The League computer, by a twist of fate, gave matches to both our D and F teams on the Thursday before Easter, making any holiday absences harder to fix because of the clash. Lo and behold, they have done it again on the Tuesday after Easter! Strange, but also an undoubted pain in the neck.
It meant that when we were faced with last minute unavailability it was nigh on impossible to find a replacement. Enter, stage right, John Stubbs for his debut match. In fact South Bristol were also unable to field their strongest six and on paper, at least, we out-graded them.
Roy Day had beaten no less than Stuart Iles the week before when Stuart opened g4 so he decided to try it out against me. It didn't really work and soon the writing was on the wall but not all over before Richard had swiftly dispatched Ed. Two nil up and no worries on any of the other boards.
Oli was looking good with a pawn advantage when Richard and I took a breather downstairs. By the time we returned Oli had clinched the third point. Then James agreed a draw in a game which, from the post mortem, was easily the most interesting of the night. Nigel also took a half point, which made it 4-1 with just John still playing, a pawn or two down in the ending.
It became Rook and four versus Rook and six but John was sure to snaffle the a pawn and was able to keep his Rook on the seventh rank, denying White the use of his King. But he was down to his last ten minutes with not quite enough time to find all the best moves. Nevertheless it was a fine effort and one which should give him the appetite to become a regular player.
With this win we maintain the pressure on Clevedon B. Can we sustain it next Tuesday at Yate, though?