
As the match got under way, a win seemed some way off, as Ingham & Underwood played a quick draw and went off to do other things, while Wensley, otherwise the in-form player, went a piece down against the dangerous Bramley, and there were no discernable advantages to Exmouth in the other 4 games – at that point. Nor could Gosling make any headway against Prior and a draw was agreed. So where was a won game, let alone a won match coming from? However, after 3+ hours play, games 3 to 5 all went the visitors’ way in rapid succession, as grades and experience told in the long run. Wensley recovered his piece and won with Q+R on the 7th rank. Martin was able to pick up pawns in the endgame and broke through, while Scott forced a series of errors from his opponent. With the match won, it left Stephens and Brusey playing for pride, neither willing to concede anything. They played an endgame right through to the last minutes of extra time, until Brusey’s flag fell in a losing position, while Stephens had about 3 minutes left.
A 5-1 result was about what one might expect, looking at the team sheets, but it was mighty hard work getting there.
|1||Alan W. Brusey||176||0||1||John K. Stephens||196|
|2||H. Bill Ingham||168||½||½||Jon Underwood||180|
|3||Norman F. Tidy||127||0||1||Steve Martin||175|
|4||Graham Bramley||117||0||1||Oliver E. Wensley||151|
|5||John Ariss||117||0||1||Chris J. Scott||154|
|6||Mike T. Prior||116||½||½||Brian G. Gosling||148|
The final table was as follows:-
|Bremridge Cup Div. 1: 2015||Game points|
|▼players. Rd ►||1||2||3||4|