Friday, 22 January 2010

Lady Milne Trials

The selectors have chosen the team for the ladies European Championship in Ostend. The "Big Four", reigning world champions Brock/Smith and Dhondy/Senior, selected themselves. (Not literally!) Youngsters Fiona Brown and Susan Stockdale got the nod to complete the team, ahead of Catherine Jagger and Sarah Teshome who are the reserve pair.

Trials take place this weekend to find England's teams for the Lady Milne Trophy, the ladies home international series. I do mean teams plural, we have two this year, to make the numbers even.

The top three pairs will automatically be the funded "England" team. The next three may play on the self-funding "English Bridge Union" team if they wish, and then down the list in order if a pair declines.

20 pairs have entered in total, a very good turnout. Perhaps we will have debut internationalists by Sunday night? A list of pairs and further information here:

It's going to be on BBO, starting 7.15 tonight (Friday). Good luck to you all!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

1st Camrose weekend

The first of this season's two Camrose weekends takes place 8-10th January at the Edinburgh Novotel. There's plenty of information on the local website:

The England team looks like this:

Peter Crouch & Derek Patterson from Kent, the only English pair selected for both weekends. Peter and Derek are in fine form. They topped the Butlers whilst winning the Premier League, and faced each other in the final of the Gold Cup, Peter coming out on top. Derek was on the winning British team in the 1987 World Juniors.

Michelle Brunner & John Holland from Manchester, where they run a bridge school together. John has recently won the Senior Bowl in Sao Paulo. Michelle has won the IPBA prize for the best defence two years running, and everything in the ladies game over the years.

David Price & Colin Simpson, from Suffolk and Buckinghamshire respectively, were also on the Senior Bowl team. They played on the 2004/5 England team, the only one ever to qualify for the Bermuda Bowl.

The captain is Paul Hackett, vice-captain Simon Cocheme.

As usual the Irish will be the main opposition. Four of the six "whaaaales of Irish bridge" (as per their npc David Jackson) will appear each weekend. I don't suppose Jacko will risk his third pair very much, so the whaaaales will have to play more or less throughout. This might just give England the edge. Wales won't be far away. On form Scotland and the two Northern Ireland teams are there to make up the numbers.

The first match starts 7.30pm Friday, if you'd like to cheer on your team every board will be broadcast live with commentary on BBO.