For no other reason than to convey the epic nature of its content today’s report is provided in Homeric style.
Like the Acheans flocking to the walls of Troy in ancient days,
So Keighley’s chess players fell on Hebden Bridge with minds ablaze.
They’d test the mettle of their neighbour’s will
And were hell-bent on seeing that their blood would spill.
Ten versus ten across the Trades Club were they ranged,
Some one-time colleagues now in enmity estranged.
Head to head and toe to toe did their assorted might
Now gird their loins and steel their wills to take to fight.
Pete Rawlings like th’enraged Achilles drew first blood
His enemy’s defences not as stubborn as they should.
How desperately his club mates need his services next season.
Will he sally from his tent or hold his reason?
His Myrmidon colleagues for an ending to his exile now do pray
Without him they are surely weaker for the fray.
Despite the clarion of their talisman’s tumescent start
Hebden’s lower orders promptly fell apart.
Dan Crampton valiantly launched a vigourous attack
But lost when his resolute opponent pushed him back,
And Ray Deraverairere lost his head so early
He dropped a knight and skulked off looking surly.
As Zeus on Mount Olympus, kibbitizing Matthew Parsons now observed,
How Hebden’s stubborn forces their integrity preserved.
For as the melee ebbed and flowed like wind-blown sand
They artfully and determinedly gained the upper hand.
First Josh Blinkhorn did like fearsome Ajax smite his foe,
Decapitating him with one great and mighty blow.
Thence Terry Sullivan bearing loyal Hector’s grave resolve
Did his game with some equanimty dissolve.
Andy Leatherbarrow (as once did wily Odysseus) schemed and plotted
Meantime Al Wright’s pieces became fused and knotted.
Precision blows upon his hapless foe did our Odysseus rain
Sending him reeling from the fight in shock and pain
A third win in succession shortly followed on
As Martin Syrett’s double knight and pawns ending technique shone.
Then came the final and conclusive torrent
To which the onlooking John Kerrane like Agememnon gave his warrant.
Labouring as did Hercules to cleanse the Augean stable
Nick Sykes fought on and on with rook and pawn to hold his table.
Whilst Dave Sugden did the same with calmly calculated plot
Just as Paris held his pulse to loose his fabled shot.
At battle’s end one final loss would Hebden suffer
Remorsefully Dave Shapland wished that his resolve was tougher.
He mourned like noble Priam for his hurtful loss
Though by his fortitude was his skilled adversary’s victory given gloss.
And all the while aloof from all the furious battle cries
Pete Leonard and Matt Parsons sought each other’s mutual demise.
For Bridestones honour they engaged in mortal struggle
‘Til Pete cracked and the yet unbeaten Parsons burst his bubble.
The deeds of brave souls on all sides did do Ares honour
As battered, bruised and weary they staggered from the clamour
To bind their wounds and mourn their fallen dead,
Until the next time they go head to head.”
Not quite iambic pentameter but there you are. The final match scorecard looked like this:
Hebden Bridge vs. Keighley
A.Leatherbarrow 1 – 0 A.Wright (W)
N. Sykes ½ – ½ R.Zaidman
D.Shapland 0 – 1 D.Dufton
J.Blinkhorn 1 – 0 M.Cunningham
D.Sugden ½ – ½ M.Bray
M.Syrett 1 – 0 I.Goater
T.Sullivan ½ – ½ F.Wrigglesworth
P.Rawlings 1 – 0 J.Byers
R.Deravairere 0 – 1 C.Watson
D.Crampton 0 – 1 J.Douglas
5½ – 4½
All games described in this poetic match report can be found in the game viewer below.