The title chasing Bea team made the short hop across the Park to Inchicore for their penultimate match. Our welcome was not exactly courteous, as the hosts zipped & ripped across all boards with an intensity like men possessed. Whatever was in their drinks was super-charged!! Wow!!…and we were on the receiving end. Ouch!!!
However, one weathering of the storm later saw boards 2,4 & 5 equalise and we began to look towards the gathering of points …talk about lulls before the storm….Whoosh, from a commanding position, Robbie got “bored to death” by Christy Sheridan, their Captain in his own words, and Bang….1 down. Not to be outdone, Robbie’s son Sean on board 1 finished yet another game in double quick time; sadly, it was Sean’s undefeated record that disappeared over the horizon, as Christy Spellman marched his pieces through Sean’s kingside and we were being well Toasted 0-2. Stefan moved a well placed knight in a Nimzo-Larsen opening which would normally have been okay….were it not for the fact that it allowed his kingside to get totally obliterated and allow Martin Burns every opportunity to set a raging fire to the position by placing his Queen/Rook directly in front of Stefan’s king without his clothes on Act. In the final throes of being Roasted Alive, amidst much frazzling of the little grey cells, Stefan conjured up a perpetual check, swindling a half point, whilst contemplating his team’s first defeat of the season. Post match analysis showed 3 different possible outcomes, but Mad, Crazy and Bonkers spring immediately to mind. The winning of a board prize being small consolation, though Gavin also earned that privilege with a smooth controlled win over the young game Michael Whelan. Gavin’s form has been particularly impressive this season. The clinching of automatic promotion had still not been achieved, but after such a torrid night, any point at all was being welcomed. The experienced Karl Brophy was comfortable out of a Caro Kann set up, against Piotr, our youngest member. A drawish position soon arose, though with a couple of deft central knight moves winning an exchange, put Piotr in the driving seat. Doubled centralised pawns, hampered any forward play, and it took patient pressure on Karl’s queenside pawns to finally tip the balance of play and ensure automatic promotion for our team, with a most unlikely match draw. Final score:- Inchicore 2.5 Blanchardstown 2.5.
This result does not help our Championship winning aspirations one little bit, but you have got to hand it to Inchicore…they were magnificent ….as they have been all year.!!
The Championship will go down to the wire now, but we do know one thing…our team have shown nerve, courage and commitment to dig out a result, and we will carry that to our final match. There will be plenty of Jingling and Jangling at the Alsaa next month, and it won’t have anything to do with Sleigh Bells or Reindeer.