Report by captain Andrew Medworth
This evening, Hendon 4 played our final match of the season, at home against Ealing 1. The result was a 6-2 defeat.
|Hendon 4||Hendon 4||Ealing 1||Ealing 1|
|1||Stembridge, Ed||167||0 - 1||Perkins, Alan H||198|
|2||Leslie, Alex||167||0 - 1||Quinn, John M||190|
|3||Amior, David||160||½ - ½||Santos, Joao||169|
|4||Medworth, Andrew||141||0 - 1||Joslin, Tim M||164|
|5||Murphy, Nick||136||1 - 0||Healeas, Simon||149|
|6||Pepe, Salvatore||136||0 - 1||Obihara, Jason||143|
|7||Kapur, Gul||117||0 - 1||Winterbotham, Mark||143|
|8||Napolitano, Domenico N||109||½ - ½||Johnstone, Alastair G||137|
|2 - 6|
We were outgraded on all boards, by over 20 points on average, and our opponents will most likely be the winners of Division 2, so this outcome was no surprise. The early results all went against us, with only David Amior getting a draw by repetition on Board 3 next to me, and our opponents had the 4½ points they needed fairly early.
Domenico managed a creditable draw on Board 8, but we lost everywhere else, until Nick Murphy restored some pride for Hendon with a nice victory in a long game on Board 5. Gul’s position looked fine for a while in a minor piece ending, but eventually his opponent got his bishop pair into his position and won several pawns.
Many thanks to the team for playing! Congratulations to Nick, David and Domenico on good results against strong opponents, and particular thanks to Gul and Nick for helping me set up and put things away afterwards.
Hendon 4 have now played all our matches for this season. We have finished with 5½ match points out of 14 (five match wins, one draw and eight defeats), and 55½ game points out of 112 (35 wins, 21 draws, 46 losses and 10 walkovers).
By my calculations, this should definitely be enough to avoid finishing in the two relegation places in Division 2: Muswell Hill 2 have just 1½ match points and have no more matches to play, and Hammersmith 2 are on 3½ with two matches left and 28 fewer game points than us, so even if they win both their remaining matches 8-0 (which is very unlikely), they still cannot catch us.
However, the final outcome of Hendon 4’s season is not entirely in our hands, because unfortunately Hendon 2 are virtually certain to finish in the Division 1 relegation places, and Hendon 3 are fairly unlikely to make the promotion places in Division 2. Therefore, since League rules do not allow a single club to have more than two teams in the same Division, it is sadly possible that Hendon 4 will have to play in Division 3 next season anyway.
This outcome is not certain, as there are still several matches left to be played, including two critical Hendon 3 matches, and historically, I believe some Division 2 teams have asked for (and been granted) permission not to be promoted, because of the large gap in strength between Divisions 1 and 2.
I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has played for or otherwise supported Hendon 4 this season!