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Fruithill ripe for the picking

(B&D Leagues 2014/15 Week 5) In the only Division 1 fixture to go ahead this week, Muldoons 1 cemented their lead with a dominant win over Fruithill. In Division 2, Lindores 2 closed the gap with a whitewash of Ballynafeigh 4.

Division 1

Fruithill 0.5-4.5 Muldoons 1

League leaders Muldoons 1 extended their lead by crushing Fruithill on Monday night. Wins for Gareth Annesley, Stephen Wood, Nicholas Pilkiewicz and Des Moreland easily secured the bonus points for the away side. Only Tony Parker's draw with Danny Mallaghan prevented Muldoons 1 from getting the whitewash.

This week's other scheduled matches (Belfast South 1 vs Bangor and Lindores 1 vs Ballynafeigh 1) were postponed.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Muldoons 1 4 24.5
Ballynafeigh 2 4 14
Ballynafeigh 1 2 13
Belfast South 1 3 10
Lindores 1 3 10
Fruithill 3 4
Bangor 3 1.5

Division 2

Muldoons 2 4-1 Ballynafeigh 5

Muldoons 2 beat bottom side Ballynafeigh 5 to keep within striking distance of the lead, but will feel disappointed not to have claimed the whitewash. While Bernard McCaughey, Pat McKillen, Jim Waddell and Paddy Maguire duly vanquished their Ballynafeigh 5 counterparts, there was a surprise on board 3 as Rodney Orr was defeated by Billy Jackson.

Ballynafeigh 3 3.5-1.5 NI Civil Service

NICS brought their big two - Peter May and Mark Newman - to Ballynafeigh Community House on Tuesday night, but came away defeated as the home side put in some solid performances. Gerard Bannon was first on the scoresheet with a win over David Jackson. Jackson thought he had gained material, but missed a defensive resource and instead found himself behind in material, a setback from which his game never recovered. Next to finish was Bill Lavery's game with Drew Ferguson on board 4, after Ferguson accepted a somewhat generous-looking draw offer. Tyrone Winter then defeated Adrian Dornford-Smith to guarantee the home side at least a draw. Going by the ratings, though, NICS looked well-placed to take the draw, with Newman on board 1 as the 103-point favourite with the white pieces against Stephen Rush and May on board 2 out-rating Robert Lavery by 290 points. Lavery, though, was clearly playing the board and not the man, blowing open the centre with a knight sacrifice in an attempt to take advantage of May's centralised king. May held it together long enough, however, to turn the tables and secure the win to keep the match alive. The bad news for the visitors was that by this point Newman was down material and having to defend against a passed pawn. Newman did his best to keep matters complicated, but in the end the time pressure took its toll and Rush continued his 100% start to the season.

QUB 2.5-2.5 Belfast South 2

"Kelly's Heroes" were held to a draw by QUB, who gave Leon Hulleman his League debut. Hulleman had previously been known in Ulster chess circles as a promising junior from Derry, but had gone off the radar, having not played a rated game since 2007. He made his return with the black pieces against John McKenna, and showed that he hadn't lost his touch by securing the win. This was cancelled out, though, by Bernard Jaffa's win over Mohamed Saad, and the other three games ended in draws.

Lindores 2 5-0 Ballynafeigh 4

Lindores 2 whitewashed Ballynafeigh 4 to move into second place, one point behind Belfast South 2. Paul McNaughton, Ian Kilpatrick, David Barr, Andy Hughes and Garhy Aboelsoud defeated Mark Hewitt, Owen McEvoy, Barney McGahan, John Price and Charlie Logan respectively.

Standings

PlayedPoints
Belfast South 2 5 24.5
Lindores 2 5 23.5
Muldoons 2 5 22.5
Ballynafeigh 3 5 20
NI Civil Service 5 17
QUB 5 13.5
Ballynafeigh 4 5 13
Ballynafeigh 5 5 5
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