Last weekend two squads of Irelands best players faced off in a 100 board final for the honor of representing Ireland in the European championships in Budapest.
Team .. O'Brien
1. BJ O'Brien
2. Ranald Milne
3. Wojech Gorchytca
4. Marcin Rudzinski
5. Thomas MacCormac
6. Ronan McMaugh
BJ a continuous podium finisher in almost every dogfight that has happened for the last 35 years and maybe longer. The man went off to Templeogue to play more bridge after playing 40 boards in the trials final. Even the opponents expressed amazement at this when they heard.
BJ has also played for Ireland Open many times. BJ is the only npc to have benched a player for winning a match by making a slam on a squeeze.
Ranald .. Dublin Norths 2nd best bridge teacher after the legendary Paddy English put down his
teaching stick and went into battle against 6 of the best players ever seen in CBAI land.
I recall Ranald playing on the Irish Open team with Joe McHale some years back.
Wojech ........ I don't know much about this guy except he seems rather thoughtful. I think I saw him winning a National Mixed Teams recently. Anyway I don't think there are any bad Polish bridge players.
Marcin Rudzinski ... Again I don't know so much about this guy but Marcin has been appearing in Irish trials for the last few years and performing pretty good.
Thomas MacCormac ... One cannot say anything bad about Thomas. Mild mannered away from the table but a very tough opponent at the table. Also a well known bridge teacher and schools/junior ambassador. Never think he is ignoring you if he walks away as you speak to him ...He does not hear too well in one ear so you got to make sure you are standing on his good side.
Ronan McMaugh ... Now this guy is the perfect partner ...Its always his fault ... so he says ..
No matter what stupidity you put on him ...Ronan will say .."Well I could have made it easier"
The opponents and heavy favourites starting off were
I don't need to introduce these guys ...
Just 3 major swings here ...MacCormac making 4HX on board 10 was 14 imps
Board 6 was 4H made and defeated for 13 imps the other way.
O'Brien by 29-10..............
Board 15 saw Garvey make a vulnerable game against Milnes part score for 10 imps
Board 17 saw MacCormac make 4S while Boland went down for 13 imps
Board 18 saw MacCormac defend 3HX for a tasty 800 but unfortunately OBrien Milne
took a higher view and were beaten 5 off doubled for a 600 differential.
9 imps to Moran and the overall score was O'Brien by 1 imp after 20 boards of 100.