Ipswich are Suffolk Champions

After a three-year reign, Bury St Edmunds were deposed yesterday by Ipswich, who beat them 4 – 2 in the final match of this year’s Norfolk & Suffolk Cup, to determine Suffolk’s representative to face the Norfolk champion club.

This season, for the first time in many years, three clubs were competing for the title.   Manningtree had already drawn both their matches against Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich, so this match was the decider.   Another draw would have caused a large headache for the Competitions Secretary, but from early on in the match, it looked as if things were swinging Ipswich’s way, with both Mark Le-Vine and John Peters dropping a pawn in the opening.

The first to finish was the top board, with Graham Moore and Mike Harris sharing the spoils.   But Chris Davison on Board 3 gave Bury some hope when Ian Wallis blundered and resigned.   The third game to finish restored equality, when Nick Savage overcame John Peters‘ stiff resistance.

Although Ed Player managed to survive with a draw on Board 2 against Shaun Munson, the other two games were won by Ipswich.   The full result was as follows (Bury St Edmunds first):

1   Mike Harris (214)   ½ – ½   Graham Moore (193)
2   Ed Player (205)   ½ – ½   Shaun Munson (193)
3   Chris Davison (190)   1 – 0   Ian Wallis (188)
4   Mark Le-Vine (182)   0 – 1   Silas Peck (186)
5   John Peters (175)   0 – 1   Nick Savage (186)
6   Jon Collins (162)   0 – 1   Steve Gregory (186)

The average grade of each team was very close: 188.0 (Bury) and 188.7 (Ipswich), but Ipswich’s strength in depth told at the end.

Ipswich will now face a home match against the Norfolk Champions, which will be either Broadland or Fakenham.   They will be playing their final match on 4 April, so the Grand Final will probably not be held until late April or early May.

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