Ireland took on Portugal in Round 7. Portugal were struggling in 30th place of 37 teams. So hopefully some VPs coming. Again we look at the double digit boards
Board 3 saw the Portuguese attempt a 3H contract unfortunately when their opponents were capable of making 9 tricks in the same contract. Moran had some double cards in his box and done the needful. Down 5 was worth 1100 versus the vul game in other room ... Ireland up by 17-1
Board 7 saw Boland Moran stay low with 10 opposite 15 and two 4333 shapes. Unfortunately the spades lay safely and Lauria guided 3NT home in comfort in another match. 3NT also made in the closed room of Ireland match so 10 imps out ... Ireland by 22-18.
Board 13 saw the Portuguese attempt 3NT despite Hanlon holding 3 bullets and McGann owning 7 high card points. .....Someone probably McGann put the double card out and that became 800. and 12 imps. ...... Ireland win by 41-21 and about 15 VPS in the bag.
Round 8 saw Ireland take on a capable German side.
A dribble of small imps out until board 23
In the Open Room Rehder after passing as dealer found a 3C bid and East got into the making 3NT.
Hanlon McGann pushed onto the making 4S as North South but the Germans took insurance in 5C.
A double followed as "We have bid a vul game " and 11 tricks to Germany.
Meanwhile in the Closed Room Carroll was still caressing his 11 minor suit cards as the Germans rolled into the making 4S unmolested. That made and that was 16 imps out for 2 vulnerable games.
Another 8 imps drifted away in small portion and starting board 29 it looked grim for Ireland. 31 imps to 1 down and nothing much looking swingy in the coming 4 boards.
Board 29 ..In the Open Room the Germans took the 4S sacrifice against the making 4H.
Hanlon McGann got the available 500 from this. In the Closed Room Carroll Garvey quickly reached 5D as the sacrifice before NS got fully going ..so 5D doubled and booked for down 2 on double dummy defence. However it is not so easy to find this defence and a trick got dropped. Then anorher trick slipped away and suddenly Ireland had 15 imps in their basket. Some hope in the tunnel
Board 30 .. The Germans attempted a long minor based 3NT and Hanlon McGann were able to cash 5 spade tricks and 2 aces .. In the closed room Garvey Carroll tried the same ..
The German defender South played off AK spades and it looked like a flat one ...
Then the German South switched to Hearts and Garvey was heading for 9 tricks and 11 imps
Two flat like boards and suddenly 26 imps got Ireland back in the game ..
Germany 34 Ireland 26 and a lot more VPS then 20 minutes ago
A hardly deserved 8 VPS but they all count towards the winning total
About 39 VPs for the day ..slightly below average but no damage done
Ireland have 2 targets in this event ... To make the top 6 and qualify for the Bermuda Bowl.
With France hosting they are excluded so 7th place will do if France are in top 6.
A secondary target is a top 10 placing which allows Irelands club champions to participate in the European Club championship.
France Norway Italy England Poland Holland Sweden might be the chosen 7.
Monaco are there too but shown of their imp machines and short on players might
struggle to make top bunch. However Martens is togging out and he is a good Guinness
However Poland are without the shamed Baliki Zmudinski
Monaco are struggling to field a team of 6 but it appears Coach Martens is togging out.
Italy are also weakened with no sign of Duboin Sementa Bocchi Madala.
Finland have started with 8 victories including wins against Poland Monaco Ireland and France.
So the Finns are showing well and must be considered as a competitive team.
Ireland will need to start upping their game severely to approach the top 7 places ... So far we seem to be having some good luck and good luck evens out ...
However if luck gets Ireland into the top 7 its all good with me
Em I notice this morning Ireland bid 6H on board 13 .. The opps decided to double it to keep them honest. Nobody else bid 6H so nobody else went 3 down vulnerable.