Ireland’s national squad of Tommy Garvey, Tom Hanlon, John Carroll, Mark Moran, Adam Mesbur and Nick Fitzgibbon tied for first place in the English Bridge Union’s open team tournament for the Crockford’s Cup. However, they lost the tiebreaker to the English side of Mike Bell, Tim Leslie, Ollie Burgess, Michael Byrne, Kieran Dyke and Ben Norton, who won the direct match between the two teams during the final rounds.
The tournament began early in the year with knock-out matches leading to the eight-team final in Warwick. The Irish players have a good record in the competition. Hanlon in 2013 and Garvey in 2005 are previous winners while Hanlon, Garvey, Carroll and Moran were runners-up in 2017 and third in 2015. The same Irish players will compete in the Champion’s Cup, a tournament confined to teams representing Europe’s leading 12 bridge nations, in Helsinki in early November.
The Sligo and friends weekly pairs competitions and the Diumraid master teams tournaments, both online events, continue to attract significant interest from abroad, as evidenced by recent results. Last Friday’s winners of the Sligo event were Pierre and Philip Benhamou (France) who finished ahead of Grace Gallagher and Shaun Coll (Letterkenny), with Mary Keating and Catherine Clarke (Dublin) third. The master team competition was won by the English quartet of Catherine Draper, David Debbage, Sue Wilcox and Andrew Woodcock, who finished one point ahead of Noreen Pender, Kathleen Vaughan, Dave Terry and Brendan Sheridan, with the Northern Ireland and England combination of Greer MacKenzie, Alan and Kath Nelson and David Kendrick third, a further point behind. An American team finished down the field. Entry details for these and similar competitions may be found on fob.ie.
Drogheda’s four-day congress, which begins on Thursday, will be the first of a number of congresses between now and Christmas. Limerick, Donegal, Kenmare and Tralee will follow.
National mixed pairs and team championships are scheduled for later this month, with the inter-provincials in November. Open and women’s trials will be held at the end of October and mid-November respectively. Club players will compete in simultaneous pairs in November and December. Regional championships will be decided in December. All of these events will be contested at the table but having regard to precautions against Covid-19. Details are included in the Contract Bridge Association of Ireland’s diary, which resumes publication following a two-year absence and costs €6.