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Canterbury News with Max Robb

Every follower of golf knows how fickle golf results can be – even Tiger Woods could not win everything. This month has seen a few surprising results, so much so that every Bridge tournament player can live in hope of taking a first prize!

Geraldine 8B         In late February, Neville Newburn of Timaru received a call from Sonia Gill from the Waimate Club, wanting a partner for the Geraldine 8B. He couldn’t oblige but suggested she contact Jim Burford, one of Timaru’s promising players. It was great to see they gelled to duly win the tournament (which had a full room), by a clear margin. A nice reward for them, particularly for Sonia, who recently put herself forward to serve the province as the newly appointed Regional Bridge-Mate. This success as an Intermediate will help her when she encourages budding players to give tournaments a go.

Ashburton Anniversary Pairs 8B      A fortnight later it was the turn of two other relative light-weights to head a reasonable field of 16 tables in the mid-Canterbury tournament.

After the first session I’m sure that as Uneta Denly [Local Master}, and Peggy Shaw[ Junior] went for lunch. They must have thought they were on cloud nine – their score was just a pip away from 70%. Sue Rosevear and John Fechney were first their way in both sessions, but it was not enough, as Uneta and Peggy chimed in with a solid 59% in the afternoon to win the tournament. Congrats to these four players from South Canterbury.

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10A Teams success at Timaru for Sue Rosevear, John Fechney and Peter and Trish Downward

The Timaru Congress    This is a popular 2 day tournament and the Timaru Club was very pleased to attract players from as far away as Invercargill, Dunedin, and even from Nelson. All the visitors bolstered the numbers to 8 tables in the Intermediate, and 16 tables in the open.  There were similar numbers for the Pairs event, and for the first time the club was very pleased to have 5 tables of Junior Pairs.

Open Teams     Now the Nelson team of Dot Rapley, Michelle Wintour, Ian Brash and Chris Turner played steady bridge all day to end up 4th in the room. They were tickled pink with their success, and I can just imagine their collective euphoria as they started the long trip back to Nelson. But the day really belonged to the only Ashburton team – Trish and Peter Downward, Sue Rosevear and John Fechney. With only one narrow loss they headed the field, arguably the only time a South Canterbury team has won this event. It was quite an exciting moment for each of these players as none of them had won a Teams event before, let alone a 10A! When asked for a key moment, Sue told me that one occurred when John decided to bid 5Heart-small nervously over the opposition’s pre-emptive spade bids. Sue decided to go 6Heart-small on the strength of her 2nd round stopper in spades. It paid off.

In the Intermediate Teams Madge Baker, Joan Hazelhurst, Deborah Matthews and Rex Green prevailed for the day, winning 4 matches out of 7. Madge and Joan were actually members of the winning team in 2017. The second placed team (Sheree Hayman/Jan Davidson/Margie Baird/Junelle Edmonds) also had 4 wins and when they won in the last round against Madge Baker’s team they must have thought they might have prevailed.

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Chris Turner (left), Dot Rapley, Michelle Wintour and Ian Brash are delighted with their finish at Timaru.
Everyone seems pretty happy too.

Timaru Congress Pairs On the Sunday the established partnership of Neil Hawkins and Richard Lapthorne were clear winners of the morning session, and had a solid second session, to clinch 1st in the Open Pairs.

 With consistent results the Intermediate Pairs was won by Darryl Dowthwaite and Ian Beattie, their first tournament win together. Helen Bremner and Margaret Fraser had the top percentage in the afternoon, but they were pipped for 2nd place over the day by Robyn Rogers and Pauline Prendergast.

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First time success for Ian Beattie and Darryl Dowthwaite

  It is not often that a club can boast a separate Junior Section in a tournament. Glynis Sutherland and Shona Stoddart, with an average of 62%, were clear winners. Roger Brown and Terence Clarke should be encouraged by their 2nd placing.

Christchurch Easter Congress 10A

Open Teams. There were 9 teams so the format was a round robin. This was won by Jan Alabaster/Pamela Livingston/Jane Lennon and Alan Grant .They started the day with a big win, and were the only team to score 7 wins to come out comfortably on top. In second place were Mehboob Chiba/Graeme Tufnell/Jenny Wilkinson and Tina McVeigh.  The Jackson team of Sharon Jackson/Eamon Jackson/Naomi Hannah-Brown and Trish Scott had done well in the earlier rounds and their hopes were up. Unfortunately they lost to Chiba in the last round. Nevertheless they won the subsidiary competition and took home a bottle of bubbly each.

Intermediate Teams. This was also a round Robin affair. The winning team of Jan Lenton/Lizzy Horsey/Darryl Dowthwaite/Deborah Matthews had a 3-1-1 record for the day. But it was their 14-6 win against Giles Hancock/Rory Redmayne/Denise Lang/ Carole Anderson that gave them the edge in the competition by a margin of 63 to 59.

Open Pairs Twenty partnerships contested this event. I had been talking to an experienced friend along the lines that everyone had some chance of doing well [see the start of this article], but he demurred and wrote out a list of those who he thought would fill the first 6 places. His prediction was virtually correct- they did end up inside the first 7 places.

                It is probably true to say that the outcome was not decided until the last board of the day. Fiona Temple/John Kruiniger had a stronger showing in the afternoon to place 4th(113.87). Mehboob Chiba had teamed up with former club member Graeme Tufnell to place 3rd(114.26). But it was two other new partnerships that sneaked ahead of them. Jane Lennon with Alan Grant(Wellington) had a consistent day to come second, only the slimmest of margins separating the leading three pairs. Tim Schumacher and Bradley Johnston, who had had an impressive first round, managed to hold on to win the tournament by 0.06 points! Talking to Tim afterwards, he had nothing but praise for the knowledge and skill of his young partner Bradley from Dunedin. 

Rangiora 5A        The clubrooms were filled to capacity – 22 tables – mainly Cantabrians but a few adventurous souls arrived from Takaka, Nelson and Westport. But the day clearly belonged to the following Rangiora Club members.

                Darcy Preston and Graeme Black topped the room in the first session with 65%. In the second session it was Judith Driver and Jan Roose’s turn to record a similar score . At the end of the day Judy and Jan ended up a commendable second. Meantime only fellow club members had noticed that Heather Waldron and Jeanette Chatterton had ticked along nicely with scores averaging 60%, to secure a narrow lead.  In the third session it was their turn to blitz the field with the best score of the day (68%). Their winning total was 14 points clear of the rest of the field. For both of them it was their first A Point tournament win, even more enjoyable as they were where their friends could celebrate their wonderful success. When I left they were on their second glass of wine. Well done, Jeanette and Heather.

Heather Waldron and Jeanette Chatterton Rangiora 2018.jpg
Heather and Jeanette, clear winners at Rangiora





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