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"Kelly's Heroes" keep their noses in front in Strawbridge chase

(B&D Leagues 2014/15 Week 13) The big story of the week was in Division 2, where Belfast South 2 left Ballynafeigh Community House on Tuesday night with their five-point lead (and match in hand) intact, but it could have been different as Ballynafeigh 3 squandered opportunities to close the gap.

Division 1

Fruithill 0-5 Lindores 1

After a couple of promising results in the previous two weeks, Fruithill (Marron/Carrothers/Linton/Collins/Monaghan) were brought back down to earth as Lindores 1 (Horvath/Leitch/Harris/MacDonald/Gould) took maximum points.

Belfast South 1 2.5-2.5 Ballynafeigh 1

Ballynafeigh 1 were missing a couple of key players, and the hosts, while not exactly fielding their strongest lineup themselves, took full advantage to hold the leaders to a draw. David Houston and Brendan Jamison beat Ray Devenney and Bruce MacLean respectively, while Sam Flanagan beat Soren Jensen for the home side. Alan Thomason, making his first appearance of the season, drew with John Bryars while Cathal Murphy defeated Owen McEvoy.

Bangor 3-2 Ballynafeigh 2

Bangor pulled away from Fruithill at the bottom with this win over Ballynafeigh 2. Thomas Donaldson suffered a rare league defeat at the hands of Alan McConnell, while Walter Wilson and Ken Browne chalked up victories over Tyrone Winter and James Barbour respectively. Ian Woodfield and John O'Doherty won for the visitors.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Ballynafeigh 1 11 62.5
Lindores 1 11 49
Muldoons 1 10 43
Belfast South 1 11 36.5
Ballynafeigh 2 10 29
Bangor 11 23.5
Fruithill 10 14.5

Division 2

Muldoons 2 1.5-3.5 NI Civil Service

NICS beat Muldoons 2 after Peter May and Mark Newman, as expected, beat Bernard McCaughey and Peter Wilson respectively, while there was a minor upset on board 5 as Adrian Dornford-Smith (1056) defeated Rodney Orr (1256). Stephen Downes drew with David Jackson, while Pat McKillen won for the home side against Drew Ferguson.

Ballynafeigh 3 2.5-2.5 Belfast South 2

"Kelly's Heroes" were in trouble at times in this encounter with second-placed Ballynafeigh 3, but their greater experience showed as they escaped with a draw to maintain their lead at the top of Division 2. Gerard Bannon and William Storey played out a quiet draw on board 5. On board 2, Robert Lavery was a knight up and had a completely winning position against Bernard Jaffa until a blunder allowed Jaffa to force a draw. Then Stephen Rush, despite having two pieces for John McKenna's rook, allowed the rook to infiltrate his position with devastating effect. Eoin Carey levelled the score with a well-executed attack on Neil Green. This left Chris Black and Chris Armstrong on board 3 as the deciding game; Black had three pawns for a piece and a large time advantage, but with over 15 minutes on the clock against Armstrong's two minutes, he made a rather generous-looking draw offer which was duly accepted by Armstrong.

Ballynafeigh 4 4.5-0.5 QUB

Ballynafeigh 4 easily defeated QUB after racing to an early 4-0 lead thanks to wins from Mark Hewitt, Suraj Tirupati, Liam Ferris and Paul Anderson, the first two coming in spite of nearly-200-point rating disadvantages. To add insult to injury, Chris Roe had a nailed-on win against Barney McGahan (a rook and pawn to the good) before squandering a half-point in a manner that made the aforementioned Lavery-Jaffa game look like a masterful display of endgame technique in comparison.

Ballynafeigh 5 0-5 Lindores 2

Lindores 2 (Kilpatrick/Barr/Bujak/Aboelsoud/Hughes) moved level with Ballynafeigh 3 in second place by consigning Ballynafeigh 5 (Seaby/Rainey/Jackson/Weir) to their eighth consecutive 0-5 result.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Belfast South 2 12 63.5
Ballynafeigh 3 13 58.5
Lindores 2 13 58.5
NI Civil Service 13 50.5
Muldoons 2 13 46
Ballynafeigh 4 13 38.5
QUB 12 33.5
Ballynafeigh 5 13 2
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