This weekend in Templogue (I think) we have Mixed Teams Trials. Seems loads of teams fancy their chances of qualifying for some Mixed event in some place in September.
1 Orla McEntee, Mark Tiernan, Deirdre Tuckey, Seamus Costello
2 Heidi Lillis, Michael McGloughlin, Anne Fitzpatrick, Harold Curran, Ciara Burns, John Murchan
3 Maria Whelan, Willem Mevius, Eileen O'Donovan, Joe Walsh, Barbara Seligman, Wojciech Gorczyca
4 Ena Cleary, Aidan Cleary, Miriam McConville, Paul Porteous
5 Brenda Moran, Joe Moran, Pat Ryan, B J O'Brien
6 Betty Cotter, Dermot Cotter, Maureen Pattinson, Bob Pattinson
7 Barbara Collins, Howard Kent Webster, Mary Kelly Rogers, Danny Liddy
8 Brid Kemple, Terry Walsh, Hilary McDonagh, Diarmuid Reddan
9 Mary Stanley, Martin Brady, Dolores Gilliland, Stefan Ekman
9 teams go into battle ..Who will win ..
Well there are about 20 internationals in the field of 40 players. However there are different types
of internationals like some are Senior and some are Lady Milne and some are Open. Most of the non internationals have played trials of some sorts before and there seem to be a few names I have not seen too often.
However in a Mixed event its not all about the strongest players its about how the partnerships work.
A good partnership of lesser players can easily defeat a put together partnership of strong players.
And in this event the women have to put up with the men bidding the No Trump or vice versa
I went through the teams and made an estimation of bridge stuff for each player ..out of 10 with a low value being strong .. I gave Terry Walsh Michael McGloughlin and BJ O'Brien values of 1
Maybe Terry needs to be dropped to a 2 as he floored a side suit establishment game in the Senior Camrose but reports indicate he was under the weather with influenza that weekend. He looked okay to me in the Invitational Pairs last week when he was close to a podium finish for most of the day until running into the fast finishing Nick Fitzgibbon and David Jackson in the final round.
So my predictions
9th ... Team 1 McEntee
8th ....Team 7 Collins
7th ....Team 5 Moran
After that it gets tougher as the other 6 teams contain 15 of the internationals and lots of trialists and national champions
placing 3rd to 6th and hard to split are
6th Team 3 Whelan
5th Team 9 Stanley
4th Team 4 Cleary
3rd Team 6 Cotter
Leaving the two likely winners
2nd Team 8 Kemple
1st Team 2 Lillis
I put Team 2 ahead of Team 8 solely because they have a 6 person team with regular partnerships versus a team of 4 with a partnership I have not seen before
Of course BJ could strike a rich vein of form in this field of non-regular partnerships
and place in the top 4. He is partnered by one of the Pats who are good enough to be known
by first name. Recent Senior Camrose winner Joe Moran could roll back the years too.
Another player capable of inflicting some damage is the returning Barbara Seligman.
Formerly one half of the Giddings Seligman partnership who were Ireland top ladies pair
for years before my time.
However the Lillis team with its 3 regular partnerships might swing it.
Harold and Anne have done some bidding practice in the last while according to a message on my
phone. Murchan has mellowed since his invitation for the Invitational Pairs got lost in the post.
He seemed to think winning the Northern Ireland Pairs was a cue for an invitation.
So now I can go to www.fob.ie and see how my predictions are going
Round 1 mostly went as predicted expect as mentioned Team Moran put the Cotters and Pattinsons to the sword ... Well we did mention above that Team 5 Moran could emerge out of the pack. Big performances from Pat Ryan and Brid Kemple powered their teams to victory
Round 2 saw the other half of the Kemple Team land a decent set to gather in another win. The McEntee squad put 15 past the unlucky Whelan squad. Most of the win seems to have come from
a good defence to 3NT on board 15 where 5 tricks are there for the defenders but 4 other tables were satisfied with 1 trick. One match flattened the board in a well bid 5D.
Round 3 saw Kemple post their 3rd win with a small victory over the Collins squad.
Meanwhile the Moran squads two solid pairs dominated the McEntee team.
The Lillis team took a small hit as well
Round 4 saw BJ enter the acting Academy as his squad was battered by the Whelan squad.
When you place in the bottom 2 pairs Fearghal awards an Oscar .
Kemple continued to apply the power by crushing the Shillelagh powered Stanley team.
Lillis kept it going by defeating Pattinson small
Round 5 saw two of the big guns meet Kemple versus Lillis .. The two Lillis pairs of Murchan Burns and Michael and Heidi put in two good sets to crush the Kemple team and close the gap which the Kemple team had opened over the previous 4 rounds. Brid and Terry got Oscars.
Meanwhile in a surprising development the Collins team emerged from the depths and crushed
the Whelan team.