The recent Lady Milne Trophy was quite a struggle for the Ireland CBAI team. It started with a match against a normal Northern Ireland team shorn of arguably its strongest pairing Ciara Burns and Ruth Connolly. However one had it in the back of ones mind that this Northern Ireland team had a weekend coaching session with Michael Byrne from the EBU and also had been putting in some work at partnership bidding so the writing was on the wall. However one figured we could take an NIBU team lacking Ciara and Ruth.
102 imps past the goalkeeper later we had lost by 56 imps. Fitzgerald Joyce put in a steady shift on stanza 1 but got walloped on stanza 2. The other 2 pairs got bigger hidings on both stanzas so that left a total of 1.95 VPs out of 20 for their efforts.
As an exercise I played the first match against Jack and survived comfortably against the field scores on stanza1 .. However on stanza 2 I made a few loose bids and ended up below average.
However I was well ahead of the Irish pairs.
The weekend improved somewhat for Ireland but their only success was a victory over Wales by the minimum amount aided by what looks like an average plus awarded to both teams thus enabling a win for both teams.
Ireland did perform respectably against strong Scotland and England teams but lost the matches.
However one would have expected 3rd or 4th place as a minimum.
Now in fairness the Irish team were spotted playing weekly training matches with their NPC Gay Keavney but playing a match on BBO is nothing like doing the hard work of bidding practice.
I reckon 1 hour of bidding practice is worth 9 hours of BBO matches.
I am able to play these matches honestly as I did not get to see much on the weekend due to playing bridge on Friday evening and working at directing for CBAI the rest of the weekend.
All Lady Milne information and hands and results can be found on the website of Fearghal O'Boyle.
While working for CBAI at the weekend in Ballinasloe I got a welcome measurement of my ability to direct bridge competitions.
The two woman competitors in the Inter B event approached me and asked
ARE YOU FOB.IE
I must be good as Fearghal O'Boyle was in Wales at Lady Milne