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Strand 1 start 2019 well as league returns from break

(B&D League 2018/19 Week 9) Strand 1 extend their lead, while Northern Lights pull away in the Strawbridge Cup race and QUB 3 are finally beaten.

Division 1

  • Civil Service 2.5-2.5 Ballynafeigh 2
  • QUB 1 1.5-3.5 Fruithill Hawks
  • Strand 1 3.5-1.5 Kelly's Heroes

 

With title rivals Ballynafeigh 1 not in action this week, league leaders Strand 1 had a chance to extend their lead. Despite being without Daniil Zelenchuk and Calum Leitch, that's exactly what they did as they beast Kelly's Heroes. Wins from Brendan Jamison, Modestas Razbadauskas and Michael Sheerin secured the bonus points, while David Hill drew with John Bryars and Gareth Annesley won for the visitor against Ross Harris. The bottom two sides drew at Stormont as Civil Service faced Ballynafeigh 2. John O'Doherty secured a quick win over Paul McGuigan, while David Jackson and Chris Kelly shared the point. Mark Newman beat Paul McNaughton, while time trouble was a factor in the two remaining games. David Blair had what appeared to be a commanding position against Robert Lavery, while Eoin Carey was a rook up at one stage against Danny Roberts; however, those games eventually swung the other way as time pressure took its toll. QUB 1 were a player short against the Fruithill Hawks, and fell to defeat as Ryszard Kaczorowski achieved the only decisive result of the match by defeating Samuel Ngieng.

Division 2

  • Northern Lights 5-0 QUB 2
  • Fruithill Falcons 3.5-1.5 Bangor 1
  • The B Team 1-4 Strand 2

 

Northern Lights stretched their lead with a whitewash of nearest rivals QUB 2. The home side fielded the strongest Division 2 line-up of the season thus far (Pilkiewicz/S. Wood/Gould/Donaghy/J. Wood), with an average rating of over 1600, and swept the students aside with ease. The Fruithill Falcons claimed their first win of the season against Bangor 1. They were helped by the fact that the visitors were a player short, but Sean Linton and Frank Carrothers both put in fine performances to defeat higher-rated opposition, while Neil Fisher drew with Sam Moore and Mark Seidman won for the visitors against Kevin Agnew. Strand 2 beat The B Team thanks in part to a couple of excellent performances from their lower boards. On board 4, Jake Patterson (1261) defeated Cathal Murphy (1365), while on board 5 James Wong (1102) claimed the upset of the week by beating Norman McFarland (1376).

Division 3

  • Ballynafeigh 4 3-2 Fruithill Ravens
  • Ballynafeigh 3 3-2 QUB 3
  • Strand 4 0-5 Bangor 2

 

Leaders QUB 3 were beaten for the first time this season as bottom side Ballynafeigh 3 improved their wooden spoon avoidance chances with a 3-2 win. Vincent O'Brien, James Shaw and Robert Brown secured the bonus points for the home side. Bangor 2 are breathing down their necks after Strand 4 forfeited their match after their top two boards no-showed. The Fruithill Ravens are down to third after losing 3-2 against Ballynafeigh 4. The home side's superior strength in depth was the deciding factor as Billy Jackson, Mitch Kee and Andy Boal won on boards 3, 4, and 5 respectively.

Division 1PlayedPointsDivision 2PlayedPointsDivision 3PlayedPoints
Strand 1 7 37.5 Northern Lights 8 42 QUB 3 7 37.5
Ballynafeigh 1 6 28 QUB 2 8 34 Bangor 2 7 34
Fruithill Hawks 8 28 Strand 2 7 29 Fruithill Ravens 7 31.5
QUB 1 7 27.5 Bangor 1 8 22 Strand 3 7 25
Kelly's Heroes 8 23 The B Team 8 19.5 Ballynafeigh 4 8 24
Ballynafeigh 2 8 16.5 Fruithill Falcons 7 14.5 Strand 4 8 16.5
Civil Service 7 14.5 Ballynafeigh 3 8 13.5