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The underdogs bite back

(B&D Leagues 2014/15 Week 8) This week saw Ballynafeigh 1 and Belfast South 2 extend their leads in their respective divisions, but the big story was the success of Craig Kelly (895), Ross Smith (983) and Owen McEvoy (1066) against significantly higher-rated opposition.
The underdogs bite back

Jensen-O'Doherty

Division 1

Muldoons 1 2.5-2.5 Belfast South 1

The home side were missing Gareth Annesley for this match against Belfast South 1, who, as a result, might have fancied their chances of getting a result. They didn't get off to a good start, as Ray Devenney found himself in trouble early on against Nicholas Pilkiewicz and soon fell victim to an exchange sacrifice. John Bryars and Bruce MacLean then drew with Danny Mallaghan and Stephen Wood respectively before Bernard Jaffa levelled the score with a win over John Wood. The match would be decided by the board 2 contest between Des Moreland and Sam Flanagan; for a while it looked as if Flanagan would claim the match for Belfast South 1 as he won a rook, but owing to time trouble he had to settle for a draw.

Ballynafeigh 1 3-2 Ballynafeigh 2

Ballynafeigh 1 took a narrower-than-expected victory in Division 1's second Ballynafeigh derby of the season. Indeed, the seconds were even threatening to win after Ian Woodfield and Thomas Donaldson beat Stephen Rush and Damien Lavery respectively. James Shaw and Billy Jackson were drafted into the first and second teams respectively due to a shortage of players; when Jackson appeared to have the game in the bag, Damien Cunningham on board 1 offered a draw to David Houston in an attempt to secure the bonus points. Houston was having none of it though, and when he defeated Cunningham the fightback was on. Shaw equalised when Jackson blundered away his advantage; Soren Jensen then sealed the match for the first team after John O'Doherty erred in time trouble.

Lindores 1 3.5-1.5 Bangor

Lindores 1 had an unexpectedly tough time of it against Bangor; in his first game for the Newtonards Road outfit, Sam Moore (1648) was held to a draw by Mike McKimm (1363), while in what must be the upset of the season, Craig Kelly (895) defeated Shane Keers (1564) with the black pieces. This match also saw the return after nearly a decade of Mark Seidman, who was defeated by Ross Harris.

Lindores 1 4-1 Fruithill

This rescheduled match from Week 6 saw yet another major upset as Ross Smith (983) claimed the scalp of Richard Gould (1543). On the other four boards, however, the visitors posed little threat as they were picked off by the Lindores heavyweights.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Ballynafeigh 1 7 41
Muldoons 1 7 33
Lindores 1 7 28.5
Ballynafeigh 2 7 25
Belfast South 1 7 24.5
Bangor 7 9.5
Fruithill 6 6.5

Division 2

Ballynafeigh 3 4-1 Ballynafeigh 4

Ballynafeigh 3 claimed the bonus points with routine wins for Robert Lavery, Gerard Bannon, Tyrone Winter and Ballynafeigh newcomer David Seaby; most would have expected Ulster Junior Champion Eoin Carey (1361) to do the same against Owen McEvoy (1066), but Carey's 100% start to the season was brought to a juddering halt by a fine attacking display from McEvoy. With the black pieces, McEvoy opened up the h-file with a fishing-pole sacrifice, leaving Carey's castled king at the mercy of McEvoy's major pieces.

QUB 1.5-3.5 NI Civil Service

QUB were defeated by NICS on Tuesday night. While Chris Cao won against Adrian Dornford-Smith and Paddy Magee drew with Drew Ferguson, the students just couldn't compete on the higher boards, as James Baker (1118) and Ram Rajan (1209) fell to Mark Newman (1750) and Peter May (1789).

Belfast South 2 5-0 Ballynafeigh 5

"Kelly's Heroes" (McKenna/Green/Storey/Murphy/McDonald) tightened their grip on the top spot with a whitewash of Ballynafeigh 5 (Rainey/Shaw/Jackson/Campbell/Charles). It got worse for the bottom side, as they took a three-point penalty for fielding players who had played for other Ballynafeigh teams the previous night, owing to a shortage of available players.

Lindores 2 1.5-3.5 Muldoons 2

Lindores 2 lost ground to the leaders as they were beaten by Muldoons 2. A win for Ian Kilpatrick over Peter McGuckin wasn't enough as Stephen Downes, Pat McKillen and Rodney Orr all recorded victories to secure the bonus points for the visitors.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Belfast South 2 8 44
Lindores 2 8 37
NI Civil Service 8 33
Muldoons 2 8 32
Ballynafeigh 3 8 29.5
QUB 8 23
Ballynafeigh 4 8 19.5
Ballynafeigh 5 8 2
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