The draw has been made for the first round of the 2016 club championships, which has attracted a record entry of 27. And after Robbie Brady’s late goal last night, the top seed will once again have white on board 1.
Edit – we’ve since had a request for a bye, so there may well be a re-draw. Stay tuned!
There’s a number of interesting ties. Three of the 13 ties have been played before – and in each case, the lower-rated player won. Stephen v Zdravko is a repeat of Round 1 in the 2014 competition, Desmond v Mihailo was won by Desmond last year, while Finn, who along with Pawel is one of two tournament newcomers, will take on Ross in a repeat of the decisive final round of the 2013 Frank Scott Shield. Two-time reigning champion Gerry starts his latest title defence with a game against Seán, who makes the top ten in the country’s top improvers over the past twelve months, having gained 386 points in that time, while the club’s main club-night coaching panel of myself, John and Ciarán can at least take some solace in knowing that if any of us lose our matches, it must mean we’re doing a good job! Our opponents are no strangers to upsets in the tournament – Liam reached a tablebase draw against John last year but went wrong in big time trouble, William held Ciarán Mahon, while Aodhán beat both Ross and Anastasija.
Games start at 7:30pm next Wednesday. Though there’s some big ratings gaps in this round, remember last year’s first round saw 5 upsets in the 12 matches, and also saw the eventual David v Goliath winner, so the seeds are well advised to take care!
|1||Gerry O’Connell||2015||v||14||Seán Devilly||1492|
|15||Eddie Gahan||1396||v||2||Pawel Madynski||1931|
|3||Zdravko Manojlovic||1874||v||16||Stephen Cunningham||1365|
|17||William Kenny||1329||v||4||John Healy||1852|
|5||Ross Beatty||1843||v||18||Finn McDonnell||1315|
|19||Denis Dempsey||1264||v||6||Mariusz Lokasto||1758|
|7||Kevin Burke||1694||v||20||Liam Kelly||1254|
|22||Aodhán Keane||1218||v||8||Ciarán Ruane||1674|
|9||Mihailo Manojlovic||1672||v||23||Desmond Beatty||1199|
|24||Luke Hayden||1124||v||10||Ciarán Mahon||1667|
|11||Dave Willow||1657||v||25||Des Carroll||968|
|26||Paddy Power||778||v||12||Anastasija Manojlovic||1585|
|13||Odhran McDonnell||1573||v||27||Frank Kelly||636|