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Muldoons 1's lead narrows, but is it too late?

(B&D League 2017/18 Week 12) Division 1 leaders prevailed in a tight match with Ballynafeigh 1 as second-placed Strand 2 easily saw off The A Team.

Division 1

 

  • Muldoons 1 3-2 Ballynafeigh 1
  • Civil Service 4-1 Ballynafeigh 2
  • Strand 2 4.5-0.5 The A Team

 

Muldoons 1 maintained their 100% match record for the season, albeit narrowly, as they defeated reigning Silver King holders Ballynafeigh 1. David Houston and Steve Scannell, with 12 Ulster Championships between them, delivered two points from the top two boards for the visitors, but it was a different story on the remaining boards as Gareth Annesley, Stephen Wood and Danny Mallaghan secured the bonus points for the Corporation Square side. Their lead was cut to 11 points, though, as Strand 2 steamrolled The A Team. On paper it looked evenly matched, with Strand 2 rated just 41 points higher on average. But Strand 2 know better than any other team that chess is generally not played on paper, as they performed well above their ratings - yet again - to brush aside the opposition in a 4.5-0.5 victory. Ross Harris, Michael Sheerin and the Zelenchuks all won, with only Brendan Jamison's draw against Graeme McCormick spoiling the whitewash. It wasn't all bad news for The A Team, though, as unavailability of key players is becoming an issue for wooden spoon rivals Ballynafeigh 2 - they could only field three players in their 4-1 defeat by Civil Service.

Strand 1, who were not in action this week, are 18.5 points behind, but with two matches in hand and a slightly easier run-in they aren't out of the Silver King hunt just yet.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Muldoons 1 9 51.5
Strand 2 9 40.5
Strand 1 7 33
Civil Service 9 32
Ballynafeigh 1 7 25
Ballynafeigh 2 8 11.5
The A Team 9 9.5

Division 2/3/4

 

  • (Division 4) Strand 3 3-2 Ballynafeigh 4

 

The post-split action commenced this week with a win for Division 4 leaders Strand 3 against Ballynafeigh 4. In an evenly-balanced match, Rhys McLean and James Wong defeated Ronan Fitzsimons and Andy Boal respectively. Billy Jackson claimed a win for the visitors against Adam Rushe, while the top two boards, PJ Mallon vs David Seaby and Adrian Dornford-Smith against John Price, were both drawn. Strand 3's lead now stands at 12.5 points.

Standings

Division 2PlayedPointsDivision 3PlayedPointsDivision 4PlayedPoints
Kelly's Heroes 8 43 Strand 4 8 30.5 Strand 3 9 27.5
Bangor 8 39.5 Fruithill 8 30 Ballynafeigh 4 9 15
Muldoons 2 8 39 Ballynafeigh 3 8 29 Fruithill Ravens 8 4.5