There was disappointment for Benildus in Galway today as Gonzaga came away with all three national titles.
The seniors – who were really our Junior Bs – lost 6-0 to Gonzaga in round two, with Cal being back-ranked when a piece up. That theme came back to haunt us in the third round against Ard Scoil Ris, where we needed a win to claim second. At 3-0 up, Declan missed a back rank and eventually lost, while we were in trouble on the other two boards already. 3-3 it ended, and we were third by the narrowest of margins.
The minors – some of whom had never played a competitive game before – were also third. We lost 3.5 – 2.5 to St Mary’s in the afternoon, and though we beat St Colm’s 4-2 in the last round, we ended up third on tie break behind St Mary’s.
The Juniors were the big hope for the day, but they faltered at the end against Gonzaga in round 2. Dylan had a perpetual against Conor O’Donnell, but went looking for more and ended up losing. Dan’s opponent ran out of time, but not before he claimed a draw in a position of rook and knight versus rook. That really handed the title to Gonzaga, but we did at least take things out on our final opponents, Scoil Pol. We were 4-0 up after just 20 minutes – even after Dan hung a queen – and ended up winning 6-0. Gonzaga also won 6-0, leaving them on 16 points to our 12.
Always next year! Thanks as always to Frank Scott for arranging the day, and to Ciaran and John for travelling as coaches and to provide these updates.
Cathal McDonnell has sent photos of the three squads. I might need help with some of the names!