The O’Hanlon and O’Sullivan both picked up wins on Wednesday, but with a bit more luck they could have emerged with an unprecedented double whitewash.
Both sides picked up early wins – Stephen on 5 for the O’Sullivan and Eddie on 2 for the O’Hanlon. Eddie used all of three minutes in claiming his win, though did admit that he was just worse until his opponent hung a piece.
The O’Sullivan racked up a couple more wins – Richard, Tim and Daniel all won to give the team their first match win of the season, while in the O’Hanlon, it was looking good on every board. Odhrán and Luke were the only ones who wasn’t material up, but they had good positional advantages.
The good fortune couldn’t continue, however. Finn was first to falter, falling to a back-rank tactic when two pawns up. Desmond, who had been an exchange up, never opened the position up to allow his material advantage tell, and his opponent suddenly struck with queen and bishop at Desmond’s exposed king, with none of Desmond’s pieces being able to return to prevent mate. And in the O’Sullivan, Diarmaid had won a piece to reach a won N+2 v 3 ending only to take the wrong pawn – a blockaded one going nowhere instead of one which otherwise couldn’t be stopped from promoting!
We recovered after that – Brendan’s opponent missed quite a strong attack which could only have been averted by settling for perpetual, but when the chance was missed, his opponent ended up saccing all his material in a desperate attempt for an attack, which ultimately failed, Brendan being well used to seeing wild games like that! Odhrán duly crashed down his opponent’s defensive set-up, which just left Luke, who had previously had a chance to go a piece up only to spurn it in surprise at Finn’s back-rank calamity and take back the wrong way. In the end, though, he held on for a draw in a rook and pawn ending to give us an overall win, even if 3½ was fewer points than we’d been looking at earlier in the evening.
That leaves the two league tables as follows –
The O’Sullivan table is correct – Blanchardstown had their first two games postponed, so Wednesday marked their first match of the season and our fourth!