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The Dougal McLean Trophy Goes Home to Wellington

Wellington has ended Auckland-Northland’s recent dominance of the Dougal Mclean competition by winning the supreme award at this year’s Inter-Provincials in Dunedin. This was the 9th year of the event. Wellington won the first time the trophy was contested. Since then, Auckland-Northland have won it 6 times, a run only broken by one Canterbury win in 2013. I can see a warm smile and a little twinkle in Dougal’s eye at his home region’s success this time.

It was a close-run thing. Wellington and Auckland-Northland each won two of the four categories with Wellington’s all-round performance just beating that of their Northern rivals:

Dougal Maclean results:

  1. Wellington                                          40
  2. Auckland/Northland                            38
  3. Otago/Southland                                28
  4. Central Districts                                  24
  5. Waikato Bays                                      22
  6. Canterbury                                         16
  7. Top of the South                                  4

Wellington's Women Win

Perhaps the biggest surprise was in the Women’s competition where Wellington has not featured strongly in recent years. This year, both the Auckland-Northland and Waikato Bays teams were full of international pairs and players. With one round out of 14 to go, Wellington had the lead but only by 3.16vps over Waikato Bays and 6.59 vps over Auckland-Northland. Wellington had to play Waikato Bays and seemed not just to have to win but to win well as Auckland-Northland were playing a Canterbury side who had lost their previous 6 matches.

Auckland-Northland posted  16.18 which gave Wellington the luxury of being able to suffer a very small loss. However, they won in style, 15.37 to take the title by nearly 6 vps.

  1. Wellington                                      144.45
  2. Auckland-Northland                        138.67
  3. Waikato Bays                                  130.55

Congratulations to Sandra Coleman- Mindy Wu and Joan McCarthy- Joan Waldvogel.

Wellington women IP winning team 2016.jpg                        Auckland IP winners SENIORS   2016.jpg

The winning chef de mission, Nigel Kearney with three                 Auckland-Northland's winning Seniors' team: Allan Morris

members of the winning Wellington Women's team,                     Neil Stuckey, Barry Palmer and Beverley Morris

Sandra Coleman, Joan McCarthy and Joan Waldvogel

(missing is Mindy Wu)

Auckland Northland Retain Seniors' Trophy

The Seniors competition looked with three rounds to go as though it could be a close battle. However, Auckland-Northland produced the goods when it really mattered, averaging 17 with three big wins, over their main rivals, Canterbury, Wellington and Otago-Southland, to win with a great degree of comfort:

  1. Auckland- Northland                       146.82
  2. Canterbury                                     126.64
  3. Otago- Southland                           123.02

Congratulations to Bev and Allan Morris, Neil Stuckey and Barry Palmer.

Capital Intermediates

Wellington’s most emphatic performance was in the Intermediate event. They recorded 9 wins and 3 losses but only one loss of more than 3 imps. With one round left, they could not be caught. The final scores were:

     

  1. Wellington                                       162.57
  2. Waikato Bays                                  140.62
  3. Central Districts                              118.88

Well done to Chris Collins- Sam Ward and Nan Wehipeihana – Julia Barnett.

Chris Collins  Well IP Team.jpg           Sam Ward.jpg

             Chris Collins                                                                                 Sam Ward

Open Trophy stays up North

Auckland- Northland fielded a strong Open team, featuring one of the pairs who won in 2015, Steve Boughey- Andrew Tarbutt who were playing with Jonathan Westoby-Michael Cornell. They were kept “honest” in particular by Wellington, with both teams winning 10 out of 12 though Auckland-Northland won big and could afford two losses to their only two serious challengers in the last two rounds and still emerge as comfortable winners.

  1. Auckland-Northland                          164.39
  2. Wellington                                         151.41
  3. Otago-Southland                              145.86

Auckland Open IP winners 2016.jpg                              Nan and Julia Barnett.jpg

Auckland-Northland's Open winners, Andrew Tarbutt, Stephen Boughey,      Nan Wehipeihana and Julia Barnett

Michael Cornell and Jonathan Westoby                                                          Intermediate winners from Wellington

However, it was in scoring two first place, one second place and one fifth place that got Wellington the precious Dougal Maclean trophy.

A Bold Switch

A small piece of the action. In the first round match between Auckland and Wellington, both East-West pairs bid up to 5Club-small after their opponents had bid and supported spades. This is what both North players saw as they led the Diamond-smallA at trick 1.

 

Board 24
West Deals
None Vul
A K 9 8 7 3
9 8 2
A
9 5 3
   
N
W   E
S
 
6 2
J 4
K Q 10 8 7 4 3
Q 6

 

When Steve Boughey was North (for Auckland-Northland), he found the excellent underlead of the Spade-smallAK at trick 2 and his partner, Andrew Tarbutt, gave Steve a ruff with his only other diamond to defeat the contract. The Wellington North player continued at trick 2 with a high spade, after which the contract was cold.

 

Board 24
West Deals
None Vul
A K 9 8 7 3
9 8 2
A
9 5 3
10
A K
J 6 5
A K J 10 8 7 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
6 2
J 4
K Q 10 8 7 4 3
Q 6
 
Q J 5 4
Q 10 7 6 5 3
9 2
4

 

At one down, 5Spade-small was a very cheap "insurance" sacrifice unless you could find Steve and Andrew’s defence to beat 5Club-small.

Cornell Class

There is no-one in the field of 112 players with as much experience as Michael Cornell. How would you handle these East cards?

Spade-small 976542

Heart-small Q9

Diamond-small 76

Club-small AK5

Your partner opens a 15-17 1NT and the opponents are silent. What is your plan?

Michael had one, a very good one. He transferred to spades and then..bid 3NT, pretending he held only a 5 card spade suit. His partner, Jonathan Westoby, held 3 spades but in a flat hand and elected to pass 3NT, a great decision:

 

Board 20
West Deals
Both Vul
J 10 3
A K 7 4 3
8 5 2
10 8
A K Q
J 10 5
Q J 3
Q 6 4 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
9 7 6 5 4 2
Q 9
7 6
A K 5
 
8
8 6 2
A K 10 9 4
J 9 7 3
West North East South
1 NT Pass 2  Pass
2  Pass 3 NT All pass

 

When North started with a low heart, Jonathan had a claim for 10 tricks. Meanwhile, a couple of AKs defeated 4Spade-small in the other room. Many of the defending pairs found it hard to cash four tricks against spade contracts but no other East-West pair out of the 24 who held these cards found the 100% cold 3NT contract.

Although there were some travel issues surrounding this year’s event, the general feeling was that the event had been very well run, including in the catering department. The directng and scoring staff, host region and club should feel a job very well done.

Richard Solomon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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