Friday, July 28, 2017

Thomas Hanlon v Nickell

Early this morning early as 440am myself and Michael O'Kane from Northern Ireland witnessed a treat of bridge. Our man Hanlon plus 5 took on the bridge juggernaut that is number 1 seed Nickell who featured Meckstroth Rodwell Levin and Weinstein... arguably the greatest foursome ever assembled at bridge.

Stanza 1 Mittelman got our to an early lead of about 40 imps ...57 plays 16
Stanza 2 Mittelman added to that lead to build I think a 90-17 lead but lost some late imps to lead by 47 at the half ..
Stanza 3 .. Nickell powered back with a 53-5 set to lead by 1

Stanza 4 is above  ..

You can find it here

Some great bridge in there .. Really worth a look ..

Now maybe some will say Team Hanlon played in luck .. but you need an awful lot of luck to defeat
a power packed team of bridge legends.

Also bridge at the table is not as straight forward as replaying a vugraph later.

Its like the tennis ... Wimbledon looks serene ...two lads batting a ball over a net ...
However that ball travels at something past 100 mph but TV gives no indication.

Sometimes in Fitzwilliam when I am bridge directing I see ordinary decent tennis players playing and I am shocked at the speed of the ball.
Yesterday I stopped for a look ... Some lad Barry from Ireland was playing a Storrie guy from England. This was not Wimbledon ..

1 chair umpire
2 end of court umpires of who doubled as scoreboard operator.

The Irish lad served and added a shout to send the ball on its way.
The end of court umpire had to mind himself as that ball came hard and fast.
The umpire has nowhere to go ..he is up against the boundary wire.
No ball boys here or soft towels between games.
Nobody picking up the balls ...the players themselves did that.

It went 15-0 30-0 40-0 and game Barry who leads 5-3 ..
Then it was 5-4
and by the time I got upstairs to move the boards was all over .. 6-4 to Barry and 2-1 win.

Now the Wimbledon lads probably are hitting 30% faster than last night ...
It is something like trying to catch a golf ball hit by a driver.

Meanwhile on the next court a large crowd was watching in the gallery between the courts.
My guess is Simon Carr son of legendary Dublin GAA captain was playing ..
I did not venture down there as it was a little far from the bridge room.

Sometimes the bridge is played in a room that opens out into the stand and I can watch more easily but last night there was a meeting in progress until near 11pm so I could not access the stand.

Still the lad called Sam Barry was picking up tennis balls 12 inches away from me as this non-tennis player had a look. I saw Phil Collins in the Aviva I think ... he was about a quarter mile away in a wheelchair.

I was also watching the early stages of the above vugraph as well and moving the boards in the bridge room.

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