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Ballynafeigh 1 stranded as hopes fade for successful title defence

(B&D League 2017/18 Week 7) Ballynafeigh 1's title defence appears doomed to failure as they suffered a shock defeat to Strand 2.

Division 1

 

  • Ballynafeigh 1 2-3 Strand 2
  • Ballynafeigh 2 2.5-2.5 The A Team
  • Civil Service 1.5-3.5 Strand 1

 

Ballynafeigh 1's already-faltering defence of the Silver King suffered a hammer blow as they were beaten by a Strand 2 side that they outrated by over 250 points per board. On boards 1 and 2, the Ballynafeigh 1 pairing of David Houston and Steve Scannell, with 12 Ulster Championships between them, predictably saw off Ross Harris and Brendan Jamison respectively. However, the Zelenchuks on boards 3 and 4 put in stellar performances, with Daniil (1568) beating Damien Cunningham (1722) and Dmitry (1412) pulling off the upset of the week against Damien Lavery (1774). Strand newcomer Clark Rodriguez sealed the bonus points with a win over Ian Woodfield. The bottom two sides, Ballynafeigh 2 and The A Team, were both looking to score their first match win of the season - and are both still looking for their first win, as they battled to a draw.John O'Doherty and Graeme McCormick agreed a quick draw and Sam Flanagan and Bernard Jaffa won for the visitors before Ballynafeigh 2 pulled level thanks to wins from Chris Kelly and Robert Lavery. Strand 1 put more pressure on leaders Muldoons 1, who were not in action this week, with a 3.5-1.5 win over Civil Service. Nikhil Joshi and Calum Leitch won for the Holywood Road side, with the other three games drawn. The result brings Strand 1 to within a point of Muldoons 1

PlayedPoints
Muldoons 1 4 24.5
Strand 1 4 23.5
Strand 2 5 20
Civil Service 5 17
Ballynafeigh 1 4 11.5
Ballynafeigh 2 5 9
The A Team 5 6.5

Division 2

 

  • Muldoons 2 4-1 Fruithill
  • Ballynafeigh 4 1-4 Ballynafeigh 3
  • Kelly's Heroes 4-1 Bangor

 

Kelly's Heroes took another big step towards the John Strawbridge Cup as they defeated Bangor with surprising ease. Although the top four boards were very evenly matched, the visitors could only muster two draws as the Malone Road side put even more distance between themselves and the chasing pack. Fruithill's title challenge also took a major blow as they were beaten by Muldoons 2, who now look like the main challengers to the leaders. Last but not least, Ballynafeigh 3 beat Ballynafeigh 4 4-1 to join the chasing pack from second to fifth, separated by just 3.5 points.

PlayedPoints
Kelly's Heroes 6 35.5
Fruithill 6 22
Muldoons 2 4 21
Bangor 4 19.5
Ballynafeigh 3 4 18.5
Strand 4 4 12
Strand 3 4 7.5
Fruithill Ravens 5 2.5
Ballynafeigh 4 3 1.5
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