The O’Hanlon picked up their first win of the season against familiar opposition this afternoon.
They beat Ballinasloe – also promoted from the BA last season – 4-2 in a fairly topsy-turvy game. Odhrán and Eddie won and Dan lost early enough to leave the score 2-1 to us. We were winning in all the other boards, and a big win looked likely. With half an hour to go, Desmond was just finishing off a trivial R+2 v nothing ending, Nicky was a rook up and her opponent had just two minutes and Ross had two pieces and a pawn for a rook. However, while Desmond won, Nicky suddenly dropped her rook and was dealing with a very open king coming under attack. However, her opponent – who by now had ten seconds – decided against going into the level queen, piece and three pawns ending on the basis of time, didn’t take the rook and went for a mate. Fortunately for Nicky, there wasn’t one, although Nicky was down to her last minute when her opponent’s flag fell – her opponent had just thrown in a last desperate check, which hung his queen, which Nicky missed!
On board 1, Ross was playing a 1500 and while he had an excellent – if complicated – position, he was running out of time. Into the last five minutes, he dropped a piece, the queens came off and his opponent’s doubled rooks started causing havoc. Ross countered valiantly, but eventually ran out of time with R+5 v 2R + 1.
Still, a 4-2 defeat is an excellent result – we’re maybe starting to find our feet and survival is even a thought! Next up is a horrible away trip to Celbridge, but for now, the league table looks like this –