England call-ups and Telepost top the charts for Christmas

16 members attended the club Christmas Dinner, held at Coleham Tap

Telepost Juniors Rudi and Henry Bedford became international players this month when they were invited to play for North of England against Wales. The event, held in Liverpool, saw North of England win the U12 section by 15 boards to 5 – Rudi scored 2/2 on board three, and Henry 1/2 on board 7 in a double header of matches at 60/10 time control. The boys took part at the invitation of Fide Master Jonathan Blackburn, who had previously done some coaching with Rudi. Congratulations to both!

As the Shropshire League begins its short Christmas break, Telepost A and Telepost B top the charts in Division One and Division Two. Telepost A are three points clear after a draw against title rivals Maddocks A and a 4-1 away win at Shrewsbury. The latter featured a Telepost team that captain Matthew Clark described as probably the youngest A team ever put out by the club – regular team member Fred Bench was joined by reserves Dan Hilditch-Love and Archie Flavell. Meanwhile, Telepost C came agonisingly close to their first points of the season, going down to a 3-2 defeat to Telford A.

Telepost A are also top, and unbeaten, in Rapidplay Division 1. Nigel Ferrington, Nat Paul, Phil Zabrocki and David Hodge have proved an immovable combination thus far, with only 2.5 game points scored against them so far and three whitewash 4-0 wins. In Rapidplay 2, Telepost C opened their account with two draws and a default win over Maddocks, who failed to field a side.

In Division 2, Telepost B are just one point clear at the top after an excellent 4-1 win away to Telford A which also featured three reserve players. Sam Hollands, playing up from Telepost E, drew on top board against Roger Brown while his regular teammate Cesar Pileggi also drew on board four and Nick Holmes, on loan from Telepost C, won on board three. Regular players John Westhead and Steve Wilson rounded out the win. Sam and Cesar’s E team did their hopes of avoiding the drop a world of good with an impressive 4.5-0.5 away win at Oswestry. A win next time out against Telford would see them move out of the relegation places.

The fixtures keep coming thick and fast in Division Three. Church Stretton A, who look like the team to beat, saw off Telepost D 3.5-05 but the D team recovered to secure a draw in a club derby against Telepost F. The F team had moved above the D via a 3-1 win against Telford Junior which included wins for mother-and-son team Paula and Ellis Sharp. Telepost’s Juniors, meanwhile, top both D and F, with a mid-table position after a fine draw against a very experienced Shrewsbury B – Rudi Bedford’s top board win against Ian Davies was particularly notable. The Juniors go into the holiday season level on points with Newport Juniors.

Telepost Dark Knights concluded the latest season of online 4NCL with a draw against North Norfolk Dolphins. The Knights had a respectable mid-table finish in Division 5, with seven points from seven games, including one which they had to default. Shropshire and Friends 1, captained by Oswestry’s Charlie Higgie, have done superbly well to reach the final of Division 1 – their match against Charlton Cobra can be viewed on Lichess on December 19.

Next week will be the last of our Wednesday club nights for now. The numbers attending have not been sufficient to offset the costs for the club manager, so we will be returning to Monday-only meetings. No doubt we can rustle up some fun and, literally, games on the final Wednesday. When we return in the New Year, members are asked to respect the competitive matches taking place and keep noise to a minimum. This will be particularly important on January 8, when we will have three team fixtures on the same night! The Cox and Minor trophies, which used to be held at the end of the season, are now integrated into the main season. In the Cox Trophy, Telepost A and C have unfortunately been drawn against each other and play on the 8th alongside Telepost Juniors who take on Church Stretton in the Minor. With a Division 2 top-of-the-table clash between Telepost B and Maddocks B as well, it will be one of the busiest evenings in recent club history.

Finally, we would like to wish season’s greetings to all our members as we look forward to the New Year and the continued hunt for silverware.

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