The draw for the 2014/15 Frank Woods Shield (FWS) was not particularly kind for Cumnor 1. Our first game was against Witney 1, currently the Champions of the Oxfordshire Leagues and winners of the Sheild twice in the last 3 years. However, we took them on and won! Well, technically it was a draw but the FWS is a handicap competition and we only needed to “lose” 2.5-3.5 to get into the next round. It was a spectacular result and for the match report please click here.At least it couldn’t get any harder we said, how wrong we could be. The next round was against Oxford City 1, they are second in the top division with an arguably stronger set of players than Witney 1 to call from! The best analogy I have, is getting Chelsea in the first round of the FA cup beating them only to be “rewarded” in the next round by playing Manchester City and sadly we don’t get the TV money.
Nevertheless the team was in a confident mood for the match which took place at Cumnor on Thursday evening. Again like the first round, we only needed to “lose” 2.5-3.5 to get through or another way of putting it was we only need a draw and 2 wins out of the 6 boards (or better).
The first game to finish was Daniel’s game. An early kingside attack by Sean Terry put Daniel’s King under some pressure and he had to resign. Gareth went an exchange down but his Knight was well placed when entering the endgame meaning Philip Hayward did not have enough to win and the draw was agreed. Phillip even said he thought Gareth was better!
Mark pulled off the first shock of the night as he set up astonishing Queen sac which Lief Dixon missed. Mark never got to sac the Queen as Leif resigned once he spotted it. The pressure was all of a sudden on Cumnor, 1 more point from the remaining 3 games would take us over the finish line and into the next round.My (Liams) opponent spent a large chunk of his time in the early midgame, the result was by move 25, with much more of the game remaining than had past and just as Marks game finished, Christian only had 5 minutes left while I had 45 minutes. The seconds lapsed by and I had to decide whether I could play well enough to make him slip up in time trouble or keep him at bay until his clock fell. As the seconds ticked by he opened the game, promoted his Pawns into Queens and checkmated me with only 7 seconds left. It was something like out of a James Bond film!
I will be honest I was concentrating on my game so much I did not see much of Simon’s and Zoe’s but both made their opponents work exceptionally hard so beat them.
The tie finished 1.5-4.5, a commendable result against such a strong team but sadly not enough to get us into the next round. Congratulations to City 1 as they are head into the next round with a game against Cowley 2 and I would not be surprised if the Sheild has City 1’s name on it come May.
As Simon summed it up best “Ahh well, that’s what makes sport great – there is no script. An interesting night and I learned a lot.”
A thanks goes to Sean Terry who took the pictures.