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Gloucestershire (home) 13/09/2015

Report by John Auld

The new season started against strong opposition. We snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the Dawes match but had a strong performance in the Porter whilst conceding the Markham.

The teams with Butler imps scores were:


William & Daniel Crook  - 11

Frank Ball & Steve Raine 19

Irene & John Auld -12

Lloyd Eagling & Keith Rodgers -1


Ian Dovey & Shirley Ashtari 0

Bill Whalley & Pravin Taylor 26

Gordon Fullerton & Graham Lee 24

John Rolph & Bernard Moore 17


Tim Anderson & Bernard Scanlon -14

Janet Jacques & June Marron -16

Toni Smith  & Anthony Pettengell 9

Wendy  Walker & Nick Clarke -32


Well done to the Porter team with Pravin & Bill just best.


Part of the games fascination is that 48 good county players can get so many things wrong.

This was board 3:


This was our auction to 2H- widely replicated and a disaster for East-West who have 11 tricks available in spades. A long time ago Clive Kaye told me that a 2S overcall  of a 1S response was natural. This simple agreement has proved very useful but obviously is not widespread. As it went East should surely protect with 2S; true North has some spades but is that so bad?

This happens quite often. Take board 11:

I thought the East hand minimum for immediate action but protected over 2C. Nine tricks were easy despite the trump break the only detail being the need to play a small spade to the queen. (In fact the hand record says that 4H can be made but that defeats me.) Once again most East-Wests sold out. The Crooks made 3NT but that is another story.

There were two grand slams which depended on diamond singletons. Firstly board 21: 

Against us Pat Shields and Alan Wearmouth cruised to 7H. They played 2C as game forcing which allowed a splinter bid of 4D which solved everything. Contrast the normal start 1H-2C-3H. No doubt it can be done but nobody else managed it.

And only one pair bid 7S on board 30:

Frank Ball and Steve Raine were a scratch pairing but scored best in the Dawes team. Here Steve helped the auction by bidding a space saving 2D ; where it began 2C-3C-3S things became predictably random. Frank describes his final bid as a punt but even if he had made another try I am sure that Steve would have been bidding lots more. Credit where credit is due.