Sorry for the delay in submitting this first report but I was waiting until I had something positive to say about our bridge. For those who are not already aware England is in Group A and we need to finish in the first nine (out of nineteen) to qualify for the final round robin and as there is no carry over, there is no advantage in finishing first as against nineth- that is apart from pride.
Pau is an interesting city with quaint streets, up market shops, good restaurants and playing conditions at the Palais Beaumont are excellent.
Lebanon withdrew from the competition and Malta were moved from Group A to Group B thus giving us a bye in match two. Match one saw us lose 20-10 to Monaco and then we were beaten 23-7 by a very impressive Italian side but I was encouraged that, had we taken our opportunities, we could easily have secured at least a draw.
Day two and we are hoping to improve but were somewhat unlucky to lose 16-14 to Latvia when they bid a making grand missing Kxxx trumps. I am drafting this article whilst watching the two Johns playing against Israel-Israel are one of the favourites to qualify from Group A and at the time of writing I calculate we are slightly plus so "fingers crossed". Trust me to tempt providence, as on the next board the baddies bid and made a tight slam. Thankfully Paul and Tony had an excellent card in the closed room and we finished with a 20-10 win.
Finland tonight so I'm hoping for the best-we must stop trying to lead these teams into a false sense of security.
More to follow soon.