Monday, March 09, 2015

Ireland win Camrose 2015 in dramatic finish

The Ireland Team of Mark Moran Rory Boland Tommy Garvey John Carroll Hugh McGann and Thomas Hanlon won an unlikely Camrose Trophy yesterday (March 08 2015)

After suffering an unexpected heavy defeat by first weekend leaders Wales on Friday night Ireland now trailed leaders Wales by 18 VPs with only a maximum of 80 VPs to play for.  A short pitstop in the bar followed. A Welshman passed by on his way to bed and was congratulated by all. The man stayed a little too long and one could feel a steely determination spread among the Irish players.
The drinks were lowered and all bar the NPC retired to bed.

The first act on Saturday morning was to defeat the star studded English team. Robson Forrester Bakhshi Gold McIntosh Allfrey are well known names in bridge. A tight match saw Ireland win by 5 imps to put a further 2 VPs between Ireland and England.

Meanwhile Wales demolished Northern Ireland to extend their lead to 25 VPs over Ireland.
Looking very grim with only 60 VPs to play for ..

In round 3 England and Ireland both scored 17.01 .... Englands coming against Wales so that was
14 VPs back but Wales remained 11 VPs in front of the two star studded chasing teams.

Sunday morning dawned and it was all matches between the top 3 versus bottom 3 ..
Ireland routed the Scots only to find that Wales had performed even better against the NIBUs
For some reason the improving Coffey and Lavery were sat out in the 2nd half and their
replacements shipped 3 Butler Imps a board.

Sunday afternoon and match 5 looms with Wales needing about 8 VPs to guarantee.
However a strange thing happened. The pair who had fired 3.14 imps per board past NIBU
were sat out. Scotland jumped into an early lead as Wales were helped into 6D. 11-0. Wales struck back with 16 imps when Scotland failed to drop offside singleton K of trumps in 7C.
Meanwhile Irelands front 4 were unloading everything at Northern Ireland and building a 49 imp lead. However Northern Ireland recovered somewhat and adding a few imps to a lodgement made by Plunkett on the first board played .. Board 15..
Robert Plunkett picked up a 54 major hand of 17 hcp and was faced by 1H P 2C  so unlike the away
from the table Robert he remained quiet thru 5 rounds of bidding as Hanlon McGann landed in
4H. Now Robert unleashed the double card and collected 800 when an opening lead of a spade left him in control. However later in the set .. Hanlon McGann got Plunkett in their grippers and surgical defence gathered in 5 vulnerable undertricks.
Meanwhile Scotland were still sticking it to Wales and Ireland/England were creeping closer but it
still remained Wales Camrose to lose.
The final 16 boards started and the imp chase was on .. Ireland rolled along with little action thru the first 10 boards. A couple of double parts score swings and finally a missed game and another double part score. added up to 39-10. Board 30 the last board in the Open Room saw Hanlon bid 3NT after asking about a Diamond Stop. McGann could take no more and installed his NPC as the dummy and left the room emerging at my side where I was watching on my laptop. Quickly he ascertained 3NT was safe and relaxed.
A few minutes later Ireland scored up outside the hotel back door and indicated happiness with the days proceedings regardless of the result. of the event which was beyond their control.
Wales were a few boards behind in the play and still playing.
Thomas Hanlon had examined the situation and the remaining boards and he figured Ireland might win but mentioned a fat person who was yet to sing. Meanwhile in the Closed Room we had the very experiened Tedd and Salisbury struggling to hold the youthful talent of the 19 year old Nakamura Pinder allied to the slightly older Phil Morrison. The young Scots had roared into 7NT on a combined 33 count only to find it was hopeless and went 3 down earlier losing 16 imps to the timid but successful 3NT of the Welsh.
Finally the fat lady cleared her throat on board 31  and the round of applause for a brilliant 4S bid by Morrison died into silence as Nakamura-Pinder placed 6C on the screen. Luckily enough 4H down 1 was in the closed room and no double meant only 3 imps. The extra 7 imps available was not enough anyway. A flat board 32 sealed the deal and Ireland had pulled the Camrose out of the furnace.

The Polish lad Marcin who happily came to work for his nightshift  found he was in demand
thru the night. However he accepted his extra duties happily and delivered refreshments as required.
I suspect a refreshed Hugh McGann was greeted at 0515 as he emerged for his taxi by the still partying remnants of his team . McGann went to bed about 1030pm as he had flight and work commitments on Monday.

Fergal O'Boyle Camrose Results

We were able to watch the entire event courtesy of Bridge Base Online and the 8 NIBU laptops and the 60 vugraph operator slots covered by various NIBU members.
Ann Hassan was on hospitality ...thats a large job..
Liz Scott was assistant hospitality and dealt all 960 of the boards used for the weekend.
Brian McDowell was Match manager
Eamon Galligan had the relatively handy job of vugraph setup.
Fergal O'Boyle and Mairead Basquille did scoring and directing
Alan Hill fresh from scoring A grade at European TD exam was Chairman of Appeals...he did not need any chairs.

Eamon Galligan

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