Beginning the day's play with a deficit of 46 IMPs, England fought back valiantly but, in the end, it was not quite enough.
The play on this the second day of the semi-final had been exciting to watch with several moments of high drama. After many twists and turns along the way, the lead had been reduced to seventeen IMPs as board 90 (out of 96) was placed on the table. The French bid to 5C and we waited for the lead with bated breath.
A heart lead would have resulted in a gain of 13 IMPs (gap down to four) but when a well-reasoned (but unsuccessful this time) trump lead was chosen, the gap widened to twenty-seven. We came back again but, alas, time ran out and our challenge for the Venice Cup was over - so near and yet so far!
Congratulations to a very strong French team that played extremely well throughout the match (particularly in the card-play).
So, now we have a play-off for third place against the Dutch who pipped us for Gold in the Europeans last year - the bronze medal awaits!