The first match of 2018 for Clitheroe chess club was an A team game against Rossendale A at home at the Swan and Royal hotel.
Once again Clitheroe were unable to field their strongest side against Rossendale which has county standard players.
The first game to finish was on board four where Eric Mansfield achieved a draw. This was followed by another draw on board three for Keith Melling. The next game to finish was on board two where Phil Titterington lost. On board five John Moxham was a piece down in a difficult position and he too ended up losing. On board one David Talbot put up sterling resistance to the onslaught from Rossendale's top player but he eventually lost material and the game.
The final result was Clitheroe A 1, Rossendale A 4.
Clitheroe A team travelled to Blackburn to face Crusaders A for their next fixture in the East Lancashire Chess League. Still without any points to their name and knowing that Crusaders have several very good players there seemed to be little chance of the Clitheroe team breaking their duck this time.
The match began well for Clitheroe when the first game to finish ended in victory for Eric Mansfield on board five. Keith Melling then secured a draw on board three. The three remaining games appeared finely balanced though John Moxham was in some difficulty on board four. Phil Titterington drew his game on board two and David Talbot followed with an excellent draw on board one. At this point team captain Phil was celebrating the certainly of Clitheroe winning their first point of the season. Meanwhile John was fighting back to parity on board four. He not only achieved it but went on to defeat his opponent making the final score Crusaders A 1.5 Clitheroe A 3.5.
Although the score suggests an emphatic victory it was in fact a hard fought one. It also put broad smiles the faces of the Clitheroe team.