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B&D League - Part 2, Week 1 round-up

The divisional phase of the 2013/14 Belfast and District League gets underway, with the heavyweights slugging it out for the Silver King and three new teams joining the hunt for the John Strawbridge Cup.
B&D League - Part 2, Week 1 round-up

The race is on

After eleven weeks of play, the eleven teams that began the 2013/14 league season have been split into two divisions, with three new teams joining the lower division, and the battle for silverware can begin in earnest. Here's how the first week of play in each division went down:

Division 1

Fisherwick 4-1 Ballynafeigh 1

The champions resumed their campaign against Ballynafeigh 1, whom they had beaten 3-2 in the opening stage. Both teams named a slightly stronger team compared to their earlier encounter, with four-time Ulster Champion Michael Waters on top board for Fisherwick and Chris Black bolstering Ballynafeigh 1's middle order. The home team got off to a flyer as Waters needed barely ten moves to see off David Houston, and although his team-mates faced somewhat sterner resistance they would rack three further wins to seal the win. It fell to Thomas Donaldson on board 4 to avoid the whitewash for Ballynafeigh 1, and he did just that in a blitz finish against Ian Woodfield.

Lindores 4.5-0.5 Ballynafeigh 2

In the opening stage, Lindores handed Ballynafeigh 2 their heaviest defeat (3.5-1.5) and the bad news for the away team was that not only had Lindores strengthened their team for this rematch (with Fred MacDonald making his comeback after six years away from competitive chess) but two of their regular players, Brendan Jamison and Stephen Rush, were unavailable. Their replacements, Dennis Wilkinson and Eoin Carey, gave their opponents, Ross Harris and Shane Keers respectively, good games, but could not avoid defeat in the end. Wins for Horvath and MacDonald over Redman and Robert Lavery respectively and a draw in Leitch-Cunningham completed the rout.

Belfast South 1 2.5-2.5 Lagan

Belfast South 1 and Lagan repeated their draw from their opening stage. The home team were without Sam Flanagan, who was playing in Gibraltar, but fielded a slightly stronger team on this occasion, as did their opponents. A win for Lagan's John Nicholson on board 2 against Bruce MacLean was balanced out by John Bryars' win over Gerald Harvey on board 4.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Fisherwick 11 62.5
Lindores 11 56
Muldoons 1 10 50
Ballynafeigh 2 11 45
Ballynafeigh 1 11 43
Belfast South 1 11 41
Lagan 11

39.5

Division 2

Fruithill 2.5-2.5 NI Civil Service

Fruithill had run out 4-1 winners in the previous contest between the two teams, but this time NICS fancied their chances against a significantly weakened Fruithill side. In the first game to finish, an intense board 3 clash between Gerry Collins and Drew Ferguson fizzled out into a draw. Fruithill pulled ahead on the other boards, leaving the match poised at 2.5-1.5 with only the board 4 game between John Monaghan and Geoff Hindley to go. Hindley had won his opponent's queen, but found himself in time trouble. He calmly converted his advantage into a full point, though, to salvage a draw for NICS.

Muldoons 2 vs Belfast South 2: to be adjudicated

For the second week in a row, a match involving Belfast South ended in confusion after a disputed blitz finish, this time between Joe Rogers and Martin Kelly on board 3. Should Kelly's 10.2 claim be upheld, his team will have drawn the match; otherwise, Muldoons 2 will be given a 3-2 win, after getting the better of their opponents over the other four boards.

Ballynafeigh 4 0-5 Bangor

Ballynafeigh's fourth team made their debut against Bangor, although thanks to the floating player rule their lineup looked suspiciously similar to a normal Ballynafeigh 3 team, with the exception of Dennis Wilkinson who was making his first appearance for the Ormeau Road club. The visitors claimed a whitewash to open up their lead at the top of Division 2.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Bangor 11 33.5
Fruithill 11 23.5
NICS 11 23
Ballynafeigh 3 10 3
Belfast South 2 1

?

Muldoons 2 1 ?
Ballynafeigh 4 1 0
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