The Armstrong lost their unbeaten start to the season against Elm Mount on Monday, but it could have been worse given how close we were to not fielding the full complement of players for the first time ever.
Missing John Gibson, Dave Willow and Pawel, we had to go through the entire Heidenfeld and almost the entire O’Hanlon panel before finally getting a seventh and an eighth player the night before. Given Elm Mount won the Armstrong just a couple of years ago, it was a big ask for Harry and Odhrán, and both did lose in the end, albeit that they both went down fighting.
John Healy and Zdravko both won to move to 3/3 for the season, although Zdravko has a walkover win included in that. Brendan Lyons drew for the third time this season – more than he managed in the entire of last season – while Kevin McHugh also got his campaign off the mark with a draw. Gerry lost out on board 1 against David Fitzsimons FM, while Thomas Bittner was last to finish, but also lost, leaving the final score a 5-3 defeat.
The Armstrong’s next game is a home tie against Kilkenny who didn’t have a single 2000+ player in their last two games – a far cry from the 5 they could call on when they won the league two seasons ago. Even then, we managed to beat them – the only side all season to do so – so we’ll definitely be aiming for victory this season.