A win and a draw from Gareth and Mark respectively wasn’t enough to earn Cumnor any points last Thursday night when Magdalen College School came to town. In our previous fixture MCS ran out 6-0 winners so at least this result looks a little more respectable.
MCS are currently 2nd in the table battling it out with University 2 and Banbury 1 for the title. Their team contained may seasoned players and they did outgrade us on every board. Marc was out graded by 59 points and it was no coincidence that our 1.5 points came from our closest matched games. However, the difference was still 26 grading points for Gareth and 25 for Mark, so it is quite an achievement.
Our following game was an away match against Oxford City 1 in the second round of the Frank Woods Shield. Last season Cumnor 1 took on Oxford City 1 in the same round and lost the match in an exciting game which you can read about here. City 1 went on to win the cup by beating Cowley 2 4-2 in the final and will be looking to win the cup again this year for the third time in a row.
So hoping for some “magic of the cup” 6 fearless Cumnor players went to the St. Margaret’s Institute on Polstead Road on Monday evening. Due to the handicap arrangement in the cup City needed to win by at least 4-2 to go through, anything less Cumnor would get into the third round and have a game against Cowley 1.
The match was closer than the result may appear. Daniel had a excellent result and then though I didn’t see the game Gareth who was sat nearby said Daniel created a passed pawn which won him the game. Both Simon and my games where close, Simon’s in particular was tight with some drawing lines. Gareth’s also had chances, when I went over to watch the game Gareth had 12 minutes to Christian’s 2 in a pretty complicated endgame but it was Christian created the most aggressive lines and Gareth went on to lose on time.
The result means Cumnor 1’s dream of winning the cup will have to wait for next year when hopefully the draw might be a little kinder.