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Kelly's Heroes reclaim Strawbridge Cup

(B&D League 2017/18 - postponed matches update) Kelly's Heroes secured the Division 2 title with a 3-2 win over nearest rivals Muldoons 2. Meanwhile, Strand 1's Silver King odds lengthened even further as they could only achieve a 3-2 win against Civil Service.

Division 1:

  • The A Team 2-3 Ballynafeigh 2
  • Strand 1 3-2 Civil Service
  • Strand 2 2.5-2.5 Ballynafeigh 1
  • Division 2:

  • Muldoons 2 3.5-1.5 Bangor
  • Kelly's Heroes 3-2 Muldoons 2
  • Division 3:

  • Fruithill 2-3 Ballynafeigh 3
  • Strand 4 2-3 Fruithill
  • Division 4:

  • Strand 3 5-0 Fruithill Ravens
  • Kelly's Heroes have regained the Strawbridge Cup after a narrow win over Muldoons 2. Previously, the Corporation Square side had beaten Bangor 3.5-1.5, leaving them a point ahead of Kelly's Heroes but with one less match to play. Going into this match, this is what Muldoons 2 needed;

    • To remain in the title race: draw the match, or better
    • To win the division: win 4.5-0.5 or 5-0

    Muldoons 2 needed to improve on their result from the teams' previous meeting three weeks prior, which the Marlborough Park side won 3-2. Immediately things looked bleak for Muldoons 2 as their rivals fielded a stronger side, with a second 1600+ player in the form of David Riley. The visitors did have the 1806-rated Steven Eachus, however; could he lead his side to a vital victory? Eachus pulled out a win over Riley, but that was as good as it got for Muldoons 2 as boards 2 and 3 went according to the ratings as Graeme McCormick beat John Wood and John McKenna defeated Pat McKillen. Bernard McCaughey and Martin Donaghy both did well for Muldoons 2 as they held higher-rated players to draws, but it was not enough as Kelly's Heroes got the 3-2 win they needed to secure the Strawbridge Cup for a second time.

    Strand 1 now need two whitewashes from their two remaining Division 1 matches - one of which is against leaders Muldoons 1 - as they could only beat Civil Service 3-2. David McAlister (1566) beat Calum Leitch (1849), while Mark Newman and Paul McGuigan both held significantly higher-rated players - former Ulster Champion Mike Redman, in Newman's case - to draws. Elsewhere in Division 1, Ballynafeigh 2 claimed their first win of the season, beating The A Team 3-2; a result which condemns the latter to the Division 1 wooden spoon, while Strand 2 drew with Ballynafeigh 1.

    Division 3 remains finely poised after two closely-fought matches. Fruithill were surprisingly beaten by a Ballynafeigh 3 team they outrated by nearly 300 points per board, with John Price (1096) beating Frank Carrothers (1266) and Pawel Otocki (918) defeating Gerry Collins (1253), but bounced back with a victory over Strand 4. One match remains - Ballynafeigh 3 vs Fruithill - and all three teams are still in contention for the Division 3 plate:

    • Ballynafeigh 3 win or draw - Ballynafeigh 3 are champions
    • Fruithill win 3-2, 3.5-1.5 or 4-1 - Strand 4 are champions
    • Fruithill win 4.5-0.5 or 5-0 - Fruithill are champions

    Finally, Division 4 champions Strand 3 whitewashed the Fruithill Ravens, bringing that division to a close for this season.

    Division 1PlayedPoints
    Muldoons 1 11 62
    Strand 1 10 48.5
    Strand 2 11 47.5
    Civil Service 11 39
    Ballynafeigh 1 10 36
    Ballynafeigh 2 11 16.5
    The A Team 12 16.5
    Division 2PlayedPointsDivision 3PlayedPointsDivision 4PlayedPoints
    Kelly's Heroes (Champions) 11 56.5 Strand 4 12 44.5 Strand 3 (Champions) 12 45
    Muldoons 2 12 54.5 Ballynafeigh 3 11 41.5 Ballynafeigh 4 12 20
    Bangor 11 45.5 Fruithill 11 38.5 Fruithill Ravens 12 17
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