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Consistent Wellington win the Dougal McLean Trophy

Wellington won only one of the five Inter-Provincial trophies in ensuring that the Dougal McLean Trophy remains in the this year’s host region but it was the important one, the Dougal McLean Trophy itself. Consistency won the day as Wellington recorded three second places and one third place to keep the trophy where Dougal would surely like it to be. Last year, Wellington won two of the sections to win this trophy and this year they proved all they had to do was be consistent, to be the best Region. 

4. Wellington Team.JPG
The victorious Region

The Section winners were: Auckland- Northland won the Open, Waikato Bays the Seniors and Intermediate and Canterbury the Women’s title. 

Dougal McLean Trophy for the Best Region

1 Wellington 38
2 Waikato Bays 34
3 Canterbury 31
4 Auckland- Northland 25
5 Central Districts 22
6 Otago Southland 14
7 Top of the South 8

Here’s a couple of reasons why the Capital came out on top.

Board 5
North Deals
N-S Vul
A J 7 6
K Q 10 9 6 3 2
8 2
K Q 10 5 4 3
Q J 6 5 2
7 6
W   E
9 8 2
A 10
A 7
A K 10 9 5 4
K 9 8 7 4 3
J 8 5 4
Q J 3
West North East South
Steve Baron John Patterson Les Gould Kate Davies
  1 Dbl 1
4 All pass    


Steve Baron, West, for Central Districts, won the Diamond-smallK lead in dummy and led a spade to the king. If Wellington’s John Patterson, North, wins and continues diamonds, declarer can ruff and lead a low spade from hand. Dummy still has a trump to prevent a further diamond force. Steve would lose just two spades and a heart. 

However, on that first round of spades, John Patterson ducked theSpade-smallK. This made it very tough for the declarer. Steve tried another spade. John won with his jack and continued diamonds. Declarer ruffed in hand. John still had Spade-smallA7  and dummy had only one trump left. West was down to three trumps. Another trump followed (won by John) was followed by another diamond saw both West and North left with one trump each..and the heart finesse had not yet been lost. Steve could draw the last trump  but thus lost control when he tried the heart finesse. The defence took  a diamond trick (as well as 2 trumps and a heart) to be one down. To succeed after John’s duck, declarer must play on clubs, losing just three trump tricks.

In the other room, 5Spade-smallx was defeated by a trick. So, John’s excellent duck saved an 11 imp loss, reducing the loss on the board to just two imps.

What would you bid?

Jeffrey Craanen, a first-timer in the event, like his Intermediate teammates held the following in Wellington's first round-robin match against Canterbury:

Spade-small J10

Heart-small A106

Diamond-small Q532

Club-small QJ74

His partner, Elaine Richardson, opened a natural 1Club-small and Jeffrey responded 1Diamond-small which was raised to 3Diamond-small by Elaine. Superficially, the hand is not that strong, but Jeffrey’s minor suit honours looked very valuable. Holding both minors (yes, knowing partner has 4+ clubs can be very useful sometimes!) Elaine was likely to be very short in one of the majors. So, Jeffrey made a good decision to close the auction with a 5Club-small bid. These were the four hands:

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


5Diamond-small might have been better if that suit broke 3-2 and hearts were poorly placed as there is a discard available on the long club. However, the bad diamond break and 3-1 club break meant 5Diamond-small could be defeated. . However 5Club-small was fine with just one loser in each major suit. Meanwhile Jack Lyon and Ken Johns for Canterbury stopped in 4Diamond-small making 10 tricks..10 imps to Wellington.

Intermediates - Click here for full Results

1 Waikato Bays 160.32
2 Wellington 145.03
3 Top of The South 136.12
4 Central Districts 113.28
5 Canterbury 104.77
6 Auckland-Northland 93.44
7 Otago-Southland 87.04






While on the Intermediates, the Waikato Bays Intermediate Team had a wonderful tournament. They were the only unbeaten team out of the 4 categories in the first round-robin and coasted home to beat Wellington by over 15 vps. Here is an example of the good form they were displaying.That’s over a 13 vp average to the winners, an excellent result.

Board 11
South Deals
None Vul
Q 10 8 3
K Q 6
10 6 5 4 3
9 6
A J 9 8 5 4 2
9 8
7 6
W   E
J 4
10 7 3
Q 2
A K Q 8 4 3
A K 7 5 2
A K J 7
J 9 5 2
West North East South
  Brian Sullivan   Brian Gallagher
4 4 5 6
All pass      


Brian Gallagher was both lucky and unlucky when he bid to the 6 level. He would have been horrified to know that 5 of his partner’s 7 high card points were in the opponents’ suit though this was more than made up for by reasonable trumps and great length in the minors. Spades and diamonds were extremely friendly meaning that Brian would have made the slam even without the Heart-smallA lead.

The Brians’ teammates, Bren Birss and Pamela Pedersen, from Mt Maunganui, weighed in with an aggressive 4Spade-small game which had to be played well to make.

Board 6
East Deals
E-W Vul
Q 7 6
A Q 9 6 5 4
10 8 3
6 5 4
A K 10 5 4
8 7 2
5 2
W   E
A K J 9 8 7
J 2
K Q 9 6
Q 3 2
9 8 3
K J 3
A J 7 4

There is a certain club and diamond loser and if spades do not break (as they did not), there is no luxury of taking a (losing) heart finesse. So ruff the second round of diamonds at trick 2 and play a heart to dummy and a club to the king and ace. Win the continuation, ruff a club, back to hand with a trump and ruff a second club. If that was over-ruffed, it would hopefully be at the expense of a natural trump loser. On this day, though, there was no over-ruff and declarer could coast to 10 tricks.

Seniors - Click here for full Results

Waikato Bays were even more impressive in the Seniors’ event.

1 Waikato Bays 169.13
2 Canterbury 135.92
3 Wellington 130.77
4 Central Districts 105.53
5 Otago Southland 101.82
6 Auckland-Northland 101.56
7 Top of The South 95.27







That’s a 14+ vps per match average for the team of Pat Rutherford – Tony Hacking and Rachelle Pelkman – Murray Wood.

Women - Click here for full Results

The Canterbury Women’s team of Shirley Newton – Jenny Wilkinson and Laura Stephen – Jane Lennon had the luxury of two losses in their final two matches but still winning by a reasonably comfortable margin.

1 Canterbury 152.43
2 Wellington 141.40
3 Auckland-Northland 134.84
4 Waikato Bays 134.27
5 Otago Southland 126.74
6 Central Districts 79.92
7 Top of The South 70.40







Open - Click here for full Results

The Auckland Open team of Jeter Liu – John Wang and Susan Humphries – Steph Jacob only lost 3 matches all weekend and two of those were small losses. It was worth the fly home, Susan, to represent your Region and do well !

1 Auckland-Northland 155.01
2 Wellington 145.25
3 Central Districts 140.86
4 Otago-Southland 119.45
5 Canterbury 114.00
6 Waikato Bays 91.87
7 Top of The South 68.56






All those who took part seemed to enjoy their experience. Congratulations should also go to all those involved in the organisation at the Wellington Bridge Club, with Murray Wiggins and Sam Ward respectively directing and scoring the event and also to all those who brought the event to life via Vu-Graph.

Richard Solomon

If you wish to view more photos of the IPs, click on the Facebook icon at the top of the website page

Take the time to listen to this interview with Brian Gallaher from the winning Waikato Bays Intermediate team

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