Phibsboro maintained the pressure at the top with a 5.5-2.5 win over Kilkenny. Honors were even over the top five boards, but Kilkenny had to field a weakened bottom two boards (as they did against the A team too), so lost out in the end.
That leaves Phibsboro vs. Rathmines A on Monday 5th March as a top-of-the-table penultimate (almost) decisive encounter!! I say almost, because of course Gonzaga are very much in the race too. (They still have one adjourned game from their most recent match). It is always tempting fate to try and predict these things, but I guess that a 4-4 draw or better against Phibsboro on Monday would make us clear favourites for the title. Anything less and it will be too close to call. No pressure!
UPDATE: Gonzaga won their delayed game against Dublin and were also awarded an extra point against St Benildus because of the 150-points rule (St Benildus fielded a weaker player on a higher board). And quite right too! I am delighted to see the 150 rule being strictly enforced by the league controller.
Rathmines B can do themselves and the A team a massive favour by holding Phibsboro in the final match. The B team have an edge over the bottom 3 teams and I’d be confident they can avoid relegation.
By the way, check out the latest ratings for all Rathmines players here: https://rathmineschessclub.wordpress.com/membership-rating-list/. Tony Bermingham has jumped onto the top-rated Irish players list with a fantastic Gonzaga performance and a FIDE rating of 2029! Congratulations Tony.