21st Century – To Today ---- Down but Not Out !!

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After a difficult 1990's , St James continued on the slippery slope down

into the 21st century. We had retained a few of our very strong players though

and in typical St James fashion, after last year's relegation, we bounced back

once again to Division 1 with promotion in 2000/01. Even more impressively

we performed well above our level with a mid table D1 finish in 01/02. The D1

team were now an unusual mix of 3 very strong D1 players on the top 3 boards

with 3 players below D1 standard desperately trying to draw games on boards

4 to 6. The strain really started to tell in the following season and after losing

the first 3 matches, we all agreed to withdraw the team. The unfortunate but

understandable consequence of this was to lose the top 3 players to other clubs.

Off the board, finances were also straining due to low numbers. Even though

Austin Rover room rent had reduced to £10 / week, we were still losing money.

In 2005, Steve Shaw managed to negotiate us a great deal for us to return back

to the Greenlands Social Club. They gave us the offer to have use of a nice room

(Ideal for our smaller sized club) upstairs on a Tuesday night. This could also

be Free of charge provided we became their chess club. The chance was a lifeline that

we could not refuse and so St James Chess Club became Greenlands Chess Club.

Here we go again, ---- Another hop back over Longbridge Lane !!

We had now left most of our superstars well in the past and were now a much smaller

club of around 15 member mainly made up of average to good loyal players, most of

whom had been at the club for many years. We could still just about run two Birmingham

League teams in D3 & D6 and also a couple of teams in the Worcestershire Leagues.

In 2008/9 we won D3 and strenghened the team for the challenge of D2 to finish

mid table the next season.

In 2010/11 we finished equal second bottom of D2 with Bushbury's 2nd team.

This led to a very unusual play off situation, both clubs wanted to default in order to be relegated to D3. BDCL officials gave up after losing a few more hairs and agreed for both

teams to play D3 the following season !! This has been very much justified in  subsequent years with both yo-yoing between D5 & D4. (Note : Bushbury's 1st team have remained in the top division). 

We managed to run two BDCL teams until we had to discontinue the D6 team in 2013.

To finish off the past history, it's only fair to mention the following memorial trophies won

by the club :

ST JAMES :

Frank H Terrill 75/6 (D7 team), 76/7 (D4 team), 77/8 (D3 team)

Dudley M Townsend 74/5 (D8 team), 75/6 (D7 team), 76/7 (D7 team)

85/6 (D8 team), 92/3 (D6 team)

And Finally, a one and only GREENLANDS trophy :

Jim Barrington 2014/15             YAY , GO GREENLANDS  !!!!

             

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