Joe Hirst, Dylan Cooper and Isaac Stanley have all featured for Blackburn's Rovers in the Junior 4NCL played on Thursdays with a 6 pm start, with each match involving two games for each team member. Before tonight's effort the Rovers had accumulated 8 points from the 5 rounds, having missed round 1. Joe so far has appeared just once, Dylan and Isaac have been ever-present though Dylan's opponent did not show in one match. All have a 100% record.
A win at last!
The F team gave the club a first win for several weeks with both Dylans and Martyn getting victories against Crewe G. The recent refrain of loss hasn't been banished though as the B team went down to Macclesfield despite a win from Barry and draws by Alan and Nic.
Newcastle crashed out of two cup competitions at the hands of Cheddleton on Friday, with Joe being our sole winner in the Open, and Hambel drawing in the same match and Nic and Dylan C in the Intermediate Cup.
The B team went down to Cheddleton B on Friday, with Alan, Joe and John all drawing.
Friday was marginally less bad than Monday, with the A team going down ½ - 4½ against Cheddleton A - Hambel drew - and the D losing 1 - 3 to Cheddleton D with John and Raj drawing. The midweek Withnall Cup match at Stafford was conceded.
Whilst the mini was in progress Alex and Sam were busy scoring 2½ each at the Bristol Winter Open.
The E team were whitewashed by Crewe F on Monday. 'Nuff said.
Newcastle made easy progress into the Gothard Cup final, with Lichfield conceding the semi-final match.
Dylans for F
The F team just fell short of getting a point at Meir D with Dylan W winning and Dylan C drawing.
Newcastle v Cheddleton in 3
Friday night saw two third division Newcastle-Cheddleton clashes at the Bridge Club, with our C beating their D thanks to wins from Alan, Hambel and Nic and a draw from Alberto, and our D holding their three man C with Pete and Paul both drawing.
County Cup Matches
Newcastle dates for the County Cups:
Gothard (U161) Lichfield, away, 13th Feb
Jackson (U141) Lichfield, away, 12th Mar
Withnall (U121) Stafford, away, 20th Feb
Three current mambers and old boy James Rothwell participated in the Frodsham Congress over the weekend. Sam and James were gluttons for punishment, playing in the pen section and getting punished. Chris scored 3 in the U160 and Dylan 2 in the U120.
The E team beat Meir C last night with Alberto and Raj winning and Dylan getting the important draw.
3 Draws not enough
The D team came back from their visit to Cheddleton C last night with three draws from John, Alberto and Paul, but this was not enough to gain a match point.
B beat (Fenton) B
The B team emerged narrow winners at Fenton on Monday, with wins for Sam and Alberto, draws for Alan and Nic.
Fun with F
There was an invasion of juniors as the F team took on Cheddleton H in division 6 over 7 boards on Friday. When the dust had settled it was revealed that Dylan Cooper and Isaac had won and Devansh Drawn.
A down at Chapel, C beat D
Barry won and Alan drew as the A team went down to defeat at Holmes Chapel on Thursday. Next day the C team got revenge for their early season defeat against the D team, with Hambel and Alberto winning for the C team and Chris drawing with Alan, Paul with Nic.
The B team struggled against the resistance provided by the Rooks, with Alan and Chris winning and Nic drawing to achieve a amtch tie.
Bashing the Bishops
Alan, Richard and Alberto all won as the C team picked up two points against the Bishops last night.
Point for E too
The E team also started 2020 with a draw, in their case against Cheddleton G thanks to a win from Ethan and draws from Alberto and Pete.
Dylan came joint second in the minor section at the Shropshire Congress in Telford with a score of 4/5. Joe and Sam both reached 50% in the major section, slightly ahead of former Newcastle member Simon Maydew. Alex and Chris found the going tougher in the Open.
Point for D
The D team picked up their first point of the new year through a draw with Alsager A at the Bridge Club on Friday. Chris and John drew and Alberto won.
4NCL Online Congress
This weekend sees the first 4NCL Online Congress. Entries close Thursday, and so far include Sam Turner in the Open and David Hulme and Karl Lockett in the U2000. I suspect it will be possible to follow games online in the same manner as for the 4NCL Online.
Lawrence Cooper has been spied turning out for Wood Geen Youth in division 2 of the 4NCL online, and also not turning out for Wood Green Monarchs in division 1 (not turning out because the Monarch's opponents had withdrawn).
Third Point for Crewe
Crewe picked up a third point in the last of the round robin games in the 4NCL. The remaining 3 matches of the season will be against pre-selected opposition chosen so as to nominally similar in strength, though I doubt the reality will match the plan.
Also playing ...
There was another round of 4NCL Online matches this week, in which I spotted Jonathan Blackburn turning out for West is Best in division one. Back in division 3 Crewe fell short in a tough match against Milton Keynes.
Crewe Off Mark
Crewe picked up their first points in the 4NCL online league with a 3 - 1 win over Horsham, with Amy Lovatt, Karl Lockett, Rick Renegade and Neville Layhe forming the team. Names also spotted amongst literally hundreds of participants were Steve Whatmore and Matthew Carr for Rugeley in division 5 and Sam Parry for Manchester Juniors A in division 4. Longer standing Newcastle members may wish to follow the progress of James Rothwell (Atticus B) and Simon Maydew (Shropshire 3), both in division 4.
Games can be followed live on Tuesday evenings and can most easily be found by visiting the 4NCL website shortly before play and picking the appropriate division and round. A full draw will appear, with a link for each game. Note that those links disappear once a game is completed, so finding the game later will be harder unless you keep a copy of the link.
Crewe have entered the 4NCL online, being awarded the status of one of the lower seeded teams in division 3 (of 5). In the first round they lost 1½ - 2½ to Warley Mighty Quins, in the second 1 - 3 to Falmouth, though looking through the first round games they must have fancied their chances until late on - I suspect time trouble.
There was plenty of North Staffs interest in the Blackpool Congress over the weekend, with with Dave Price and Malcolm Roberts being our top scorers with 3½/5 in the Minor corresponding to a poition of 4th= overall, a section in which Les Hall also scored 3.
In the Major Joe Hirst scored 3, Sam Turner 2, alongside Newcastle old boy James Rothwell, and Andy Raeburn 1½.
In the Standard sction Lukasz Michalek scored 3 and Philip Wright 2½. Intermediate players Doug Barnett, Jon and Sandra Blackburn and Simon Layhe all had relatively modest performances.
I've spotted 3 North staffs players in the Birmingham rapidplay results, with Dylan Whitney joint winner of the Minor with 6/7, with Andrew Mowat and Chris Hankey both on 3½ in their respective sections of Intermediate and Major.
Petru Floresc and Harry Gardiner shared first spot in the U160 section of the Mini with 3½/5, with Chris Hankey on 3.
Lukasz Michalek and Julian Hawthorne both reached 4 in the U130 to tie top in that section, with Steve Emmerton and Rick Renegade sharing the bronze medal on 3.
Joseph Bussell achieved a perfect 5 in the U100s, with Oliver Davies, Isaac Stanley, Lee Tilton and Jay Swann in the pile up behind on 3½
Mini Day One
At the end of day one, the U160 section is very much up for grabs, with Chris Hankey and Jon Blackburn leading on 2, a half point clear of Petru Floresc, Harry Gardiner and Doug Barnett.
Sunday for the U130s starts with a clash between Julian Hawthorne and Steve Emmerton, both on 100%, with Lukasz Michalek and Rick Renegade hoping to close from a point back.
Joseph Bussell in the U100s also has 100%, with Oliver Davies, Isaac Stanley, Lee Tilton and Philip Wright all within easy striking distance with scores of 2½. With four more players on 2, like the U160s this section could have a blanket finish.
Alongside the Newcastle interest mentioned left Andrew Raeburn scored 3/5 in the Open whilst in the U160 Geoff Laurence scored 3½, with Julian Hawthorne and Michael Lee on 2½ and Doug Barnett a little lower down.
In the U120s Dave Price scored 3½, George Jelliss 2½ and Les Hall and Philip Wright 2.
The Shropshire Congress took place over the weekend at Telford. Newcastle results can be found in the left hand news column.
Julian Hawthorne scored 2½/5 in the Intermediate section, just ahead of Derek Whitehurst and Les Fancourt, with stuart Hull a little further back. In the Minor Martin Chadwick scored an above average 3.