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Ballynafeigh two good for Lindores

B&D Leagues 14/15 week 3 - Lindores 1's Silver King ambitions received another blow after another shock defeat - this time at Ballynafeigh 2. Meanwhile, "Kelly's Heroes" maintain their lead in the John Strawbridge Cup.

Division 1

Muldoons 1 vs Ballynafeigh 1 and Bangor vs Fruithill were both postponed, meaning that this week's only Division 1 match was;

Ballynafeigh 2 3-2 Lindores 1

Lindores 1 arrived at Ballynafeigh Community House on Tuesday night hoping to make amends for last week's slip-up against Belfast South 1. Their line-up reflected this, as they brought their strongest team to the Ormeau Road, including 2014 Ulster Champion Gabor Horvath, 2013 champion Mike Redman (making his Lindores debut having played for the opposing team last season), and the winner of the previous weekend's Ulster Masters, Calum Leitch. Ross Harris and Fred MacDonald completed the line-up. Ballynafeigh 2's team selection was mostly unchanged from their 5-0 demolition of Fruithill last week; O'Doherty, Cunningham, Woodfield, Donaldson and Stephen Rush in place of Chris Kelly. Few would have bet against the visitors recording a resounding win - they were the nearly-250-rating-points-per-board favourites and their board 5 outrated Ballynafeigh 2's board 1 by 54 points.

However, chess games aren't played on paper, and from the outset Ballynafeigh 2 were intent on causing another upset. In a rematch from the Ulster Masters, Thomas Donaldson faced Ross Harris on board 4 - and the result was the same as Donaldson won his opponent's queen. Normal service appeared to have been restored soon afterwards as Horvath and Leitch both won their games to put Lindores 1 in front, but just as Redman was refusing a draw offer from Cunningham, Rush downed MacDonald to level the match. Cunningham and Redman eventually reached a rook, knight and pawns ending but Cunningham's knight was in a far superior position - decisively so, as it forked the opposing king and rook, giving the match to Ballynafeigh 2.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Muldoons 1 2 12.5
Ballynafeigh 2 3 12.5
Lindores 1 3 10
Ballynafeigh 1 1 6.5
Belfast South 1 2 6.5
Bangor 2 1
Fruithill 1 -1

Fruithill were given a one-point penalty for late reporting of the result of last week's match against Ballynafeigh 2.

Division 2

Muldoons 2 1.5-3.5 Belfast South 2

"Kelly's Heroes" remain 4.5 points ahead after this win over Muldoons 2. Derek Truesdale went a pawn down against Rodney Orr on board 5 but was saved by the opposite-coloured bishops. Pat McKillen then put the home side in front with a win over Martin Kelly, benefitting from Kelly's failure to capture an en prise rook. The top three boards, however, all went the way of the visitors with wins for Chris Armstrong, Bernard Jaffa and David Ruben as they cemented their lead at the top of Division 2.

Ballynafeigh 5 2-3 Ballynafeigh 4

Ballynafeigh's fourth team narrowly came out on top against their fifth team on Tuesday thanks to wins from Barney McGahan, John Price and Charlie Logan. James Shaw and Norman Rainey gave Ballynafeigh 5 their second and third points of the season.

QUB 1.5-3.5 Ballynafeigh 3

For the first time in about four and a half years, a Belfast and District League match took place on the QUB campus - it was not a happy occasion for the recently-reformed home side, though, as they slumped to another defeat against Ballynafeigh 3. Paul Anderson held Adam Henning to a draw on board 5, while Tyrone Winter bounced back from last week's defeat to Bobby Campbell with a win over Paddy Magee. Ram Rajan then levelled the match for QUB with a win against Bill Lavery. James Baker, playing on board 2 for QUB, had made a good start to his league career with two wins, but had a poor Ulster Masters with only two draws from the weekend's play. On this night he fell to a sacrificial attack from Ulster Junior Champion Eoin Carey. This left the board 1 confrontation between Robert Lavery and Matthew Chapman as the last game still in progress, with Chapman needing to win for QUB to avoid defeat. A dubious choice of opening, however, had given Lavery a clear positional advantage which he used to chisel away at Chapman's position, reach a winning endgame and claim the bonus points for the visitors.

NICS 1.5-3.5 Lindores 2

NICS added another Lagan refugee to their ranks for the match with Lindores 2 in the form of Peter May, giving them not only the highest-rated but also the second highest-rated player in the division. However, the visitors fancied their chances on the lower boards, and the pressure on Newman and May only increased when David Barr needed only 11 moves to beat Drew Ferguson on board 4. May held up his end of the bargain when he beat Shane Keers after Keers got a piece trapped, but Mark Newman was in serious trouble against Paul McNaughton. Lindores 2's domination of the lower boards continued when Andy Hughes sacrificed a knight for a mating attack on Geoff Hindley and Ian Kilpatrick sealed the match points for the visitors when he converted a rook-versus-knight material advantage. Board 1 eventually ended in a draw after Newman won back two pawns to reach a drawn ending.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Belfast South 2 3 17.5
Lindores 2 3 13
Ballynafeigh 3 3 12.5
Ballynafeigh 4 3 12
Muldoons 2 3 11.5
NICS 3 9.5
QUB 3 4
Ballynafeigh 5 3 3

Correction from last week: Ballynafeigh 3 were indeed awarded bonus points for their 3-1 win over Ballynafeigh 5.

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