This afternoon in Kansas City the all conquering Irish junior bridge squad finally take on something they won't be able to chew. Winning the Peggy Bayer in 2016 was an enormous achievement and placing 2nd (missing their top player) to a decent English squad in the Junior Camrose was good.
However John Donnolly versus Eric Rodwell and Michael Connolly versus Jeff Meckstroth.
or Arran Bolger versus Steve Weinstein or Stephen Barr versus Bobby Levin. Then in the 2nd quarter it could be Dan Varley and Nathan Doyle tacking Katz and Nickell.
In the 2nd round Irish Juniors will play the winners of RUBIN and BAKER. two teams filled with World Class players and in the last 16 it will probably be a STREET team backboned by French and Canadian internationals.
Don't get me wrong these young lads can play and they are certainly by far the youngest Irish lads to make it as far as the US Nationals. I was well into my 30s and living in USA when I first went to a US National. My 2nd time was facilitated by a friend Matthew Haag who lived 1 mile from the venue in San Francisco.
Thomas Hanlon and his Silver Team were quite shocked to find they were seeded 28th or so on their first visit despite waving their European Silver medals around. I heard a well known US international player say to some of our lads ... " I HEAR YOU GUYS WON MEDALS ... WAS USA PLAYING IN THAT COMPETITION" The capitals were intended. MR HAMMAN is quite loud.
So our post teens from Gonzaga might be in for an experience. Some of them were a little green after the Junior Camrose banquet. However its all a learning experience ..
I need to go and fill in my Bracket. Its a free competition on www.bridgewinners.com
Its a nice day in Swords. I dunno if there is any vugraph today but it will likely be some closer matches like seeds 28-36 type matches.
I notice Irish Junior player has tipped his Irish Junior team to win all the way to the final and then lose to Lavazza. Perhaps he made a mistake on the final round or the first round.