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Two Ulster Champions Lead Bangor

"Chess Notes" from County Down Spectator, 06 Nov 2003

Two Ulster Champions Lead Bangor

For the first three weeks of the Ulster League, clubs must commit team-lists now. Bangor are in the fortunate position of having two former Ulster Champions leading their Division One challenge.

Carnegie

Former Ulster Champion and Olympian, Eddie Whiteside leads Carnegie on board 1. Eddie is determined to be more assertive this year. He reckons accepting drawn positions too readily last year explains his small rating improvement, understating his real strength. Mark Newman, James O'Fee, Alan McConnell and Mark Seidman are expected to follow Eddie's example. Recent individual tournament performances have already shown the team's potential. "This year we will be turning advantage into victory" claimed captain Mark Newman.

Groomsport

Captain Richard Proctor welcomes Stephen Scannell and Damien Lavery both to the Club and as lead boards for his team. Stephen, several times Ulster Champion since 1999 and fresh from International competition, brings a new dimension to the team. Damien, who won board prize last year and continues to accumulate rating points, also strengthens the team recently promoted from Division 2. With Ron Henderson, Albert McCarter, Richard Proctor and Martin Rogers completing the line-up, Groomsport look set to make a major impact in Division 1.

Thursday 13th opens the season with a local, Division 1 derby between Carnegie and Groomsport. A big test for both teams and tough to call. No draws expected.

Winston

After their first season last year, Winston hope to build on their experience. Although captain Richard Morrow lost a couple of players to Carnegie, he acquired Evan Bell for board 1. The experience of Evan, Ken Browne and himself, has allowed Richard to create a solid foundation for the team. Owen Wilson, Gary Johnson and youngster David Symmington step up to share boards 4 and 5.

On Thursday 13th, Winston entertain Bombardier. Although Bombardier dropped from Division 1 last year, they cannot be underestimated and are expected to be strong on all boards. A difficult opening match for Winston.

Templar

New team Templar combine experience and youth. Led by Martin Moorcroft, returning to serious competition after a few years lay-off, Michael McKimm, youngsters Philip Todd & David Grzymek, and captain Drew Ferguson, the team has no illusions about the task before them. This will be the first full season for most of the players but confidence levels are high. Already nicknamed "The Barracudas", they don't expect to be mistaken for small fry.

An unfortunate draw for the opening match takes the team to Randalstown on Monday evening. Expected to be good, balanced opposition on all boards. Except for the travelling on their first ever match-night, Templar might have had the edge.

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