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Ballynafeigh surge ahead

(B&D League 2016/17 Week 2) Ballynafeigh 1 have opened up a clear lead in Divison 1 after routing The A Team, while early indications are that an exciting chase for the Strawbridge Cup is developing.

Division 1

 

  • Ballynafeigh 1 4.5-0.5 The A Team
  • Ballynafeigh 2 2.5-2.5 QUB 1

 

Ballynafeigh 1 lead by four points after a dominant win against The A Team. John Bryars was the only visiting player to salvage a half-point as he drew with Damien Lavery. It was one-way traffic otherwise, as David Houston, Steve Scannell, Calum Leitch and John Bradley all secured full points. It was also a good week for Ballynafeigh's second team as they drew with a QUB 1 team against which they were outrated on four of the five boards. Robert Lavery claimed a good draw with the black pieces against Sergio Esteve Sanchez, although Chris Black failed to capitalise on his position as the only home player rated higher than his opponent as he was held to a draw by Liam Ferris. The standout performer for the home side was surely Eoin Carey, as he put Ian Woodfield under pressure from the outset and eventually broke through with an excellent queen sacrifice. The two remaining games went to queen and pawn endings; Mikhail Pavlov drew with Ulster Champion Stephen Rush, leaving Gavin Fong needing to beat John O'Doherty to draw the match. At one point it looked as if Fong had blown it, as he left his queen en prise, but O'Dohery failed to spot it and allowed Fong to grab the full point.

PlayedPoints
Ballynafeigh 1 2 12.5
QUB 1 2 8.5
Ballynafeigh 2 2 4.5
Muldoons 1 1 2
The A Team 1 0.5

Division 2

 

  • Muldoons 2 2.5-2.5 Ballynafeigh 3
  • Fruithill 4-1 Civil Service
  • Ballynafeigh 4 4-1 Bangor Webbs
  • Kelly's Heroes 1.5-3.5 QUB 2

 

Kelly's Heroes looked like clear favourites to regain the Strawbridge Cup after a convincing performance against Civil Service last week, but this week they were defeated by a QUB 2 side who were nearly 300-point per board underdogs. Milad Foozoni and Paul Reaney both beat opponents rated around 150 points higher, while in the upset of the week Paddy Magee (1216) defeated Craig Stephenson (1402). William Storey was the only Hero to score a victory, against Jasper Ramsey (708). Fruithill are the new leaders after a big 4-1 win at home to Civil Service, while Ballynafeigh 4 beat the Bangor Webbs by the same margin; the visitors narrowly avoided a whitewash when Dennis Wilkinson blundered while a piece up against Gary Johnston. In this week's other Division 2 match, Muldoons 2 and Ballynafeigh 3 played out a draw.

PlayedPoints
Fruithill 2 9.5
QUB 2 2 9
Ballynafeigh 3 2 8.5
Ballynafeigh 4 2 8
Kelly's Heroes 2 8
Muldoons 2 2 7
Bangor Webbs 2 4.5
Civil Service 2 1.5

Division 3

 

  • Ballynafeigh 5 2-3 Ballynafeigh 7
  • QUB 3 4-1 Ballynafeigh 6

 

QUB 3 are the clear leaders after a 4-1 win over Ballynafeigh 6, while Ballynafeigh 7 achieved a narrow 3-2 win over Ballynafeigh 5. Notably, all of Ballynafeigh 6's and 7's points this week were scored by unrated players, indicating that some decent talent is being unearthed at the Ormeau Road club.

In other news, the Bangor Wannabees have withdrawn as it has become clear that Bangor don't have the numbers for a second team to be sustainable.

PlayedPoints
QUB 3 2 12.5
Ballynafeigh 5 2 7.5
Ballynafeigh 7 1 5
Ballynafeigh 6 2 2.5
QUB 4 1 0.5
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