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Central Districts News with George McLachlan

It was very fitting that Bob Hurley (partnered by wife Evelyn) should win the recent Dannevirke Open.  Bob's father, Arthur, was a founding member of the club. A recent newspaper article referred to his involvement with the N.Z. Army during the Italian phase of WWII and in particular the battle for Cassino.  The article is displayed on the club notice board for all to see and Bob obligingly posed for a photograph next to his father.

Bob Hurley    Cassino paper.JPG

Evelyn and Bob Hurley have won many tournaments in their long bridge careers and this photo taken after the prize-giving  at Dannevirke   Shows that it is still possible for husband/wife pairs to remain on good terms with each other!

                                                   Successful Partnerships

 Bob and Evelyn Hurley.JPG                      David and Lyn O'Shaughnessy 19.JPG
Bob and Evelyn Hurley at Dannevirke                               David and Lyn O'Shaughnessy at Hawera

 Hawera sponsors a charity tournament each year and the Muscular Distrophy organisation was this year's beneficiary. Winners were the pairing of David and Lynette O'Shaughnessy.

The Easter multi-grade tournament at Levin is always well supported and 42 pairs entered this year. Wellington club members filled the first two places.  Mindy Wu/John Davidson returned a 62%  round in both sessions.  Runners-up were Donna Upchurch and Nebojsa Djorovic.

John Wilkinson Mindy Wu  19.JPG   Mark Knijten   Jim Heald.JPG  
Wellington winners at Levin, John Wilkinson...and Levin winners at Wanganui, Mark Kuijten and Jim Heald         
and Mindy Wu   

Wanganui  had an excellent turnout of 18 tables for the Intermediate/Junior tournament held last month. Levin's Mark Kuijten and Jim Heald love this tournament  having won it in 2017 and again this year. Congratulations boys!  12 Junior pairs were in the field and 2nd place went to a promising pair from Hawera ,Ann Putt and Diane Waite.  Congratulations girls!

 Ann Putt  Diane Waite.JPG        Cees and Marian Dekker.JPG
  Second at Wanganui: Ann Putt and Diane Waite    Stratford winners: Cees and Marian Dekker

Stratford pairs couldn't make it to the Wanganui Picnic tournament held back in February because it was a big day for local players Penny Stark and Steven Needham who got married that weekend.  I mentioned in the last Central Districts. round-up that a photo would be included this time and here it is.  Not taken on their wedding day but at the recent Stratford Intermediate/Junior tournament when they were the first Junior pair home.  Congratulations all round to  Penny and Steven! 

                   The Newly Weds

Penny and Steven Needham.JPG
    Penny and Steven Needham, the happy cause of reduced numbers at Wanganui

The Stratford club is one of the smallest in this region with only two dozen members. Only 16 of these  play regularly. 13 of those played in this tournament which was won by Marian and Cees Dekker by a whisker from Hawera pair Pauline and Maurice Fensom.

Good to see 16 tables in play. Well done, Stratford.

                                The winners ...and the workers at Marton

 Marton  also had 16 tables for their Open tournament held recently.  Steve Baron was a professional jockey in his younger days. He actually rode 5 winners before increasing weight ruled him out as a career rider.  His winning of this tournament with local player Matthew Hughes was the closest he has come to being beaten in a photo finish since his riding days ended. The first three pairs home all returned 58 point something  .. close to a triple dead-heat!  Also in the photo-finish were Lorraine Stachurski-Sarah Green and Pat Oyston-Anita Thirtle.  The next three pairs almost tied as well being about 1% behind!  The first 6 pairs were covered by only 3%.

                   The winners                                                  The workers

Matt Hughes Steve Baron.JPG            Marton workers 19.JPG
   Matt Hughes and Steve Baron                                     Julie Sabine, Doug Cain, Glenice Sullivan,
                                                                                       John Bligh and Wendy Forsyth

No tournament can function properly without good "behind the scenes" organisation. These people are always "mentioned in dispatches" but not often featured in photographic form. Here are the very important workers who kept the ship upright at Marton. Many thanks to Julie Sabine, Doug Cains, Glenice Sullivan, John Bligh and Wendy Forsyth.

The Feilding Intermediate attracted a field of 9 tables for last week's tournament.  In a topsy-turvy set of results for many pairs, the winners were the Hawera coupling of Irene Taunt and Helen Kelly who are building up an excellent partnership.  Welcome to the Open grade now girls and congratulations!  No photo for this round-up but certainly in the next!

The inter-provincial trials take place in Wanganui this weekend.  Good luck to all players..It is nice to note a much better turn-out from the Intermediate grade this year.

After a couple of years in the wilderness, the Palmerston North club has re-joined the three-way inter-club teams competition which is set down for Sunday 9th June.  Welcome back! 

News from Hawke's Bay
(thanks to Mairi Fitzsimons)  On "the east" lessons are in full swing in all clubs. The four clubs clustered in the Napier/Hastings area have attracted between them over 80 players. While this averages out at 20 a club, it is a very good take for the area when compared to the lesson numbers in metropolitan clubs. The challenge, of course, is to keep those players interested and involved after the lessons are completed. With that in mind, all clubs have offered refresher and improver classes.

A very successful improvers group is being run by Peter Ramsey at the Havelock North Bridge Club. Every Monday afternoon he runs a session which is aimed at developing partnership understanding in bidding, discards, conventions and so on. It is so popular that over 40 players are attending every week.

Numbers at two session tournaments in the area remain rather low with the average being around 12 tables. It is to be hoped that the emphasis on providing ongoing support for our players will result in greater table numbers at tournaments. The Hastings Junior/novice tournament attracted 11 tables and was comfortably won by Judy and Ken McDonald with Lois Rodler and Ruth Whittle second and Bernie Schroder and Pam Stenning third.

If two session tournaments are not large, the same cannot be said for charity tournaments in the area. Every year, our clubs run a one session tournament and the funds raised from it are donated to a selected charity. To date the Napier, Havelock North and Hastings Bridge Clubs have held their tournaments which have attracted fields of 20 plus tables. The charities chosen by each club were the Surf Life Saving Association, Kids Can and the Women’s Refuge. On average, the donation to each local charity is $1000. Perhaps the higher table numbers for theses charities reflects the desire to support the cause but it also reflects the popularity of one session tournaments with a nice afternoon tea thrown in! The Central Districts Bridge Mate, Denise Ohlen, has proved that one session tournaments are popular by running them for novice players on a Sunday afternoon.

At the end of this month the Hawkes Bay Bridge Congress will take place at the Taradale Club. This is the 27th year this popular and successful event has been held. A large field with over 50 teams is expected and players from all ranks have events they can enter and have the opportunity to win a large range of prizes.

Swiss Pairs at Wanganui

Mark down Sunday July 14th on your playing calendar.  That's the day of the Wanganui Open tournament which this year will be a Swiss Pairs event. Wanganui  is one of the oldest clubs in the region (formed in 1940) and this will be the first time that Swiss Pairs scoring will be used in our Open. Only 13 tables entered last year.  We can manage 3 rows of nine tables in the Wanganui club rooms. Thus, with the increasing popularity of teams-type scoring, we could well double the table numbers this year.

The lessons for new players in Wanganui commence on Thursday 6th June at 7pm. Current members are encouraged to come along to assist the tutors and to make the new recruits feel at home.  Retention is always a problem but we are intending to involve Jane Stearns' ideas on this subject this time around as her reputation has filtered down to the Wanganui area these days. Expect a call any day now, Jane!


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