OUR one team in the Kent League, division 2, have qualified unbeaten top of their regional section and now have a home semi-final against the runners up from metropolitan Kent, as yet undecided. Although somewhat surprised when opponents Tunbridge Wells turned out a Grandmaster on top board our team rallied and won through by 3½-2½. Wins from Bob Elliston, captain Ray Brooks, and Mel Young; a draw from Paul Kelly; Howard Tebbs and Jim Wheeler lost.
As expected our first team in the Mid-Sussex League failed to regain the title, which we last held in 2010/11. We would have had to beat Brighton & Hove in our last match of the season by at least 4-1, which was always a tall order. The match petered out all square at 2½-2½: Francis Rayner won for us on top board, John Sugden, Howard Tebbs and Andrew Fleming all drew, Paul Kelly lost.
A brace of wins by our third team in Mid-Sussex division 2, and it looks as if we will finish third in the division, just outside the promotion slots: although unbeaten there were too many early season drawn matches. First they overcame Horsham thirds 3-2: Andrew Fleming and Derek Cosens won, Steve Blewitt and Jim Wheeler drew, Laurence Butt lost. And then a whitewash of a totally outgunned Worthing thirds: our scorers in the 5-0 win were Andrew Fleming, Steve Blewitt, Laurence Butt, Daniel Lowe and Robert Smart.
The Club Championship goes to the wire: Francis Rayner is +5 with one to play, Bernard Cafferty +4 with two to play - and their last game will be against each other.
The second division Pelton Cup has a way to go yet but is narrowing down to a two-horse race: Club Secretary Ken Lucas on +5 and Club Junior Officer Mason Woodhams on +3.
Finally, the third division Rush Cup is wide open still: Gregory Chandler and George Jelliss are both +3, with Umberto Jozwiak and Roy Richardson +2.