KJCA are very keen for their juniors to continue getting Division 2 experience so it was only natural that they should bring in two GMs for their final matches in the relegation pool. From the outset this gave us a huge mountain to climb and left the suspicion that we would be looking for our two wins from the Sunday and Monday rounds.
Steve made sure of avoiding a whitewash with a careful draw after about an hour, but by that time Chris was looking shaky having mixed two lines of the Dutch allowing Chris Ward a powerful g4 break, and David's game against Emms was also tricky. Other boards had decent chances but nothing really very clear cut.
Once Chris had thrown in the towel things started to get very much worse. Martin lost and Max had to give up a piece, then Daniel went astray in a favourable position, losing a pawn and we were playing for honour only. It was not to be had though, as Nigel drew a promising position and Jerry found a combination to avoid losing a piece for a draw but missing a clear win. We then had to wait an hour or so for David to try and save a Rook ending a pawn down, which eventually proved too hard.
So not a particularly surprising result but still leaving a long way to go.
In the evening we trooped off to the Beefeater by the station where we were surprised to be told it was fully booked, despite obvious signs to the contrary. However we managed to navigate our way along Telford's pedestrian-unfriendly roads to a Wetherspoons by the name of Thomas Botfield, a local industrialist who built an estate in Telford in the 1790s.