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Ballynafeigh 1 regain Silver King with QUB 1 whitewash

(B&D League 2016/17 Week 21) With the two leading teams in Division 1 level on points going into the final round of matches, it was a simple matter of which team achieved the better result.
Ballynafeigh 1 regain Silver King with QUB 1 whitewash

The victorious Ballynafeigh 1 team

Division 1

 

  • Ballynafeigh 1 5-0 QUB 1
  • Muldoons 1 3.5-1.5 The A Team

 

Defending champions Muldoons 1 and 2014/15 champions Ballynafeigh 1 went into the final week of the season tied on 74.5 points; this meant that the team that scored the most points in the closing match of the season would emerge with the Silver King. In the case of a tie, the Corporation Square side would retain by virtue of their superior head-to-head record. On paper, Muldoons 1 had the easier task, going against bottom side The A Team while Ballynafeigh 1 took on third-placed QUB 1. Not only that, but Ballynafeigh 1 were without their regular board 1, David Houston, while Muldoons 1 could field a full-strength line-up. Matters were complicated, though, by the opposing line-ups; while The A Team could call upon the likes of Bobby Thompson (1482) and Richard Gould (1535) to fill the gaps in their board order, QUB 1 were forced to rely upon Ben Campbell (1033) and Rian Mellotte (1103).

At Muldoons, Stephen Morgan, Nicholas Pilkiewicz and Stephen Wood all won as expected, but Gareth Annesley was held to a draw by Graeme McCormick and Richard Gould pulled off an upset victory against Danny Mallaghan. This left Ballynafeigh 1 needing a 4-1 victory to bring the Silver King back to the Ormeau Road, and they were soon halfway there as Ross Harris dispatched Ben Campbell and current Ulster Champion Stephen Rush was seen off by former eight-time champ Steve Scannell. Rian Mellotte put up stiffer resistance against John Bradley, but was eventually ground down, leaving the home side just one point from the title with the two remaining games - Cunningham-Ormerod and Woodfield-Damien Lavery - on a knife-edge. Lavery got the better of Woodfield in a time scramble to secure the title, and Cunningham came out on top to complete the whitewash and put the cherry on top.

Points
Ballynafeigh 1 (Champions) 81.5
Muldoons 1 80
QUB 1 50.5
The A Team 34.5
Ballynafeigh 2 33.5

Division 2

 

  • QUB 2 4-1 Muldoons 2
  • Fruithill 3-2 Kelly's Heroes
  • Civil Service 3-2 Ballynafeigh 4
  • Bangor Webbs 5-0 Ballynafeigh 3 (forfeit)

 

Civil Service recorded an unexpectedly narrow 3-2 win over Ballynafeigh 4, despite being over 400 point per board favourites, as Ronan Fitzsimmons (678) produced the upset of the week against Jim McLean (1156) and unrated Dexter Harris performed well in his first league outing, defeating Geoff Hindley. There were wins for QUB 2 and Fruithill, while champions Ballynafeigh 3 forfeited their match against the Bangor Webbs.

Points
Ballynafeigh 3 (Champions) 97.5
QUB 2 86.5
Kelly's Heroes 80
Civil Service 80
Fruithill 77
Bangor Webbs 66
Muldoons 2 51.5
Ballynafeigh 4 48.5

Division 3

 

  • QUB 3 5-0 Ballynafeigh 5
  • QUB 4 2.5-2.5 Ballynafeigh 7

 

QUB 3 completed a perfect record of 16 wins from 16 matches by whitewashing Ballynafeigh 5, while QUB 4 drew with Ballynafeigh 7, with the latter team picking up the wooden spoon for this season.

Points
QUB 3 (Champions) 99.5
Ballynafeigh 6 54.5
QUB 4 52
Ballynafeigh 5 37.5
Ballynafeigh 7 34.5
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