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Central Districts News with George McLachlan

Suffering from slow play? Read on.

Gold Medals for Bay Players at Gold Coast.

For the Eastern side of Central Districts, this is traditionally a quiet period on the tournament trial. Perhaps this in part explains why so many Hawke's Bay players head to the Gold Coast Congress. At least 30 from local Bay clubs enjoyed a wonderful week of bridge along with some memorable social occasions where the excellent Broadbeach food was washed down with liberal quantities of wine. Most importantly some of the Hawkes Bay contingent did the region and their clubs proud.

Chris Hagen and Jane O’Brien from the Napier and Taradale Bridge clubs won the Restricted Teams’ competition in combination with Ian Bannister (ex Napier Bridge Club and now living in Canberra) and Fran Martin (ex Taupo Bridge Club and now living in Sydney.) Each member of the team won $500 for the their place as well as 30 A points. Not a bad haul and a real incentive for players who qualify for the Restricted Open section to visit the Gold Coast. Janice Willoughby and Annette  Hagen from the Napier Bridge Club won the Restricted Ivy Dahler Butler Swiss Pairs and collected another generous prize and 18 A points. Congratulations to them all.

 In recent tournaments, the Napier Bridge Club ran a very successful Restricted Pairs tournament attracting 18 tables. It was won by Trish Murphy and George Masters who easily outclassed the field. The Taradale Intermediate tournament was won by Peter Lambourne and Mike Smith.

The CD Regional Committee is trying hard this year to increase the number of pairs competing in the National Rubber Bridge competition. To this end the committee sponsored a session run very capably by Gerry Palmer to teach players how to play/score rubber bridge. Over 20 players attended and played for an hour after the lessons to put their knowledge into practice. Let’s hope that there are a good number who decide to sign up for the rubber competition this year.

Thanks to Mairi Fitzsimons for the above report.

 Picnic Time out West

The Upson Cup is presented to the pair who play in all three of the regional handicap picnic tournaments with the best aggregate net score. New Plymouth is the first of these, followed by Wanganui and then Hawera. Winners for 2019 were Effie Gallie and Kevin Upson, both of whom have been previous winners of this event. They still get excited though because in the rush to have their photo taken they forgot to bring the cup with them!

Effie Gallie  Kevin Upson.jpg 
Effie Gallie and Kevin Upson, minus the cup.

Allan and Kevin Upson donated an impressive two-handled cup for this event about 25 years ago and while most of the time it "lives" in Hawera, there is always a keen interest in who the winners are each year.

The New Plymouth Picnic tournament held late in January resulted in a win for Lyn Muller and Gillian Gonthier, followed home by Sandie and Tim Howard with Marian and Cees Dekker in 3rd place.

 Lyn Muller  .JPG                   Timand Sadie Howard    CD 19.JPG         Dekker.JPG
Lyn Muller and Gillian Gonthier, along              Sadie and Tim Howard (centre)     Marian and Cees Dekker (right)
Leonie Davis (left) who was representing
the event sponsor, Somerset Mountain View


The Wanganui Picnic tournament is always very well supported. Players from 14 clubs participated this year and 26 full tables were in play.  Recently qualified Director, Joe Donkervoort, had an extremely busy day but with a little assistance from Les Gould coped remarkably well. Very good maiden effort, Joe.!  We have pencilled you in for 2020!

The winners were the father/daughter partnership of Dougal Watson and Elizabeth Schuck who travelled up from the Hutt Valley. Hawera pair  Diane Waite/Anne Putt were 2nd and a very joyful, very junior, Wanganui pair were third. Well done Jean Smith and Noel Minnaar.

Dougal Watson Elizabeth Schuck.PNG

Handicaps in favour of the less established players are a good method of encouraging the lesser lights to have a go at the Grand Masters.  There were no fewer than 16 Grand Masters playing in this tournament all of whom scored very well.  Thank you all for supporting the Wanganui Picnic event.

 The Hawera club rooms can handle 20 tables with a bit of a squeeze and 20 tables turned up for their picnic event on 10th February.

There were plenty of Grand Masters at this event also.  Russell Wilson and Alister Stuck almost beat the handicapper and finished a really close 3rd. Winners were the local Hawera pair of Raewyn Keech and Ian Bishop with the New Plymouth pair of Judy Holdom and Maggie Garnham just a fraction behind them. Congratulations to you all. 

..and on the subject of congratulations, we send very best wishes to Penny Stark and Stephen Needham of the Stratford club who got married in January. A photo will appear in the next round up from Central Districts

The Palmerston North club has a lady player who last month celebrated her 99th birthday.  Tony Clear took a very nice photograph of Joan McIntosh  playing a hand on 25th February.  Her partner that day was Jan Whyte and they were 2nd their way. Joan still has a killer instinct at the bridge table and finished a close 3rd with Tony Fayerman on March 4th.  We are all looking forward to gathering around Joan next year to share in the photograph of her holding a message from Queen Elizabeth II.

99 and going strong                                   Top of the "Feild"                             Home Town Winners at Hawera

 Joan McIntosh   99 PN 19.JPG               Peter delahunty, Sandy McKirdy.jpg        Raewyn Keech and Ian Bishop.jpg           

 Joan McIntosh, still loving the game           Winners at Feilding, Peter Delahunty and     winners at Hawera, Rewyn Keech
                                                                    Sandy McKirdy along with club President,     and Ian Bishop
                                                                    Robin Sinclair

...and while on the subject of Palmerston North, there have been some wonderful improvements to the inside of the playing rooms.

16 Grand Masters also turned out for the Feilding Open on February 24th. With no handicaps  this time, the cream floated to the top.! Easy winners were the Wellington pair of Sandy McKirdy and Peter Delahunty. Evelyn and Bob Hurley were 2nd, followed by Jan Whyte and Ken  Bateman. Another maximum field of 16 tables took part.

The weekend of 9th-11th March sees the popular Taranaki Bridge Congress, celebrating the area's Anniversary Day. How about a lst minute entry to Sandra  or phone 027 2888 710? There are events for all grades.

Looking Ahead

The John Fullarton Memorial Teams event will be held during the weekend of 17/18 August. This has a roving venue but this year the Wanganui club has been successful in securing the tournament. Please mark this on your calendar. John Fullarton was a stalwart of the New Plymouth club.

 Dealing with slow play

Like many other clubs, Wanganui has the perennial problem of handling slow players .About 12 months ago the problem disappeared  overnight.!  A menacing trident has been prominently displayed in the club rooms! This has been so effective that slow play is almost non-existent now!

slow bridge players cure.jpg
So, you cannot decide which card to pitch? Maybe this fork will speed up
your decision?





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