By NPC Alan Shillitoe
What a difference a day makes. On Tuesday the U26 team was quite flat having nothing to play for apart from trying to beat France. And they did - at last the opponents bid a grand slam worse than 50% that went off! Unfortunately normal service was resumed in the last match against Canada and another dubious effort rolled in against us!
So on Wednesday it was into the consolation Board-A-Match qualifiers. Two boards, all-play-all today with a second qualifying day tomorrow with drop-ins from the QFs of the main events. After that, the top 12 will qualify for the final on Friday. And the English Lions certainly roared as they led and pulled away all day to leave themselves in a very strong position. The Cubs, who included a pair of U16s who were gluttons for even more punishment, also finished in the top half today. Oscar Selby and Liz Gahan certainly made their mark, not least on one unfortunate Australian pair. Oscar had doubled their 3H effort for penalties and their opponent from down under attempted to psyche his way out of it with a confident redouble. There were some shaky passes before this became the final contract, but then the defence was unerring and moments later the contract was 2-off for +600 and a clear win on the board. They won't try that one again in a hurry!