Team Captain Murray Smith reports on the final match of the Dyfed League.

It’s the last round of the 2022-23 Dyfed League and the two joint league leaders – Aberystwyth Town and Pembrokeshire – are to battle it out for the title with Town needing to win the match because a draw would see Pembs take the title under the tiebreak rules. Our previous encounter with Pembrokeshire was an online stoush in March where we fought to a 2-2 draw, despite us outrating our opponents by over 300 rating points apiece on boards 2-4. The situation going into this match saw Pembrokeshire bolster their team on board 4 with Admire Sikipa (1608), so our 300+ rating advantage now rested with boards 2 and 3. The deliberations going into the match were to count board 2 Luis Sanchez (1927) and board 3 Adam Watkin-Jones (1918) as contributing two full points, meaning that Peter Windows (1651) or Murray Smith (2205) had to contribute between them one half-point for Town to clinch the title. Not as easy it might sound for the league’s best player Alexis Harakis (2318) was on board 1 for Pembs and on board 4 our man Peter had been struggling with playing form throughout the season. Somewhat prescient though was our first reserve Matthew Francis (1604) who when we stopped off to collect boards and clocks from him on the way to the match (yes, it’s a Dyfed thing for the home team to travel 30+ miles to the Emlyn Café to play rather than actually play at home) demanded 4-0 Town! In the end, 3.5-0.5 Town – we are the champions!

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