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Northside People Article on Battle of the Bay in support of St Francis Hospice

Very proud of this article in Northside People detailing the fabulous efforts of Dick Kiernan and Michael O'Keeffe in organising the Battle of the Bay event which raised almost €10,000 for St Francis Hospice. 


Player of the Month
Player of the Month
Player of the Month

From January 2021, we are introducing another new feature on CAVBC –  Player of the Month. Now there just won’t be one Player of the Month, there will actually be three 🤩

    • Open Player of the Month (based upon a player’s best 7 results in Open games in a calendar month provided a player has taken part in at least 5 qualifying Open games)

    • Novice/B Player of the Month (based upon a player’s best 7 results in Novice/B games in a calendar month provided a player has taken part in at least 5 qualifying Novice/B games)

    • Novice Player of the Month - Cancelled from Sep 2021

Certain games will be excluded when it comes to working out the Player of the Month:

  • Draw for Partner Games  - from March this only applies to Open and Novice/B

  • Thursday Morning Games

  • Simultaneous Pairs

  • Team Matches

  • Individual Games

  • Other games as decided upon by the CAVBC working group

We will use the CBAI masterpoints allocated to each player to compile the Player of the Month lists. Only positive scores will be reflected - so only overall results > 0 will be displayed.  While there won’t be any prize money for the player of the month, there will be bragging rights!  

Check out the detailed results on the side menu for both categories, sorted by month.

Player of the Month - Mar-May 2022


Player of the Month - Feb 2022 - Write Up by Dan O'Mahony

I played “face to face” or 3D bridge last night in Raheny Bridge Club for the 1st time in two years and came face to face with John Keenan and remembered that I forgot to publish the February Player of the Month write up.

In February we had a bit of the old and a bit of the new. The old was Kathleen Briody (I am not saying that Kathleen is old, sure doesn’t she plunge into the waters of Dublin Bay every day come hail, rain or snow), who has won the Novice/B Player of the Month on two previous occasions and now gets to put the 3rd star on her CAVBC jumper. The new was John Keenan who got to win the Open Player of the Month for the 1st time. And it wasn’t for lack of trying that John had not won previously. He regularly finished in the top 10, and he had mentioned to me that he felt “blessed” as more often than not he was the only man amongst all the women in the top ten.

Now I am not sure if I told you or not, but I got to go to New York in February, a trip which I had previously planned to take in October 2020 and we all know what happened to our 2020 planned trips. When I left Dublin on Monday 21st, Patrica Quiqley, who I play with regularly, was sitting pretty on the top of the leader board and I left her in the capable hands of her other regular partners Frances Gill and Anne Duffy. She made a valiant effort to retain her place, but it was not to be as John pulled out all the stops and picked up points on the 5 games that he played in from 22nd to 28th February. He certainly lived up to his soubriquet of “blessed” as he only played with women in February and not just any women, but women who have regularly won our Open Player of the Month or featured in the top ten including Kay McDonald, Eileen Glackin, Rona Booth, Rose Burke, Catherine Leehane and Marguerita Cox. No flies on our John! I did ask John for his photo, but he told me he was much too shy (or maybe he just wants to remain a man of mystery). However, if you do want to see John, you will find him playing in Raheny Bridge Club in St Paul’s School every Tuesday night and he may give you a signed photo. He did say “Just thank all my partners. As they say it takes two to tango. They told me “Just keep quiet and let us play the hands””. This conjures up for me a picture of our John tangoing up and down his dining room table like Al Pacino in “Scent of a Woman”, while his “women” play all the bridge!!

Now back to the old. Kathleen and Helen Donoghue had a very close battle for top spot in the Novice/B Player of the Month competition. In the last week though, Kathleen with her partners Una O’Byrne and Brenda Drumgoole, kept her foot to the pedal with two 1st place finishes and a 3rd place finish. Helen did her best also with two 1st place finishes when partnering Kathryn Leen and Liam Walls, but it wasn’t enough to catch the ever competitive Limerick Lady Kathleen.

Here are the top 10 in both of the February competitions:

A lot of our clubs are in the process of returning to face to face bridge this month, but we will still continue our Player of the Month competitions just for the fun of it, so don’t forget to check it out.

Player of the Month - Jan 2022 - Write Up by Dan O'Mahony

Our first player of the month competitions for 2022 ended on Monday 31st. They were both very closely fought and were only decided upon on the Monday.

In the Open competition, Eileen Hickey and Kay McDonald, both previous winners, were tied on the same score going into Monday’s game. I was TD for the night, so I had a grandstand view of how the game unfolded. Eileen was playing with one of her regular partners, Joanne Lyons in the N/S section and Kay was playing with one of her regular partners Christine Watters in the E/W section. In their head to head match, Eileen and Joanne came out on top. However, when all the rounds were complete, they both ended in 2nd place in each of their sections and collected 40 master points. Now you would think that if they were both level on points going into the game, and they both collected 40 points in the game, then they would both be level at the end of the game. Well, you would be wrong (as I was mind you), as you have to allow for the fact that the Player of the Month is determined by your best 7 scores in the month. In Eileen’s case the worst of her 7 scores was 49, while Kay’s worst score was 19. So, Kay was able to replace her score of 19 with a score of 40, while Eileen could not replace her worst score. As a result, Kay came out on top by 21 points, (Did you get all that? I am glad that this is done automatically for us). This is Kay’s second time winning player of the month. Her previous win was last February. As Kay says, “You can’t win Player of the Month without the help of your partners”, so as well as Christine Watters, she wanted to thank John Keenan, Maria Callinan, Mary Conlan and Mary Reid who all helped her to win the January competition.

In the Novice/B competition, another previous winner Mary Byrne was out in front going into Monday night’s game and she was also followed by another previous winner, Helen Donoghue and Liam Walls who have forged a very strong partnership. But on Monday they were not playing together as Liam had a date with his regular “face to face” partner Denis Murphy. Helen sat in the partnership desk hoping to find a partner, but it was not to be. On the night neither Mary or Liam scored any points. Meanwhile, Derry Peacock, did his best to catch Mary, but he just fell short finishing 2nd on the night and 2nd overall. Helen and Liam finished joint 3rd and Mary’s regular partner and TD extraordinaire Vanessa Timon finished in 5th place. In fact, if Vanessa had not been TD’ing on one of the nights, when Mary played with Anne Ryan and picked up some points, Vanessa could have been sharing the Player of the Month accolade with Mary. Such are the trials and tribulations of a TD!

Now the good thing about having winners that have won previously, is that I am able to go up to the attic where I have the portraits of all the previous winners along with my own portrait where we are all forever young. So here they are our January winners. Congratulations.

CAVBC Player of the Year 2021 - The big reveal !!
CAVBC Player of the Year 2021 - The big reveal !!

Here they are – our Players of the Year

Last week Patricia went out into the highways and byways of Clontarf in search of bouquets to present to our Players of the Year. (We might have managed a bottle of whiskey if there was a man amongst them, but woe is me it was not to be, and I am told flowers are more appropriate for ladies. We did hear that “The lady loves Milk Tray” and Dick did offer to don his little black number and present boxes of Milk Tray, but on reflection we felt that this would have been seen to be sexist in the extreme so flowers it was!!).

Patricia’s first port of call was Rona (never the bride always the bridesmaid) Booth. This time Rona did not have to catch the bouquet as it was actually presented to her. Now you may be wondering how did Rona win Player of the Year, when she was not even in the Open Player of the Month Rogue’s Gallery? Well, if you have been paying close attention to our Player of the Month write ups, you will have seen that she came very close to winning in many of our monthly competitions. In fact, she was only pipped by a point in December – a thoroughly deserving winner.

Patricia’s second call was nearly in the port as she had to make sure that she got to Kathleen Briody between her plunge into the sea at Dollymount and her daily dive into online bridge. Like Rona, Kathleen has been hugely consistent throughout the year, winning the Novice/B Player of the month on two occasions and always being in contention. Kathleen will tell you that she is a very competitive person, and her results certainly reflect that. Well done, Kathleen

Patricia got out the port when presenting the final bouquet to our Novice Player of the Year, Orla Murnane. (Actually, it was a cup of tea as Orla accompanied Patricia when seeking out Kathleen and Rona. Herself and Patricia ended up quaffing the tea and smelling the flowers with Rona and not a bottle of port in sight). Orla did compile the Player of the Year results which were auto generated from Bridgewebs, but I can assure you that her win was as merited as Rona and Kathleen. In fact, Orla has 3 stars on her CAVBC jumper after winning Player of the Month on 3 occasions. Another thoroughly deserving winner.

Congratulations to all three winners and their partners who helped them on the way. Thanks also to Patricia for picking all the flowers and presenting them to the winners and to Orla for keeping such impeccable records.

The Player of the Year is awarded to the person that garnered the most CBAI points during the year in the relevant competitions (Open, Novice/B and Novice). Results of competitions such as Simultaneous Pairs, Draw for Partner games, team matches etc. are excluded.  

The 2022 season is upon us, and I am not sure what it will bring, but I do expect that we will continue online bridge when face to face bridge returns, so hopefully this time next year we will be again announcing Players of the Year. In the meantime, I hope you will continue to enjoy playing online bridge with us throughout 2022.

The top 20 in each Player of the Year competition were:

Player of the Month - Dec 2021 - Write Up by Dan O'Mahony

Well, here we are in the new year and talking about the old year, our last Player of the Month Competitions for 2021. I have been slow in getting to this write up as my new year’s resolution has involved me in getting back on my bike in an attempt to prove that I am not a year older. I must confess though that my bike has shown me that I HAVE got older, fatter, slower and not any wiser. Hopefully I will be able to address the fat slow part of me as the year progresses.

Our winners of our Player of the Month competitions have two things in common. Firstly, we would not have got to “meet” them if it were not for COVID as neither of them hailed from our local bridge clubs. I think this shows one of the positive things that has come out of the last two years. We have expanded our bridge community and got to know a lot more players even it is in the virtual world. (The corollary of that of course is that we have lost a lot of our players who have not been able to join us in this virtual world and we don’t actually get to see each other.) Secondly, the margin between 1st and 2nd in both competitions was miniscule and but for one card misplayed or one bad bid, we could be extolling the virtues of a different set of winners.

In the Open Tim Devane was victorious, bookending it with his victory in the opening Player of the Month competition last January. For those of you who don’t know Tim, he is one of the very strong bridge contingent from Monaghan, who have been playing regularly with us. Maybe it’s the fact that they have been reared midst the “stony grey soil of Monaghan” or because they “live among men whose rages are for small wet hills full of stones”, but whatever it is, you know you are in for a few tough boards when you meet them at the bridge table. When I talked with Tim there was no greyness whatsoever as the snow was obliterating the stony grey soil, so he was bright and breezy and their wasn’t a hint of rage. He was full of praise for the CAVBC/Foxbay virtual clubs and the community of bridge players there. He was also full of praise for his Monaghan partners Owen Treanor and Con McCrossan who got him over the winning line this month. And he only just got there. Rona (always the bridesmaid never the bride) Booth was only one point behind him. This has happened to Rona before, but her time will come I have no doubt. I didn’t get a photo of Tim last January and there have been many requests for this omission to be corrected, so here he is – Tim of the stony grey soil of Monaghan.

Helen Donoghue was the winner of the Novice/B competition. She normally plays her bridge (and her golf) in Royal Tara up in Meath and was introduced to CAVBC/Foxbay by Paula Oliver who was one of her partners during the month. But the partner with whom she had most success this month was Liam Walls. She met Liam through the “dating” facility on BBO (otherwise known as the partnership desk) and they have forged a really strong partnership since getting together. When I rang Helen to let her know that she had won, she was just back in from the golf course (no snow in Meath) and was thrilled and surprised to hear that she had won. Like Tim, she was full of praise for the CAVBC/Foxbay bridge community. This victory crowned off a great month for Helen as she was also one of the winners of the Turkey draw when partnering the Turkey King Norman Ludgate. Ray Wall very nearly caught Helen and was only two points behind her at the end. Helen told me she had fierce problems trying to find a photo with just herself in it. But after a long and arduous search, she found this one of her having a cup of tea in London. Liam you now know what Helen looks like. You will have to send her a photo to make sure ye don’t pass each other in the street as the BBO dating app does not do photos!

The top 5 in both competitions were:

PS. We have added another wonderful accessory to our Winter Bridge Collection – the must have Bridge Socks which you can see being modelled here by feet as I go into battle with the robots. I kept misclicking I might add, so I think I will have to revert to the Bridge gloves!

PPS It was Patrick Kavanagh that said that the soil of Monaghan is stony grey and that the wet hills are full of stones and not me!

Player of the Month - Nov 2021 - Write Up by Dan O'Mahony


How cool was that? None of the top 5 in the November Novice/B competition played in the last game of the month. Orla Murnane and Ray Wall played in a Kirwan’s League match and were unavailable (I know these things!!!) and suffered the most, dropping to 12th place as the Monday night winners overtook them. Finn Ryan, Paula Oliver and Kathleen Briody could not be caught, however. Finn and Paula retained 1st place (They play together you see!) leaving Kathleen in 3rd place. This was Finn and Paula’s 3rd player of the month accolade. They have now joined Orla as the proud owners of a CAVBC jumper with 3 stars on their chests. I had photos of Finn and Paula when they were younger, and they were more than happy that I should use them again. Paula did add that Finn should have received the accolade on her own because of her Xmas Turkey Draw results. She just missed out on the prizes in our 1st Xmas Turkey game and then won the pudding in Wednesday’s game. You can read about Finn’s exploits on the Xmas Turkey Draw write up further down the page. I want to thank Paula and Finn for modelling our new CAVBC jumper. Watch out for more news on our Winter Collection in our next update. I hope to see you all turned out in your CAVBC jumpers when next we meet in face to face bridge!!


Eileen Hickey was the well deserving winner of our Open competition. She overtook Patricia Quigley in week 2 and never looked back. She was helped along the way by some very strong partners – Joanne Lyons who finished 3rd, Rona Booth who finished 4th and Emily Rogers who finished 9th. Eileen finished the competition really well with 3 wins in her last 4 games. On Monday she was playing with Joanne and when I played against them, I asked Joanne why she wasn’t out there with another partner striving to overtake Eileen. Joanne replied that Eileen was very nice to play with and thoroughly deserved to be winning the competition. Patricia Quigley was 2nd. Unfortunately for her, her partners didn’t step up to the plate (that’s a baseball analogy and has nothing to do with bridge conventions!), me being one of those partners. We met Eileen and Rona in Tuesday night’s game and played a really competitive 4 boards against them.

  On board 12, I bravely (foolishly) bid 3 Clubs. (although, I was able to count 6 tricks despite my poor club holding and we were non vulnerable.) Rona ever the competitive player and not wanting to let me away with anything, bid 3 spades with her paltry spade holding and she vulnerable. Needless to say, neither of our partners knew which one of us was bluffing. Eileen rubbed her hands with glee and bid 4 spades thinking that a game was on and then Patricia said “Well I am not letting them bid game” so she bid 5 Clubs. Eileen was slightly put out by missing game and doubled me. Eileen and Rona won the bluffing contest - down 1 went and a swing of 5 IMPS to them, which was the difference between us at the end of the game. Even if myself and Patricia had won, it would not have been enough for Patricia to catch Eileen. So, for the 2nd month in a row, Patricia had to settle for 2nd place. “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride” as the saying goes!!

Eileen shared this beautiful photograph with me for this update. I said to myself, “This reminds me of a song” and then I started crooning around the house. “When first I saw the sunlight in your eyes, I thought the world held not but joy for me…” The Wolf Pack began to howl and covered their ears and Brenda the wife told me I was a typical wedding singer who always got the lyrics mixed up. The actual lyrics are “Since first I saw the love light in your eyes…”. I am just not appreciated!! Any how it is still a great photo and I love the way the sunset on the water is captured on Eileen’s glasses.

Congratulations to all our winners and to all who took part and continue to make Foxbay/CAVBC a fun place to play online bridge. The December Player of the Month competitions are now up and running, and I look forward to seeing you all at the tables throughout December. (Well maybe not Rona!!)

Player of the Month - Oct Winners - Write up by Dan O'Mahony

I had set aside yesterday afternoon, when I was supposed to be at home dog sitting the wolf pack, to do this write up. But the god’s conspired against me and hence I am only getting to it now.

And what was it that the gods did to me. Well, yesterday morning myself and Brenda the wife headed out to Dublin Airport for the 1st time in a long long time as Brenda was heading off to Canada and leaving me all alone with the wolf pack. Brenda had her small bag and a large box with all the paperwork to show that it was ok for her to leave Ireland and get into Canada. I was there to carry the large box. We joined the long queue of other refugees trying to flee the country with their bags and boxes. When we got to the uniformed agent who decides upon the faith of all the refugees, I hoisted the box of papers on to her desk and the conversation went something like this

Uniformed Agent: “What is this”           

Brenda: “The papers that you asked me for, so that I can leave Ireland and go to Canada”

Uniformed Agent: “Humph!” She then picked up the first piece of paper.

Uniformed Agent: “What is this”

Brenda: “The results of my PCR Test. I passed with flying colours!”

Uniformed Agent: “This PCR Test is not valid”

Brenda: “But these are the results from the HSE PCR test that is used in Ireland to determine whether it is safe for us to hug and meet friends”

Uniformed Agent: “That PCR Test is no good. The tests must be done in a reputable laboratory that is approved by Aer Lingus where you must actually pay for it”

Brenda: “But no where on your web site does it say that the HSE PCR test is no good”

Uniformed Agent: “Look at the small print”

Brenda: “There is no small print”

Uniformed Agent: “Look again. You will not be leaving Ireland today. I am not paid enough to have to deal with this type of thing!”

And with that she pressed a button and on the monitor over her head which up to this time, had been showing uniformed Aer Lingus staff smiling (they were not wearing masks) happily and swanning around New York, the words “Abandon hope all ye who enter here” appeared in flaming red. There was a shriek of horror from all the other refugees standing in line behind us as two burly security guards raised us up by our elbows, boxes, bags and all and frog marched us from the Airport. (All right, I made the last bit up!)

But anyway, we did leave the Airport and spent half the afternoon searching for the fine print and when we did find it (It was very very small) the Uniformed Agent was proved to be correct. You cannot use an HSE PCR Test as proof that you are COVID free when going to Canada. We then spent the rest of the afternoon listening to marching music on the Aer Lingus Customer Service site as we attempted to rebook the flights to Canada. You will be glad to hear, that we will be revisiting the airport next week with Brenda’s bags and an even bigger box of papers as there are more words on PCR Test Results document produced by the Aer Lingus approved laboratory.

Now I don’t know about you, but when there is divine intervention like what happened yesterday and your plans to do the Player of the Month write up go awry, you think the divinities must have some other wonderful purpose. So, I went off and bought myself a lottery ticket with the intention of buying my own plane so that I don’t have to join the refugee queue in the future. I have not yet looked at my numbers.

Anyhow all the rigamarole above is just my excuse for not getting this write up done yesterday. Next thing I will be telling you “The wolf pack ate my laptop!”

So, no more excuses.


Just look at the top ten in the Open competition and you can see that the cream has certainly come to the top. In fact, you can look at the top twenty and you can still see that the cream has come to the top. And the creamiest of all was Frances Gill who surged to the top in mid-October and didn’t relinquish her position for the rest of the month. Of the 7 games that were included in Frances’s points total, she was partnered by Patricia Quigley in 6 of them and Catherine Leehane in the other. Patricia’s other scoring game was with myself, but it just wasn’t enough to get her past Frances. I did offer to play with Patricia on the last week, thinking that this would provide Patricia with a wonderful opportunity to overtake Frances. But she looked at me askance (well as I read her text reply, I THINK she was looking at me askance) and said her loyalty was to Frances and no more about it. And who could blame Patricia with herself and Frances coming 1st in the last three games that they played together. Frances had other 1st place positions during the month when playing with husband Denis and had the luxury of being able to discard these scores. When I rang Frances to congratulate her, Denis answered the phone and when I asked him if he was performing secretarial duties now that Frances was clearly the better bridge player in the family, he told me that Frances was stripping….. I hesitated and said I was so sorry for interrupting. But then he continued … the chicken and he held the phone up to Frances, so she could explain that she was stripping the chicken to feed her dog who was salivating at her feet. The Wolf Pack told me to tell you that they are very very jealous. Frances thoroughly enjoyed her bridge in October and wanted to express her sincere thanks to all the TD’s who give up their time to run our games on CAVBC. She is so right. It is a timely reminder to us all that we could not play all the bridge that we do online without the efforts of all our TD’s.


While the Open competition was a procession to victory for Frances, the Novice/B competition was much more of a cat and mouse affair with the partnership of Mary Byrne (remember her – she was player of the month last month!!) and Vanessa Timon vying for top position with the partnership of Kathleen Briody and Una O’Byrne. The cats who got the cream though were Mary and Vanessa. Of the 8 games that they played together, they collected all their points in 6 of them with 5 first place finishes and 1 second place finish. Kathleen and Una were also hugely consistent throughout the month, playing 9 times together and in the 7 games where they had their best scores, they had 4 first place finishes and 3 second place finishes. The main difference between the pairs was that on the two nights that they were head to head, Mary and Vanessa came out in front. Just like in the Open competition, it just goes to show that playing with a regular partner is a huge benefit. When I spoke with Mary, she told me that Vanessa was “a great owl partner…”. Vanessa wanted to have less of the “owl” and so when I asked them for a photo, she opted for a photo from the St Anthony’s web site, when Mary and Vanessa were wet behind the ears and less “owl” than they are now and won the Novice cup. It’s great to see Mary and Vanessa teaming up with Kathleen and Una to represent St Anthony’s in the Kirwan League. They will be a formidable team and who knows, they may all get the cream! 

Congratulations to all our winners and to all who take part and make these competitions exciting and fun. The November Player of the Month competitions are up and running now but will have less games this month because of our Simultaneous Pairs week and our Draw for Partner games. You still need to play 5 times in the specific competitions to qualify and remember only your 7 best scores go to make up your final score. We do have a Novice/B game on a Friday night, but we have not been able to run it a number of times because we have had less than 6 pairs. So come on you Novice/B’s out there, let’s see you playing on a Friday night.

PS. I have just checked my Lotto Numbers. The gods are still laughing at me. I will not be building a runway in Killester anytime soon!!

Player of the Month - Sep Winners - Write up by Dan O'Mahony


I am a whole week late in doing this write up of the September Player of the Month and I know that you have all been waiting with bated breath to hear how the competitions unfolded. The reason for my tardiness has been that myself and Brenda and the wolf pack got to go away to a hotel for the first time since “THE BIG SHUT DOWN”. (In fact, it was the first time that the younger members of the wolf pack had ever been in a hotel, but it all worked out well. No guests, staff or furry animals were savaged, and they said they would like to have us back.) After our hotel escapade, we all went on a road trip to West Cork, where we are now ensconced, with the rain falling. At least I have time to put pen to paper (or characters on a screen or whatever one does nowadays).

As you know we put the Player of the Month competitions on hold for the summer months to give you all a rest. When we resumed in September, we have gone with two rather than three competitions with just an Open and a Novice/B competition. For those of you who are avid Player of the Month watchers, you will have seen that our competitions have not lost any of their excitement.

Novice/B Player of the Month

With the addition of a new Novice/B game on a Friday night and the change in the Wednesday night Novice game to being a Novice/B game, it is now a much bigger and more exciting competition. In all we had 15 Novice/B games in September. Each player’s seven best scores in the month get added together in order to decide the winner. So, for September that was Mary Byrne. When I spoke with Mary, she was pleasantly surprised that she had won and was full of praise for her partners and all the other players. She singled out her regular partner Vanessa Timon, with whom she had three first places in September and she felt that Vanessa might taken the honours, but for the fact that she was involved in TD duties. She was particularly proud of all the players from St Anthony’s who continue to vie with each other for top place including previous Player of the Month winners Ray Wall, Kathleen Briody and Orla Murnane. Mary was somewhat shy about sending me a photo, but she eventually succumbed. Congratulations Mary. I know that face to face bridge has recommenced in St Anthony’s, but I hope you will continue to play with us on CAVBC and win many more Player of the Month competitions.

Open Player of the Month

Now you may remember that the last winners of our Open Player of the Month competition in May were John Treanor and Michael O’Keeffe (aka the “Chuckle” Brothers). This slightly peeved Owen (the other brother) as he had to put up with John reminding him about it all throughout the summer and during their sojourn in the Castlerosse Hotel in Killarney where himself and John teamed up to run real face to face bridge in September. They were joined by over 70 other bridge players who have been starved of face to face bridge for the past 18 months. On Owen’s return from Killarney, he decided he was not going to put up with any more of John’s show boating. He got together with the Monaghan Mafia and agreed a strategy to win him the Open Player of the Month title. He first had a win with Tim Devane (a previous winner of our Player of the Month), followed by a win with Laura O’Mahony and finally a 2nd place with Margaret Kinsella. Pauline O’Murchu and Kay McDonald, who had been vying for the title throughout, couldn’t live with the strength of the Monaghan Mafia and had to settle for 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Owen sent me this great smiley faced photograph, so he is now an honorary member of the Chuckle Brothers and a worthy winner of our Open Player of the Month for September. Himself and John are off to the Castlerosse in Killarney again this month to look after another 80 starved bridge players. He tells me they won’t be starved for long as the food is superb. The hotel organises daily events like talks about the National Park and there is nightly bridge followed by some music but no dancing. John offered me a bed last night when I was playing against him, not sure who with mind you, but as there is no dancing and wolf pack still can’t play bridge (not to mind Brenda) I will stick to the online bridge down here in West Cork.

Player of the Month - May Winners - Write up by Dan O'Mahony

For those of you who did Latin in school, you will remember the 1st line of Julius Caesar’s “The Gallic Wars” which goes “Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres” and translates into “All Gaul is divided into three parts”. Now I am not saying that our Player of the Month competitions are like the Gallic Wars (Although John Treanor and Michael O’Keeffe have been imperious throughout the May Open competition and have subjugated allcomers), but our competition is divided into three parts – The Novice, Novice/B and the Open. And because of this division, I have been able to complete this write up in three parts as each of the competitions completed at the end of May.

Part 1 – The Belgae
Our first part, the Novice competition, ended on Wednesday 26th, when guess who were victorious – Orla Murnane and Ray Wall with two 1st place finishes and one 2nd place finish in May while Helen Massey and Ann Marron were just behind them with one 1st, one 2nd and one 3rd place finish. Orla now has three rosettes after being Novice player of the month on her own in March and again with Ray in January. In the March write up, I mentioned that “Murnane ditches Wall” and wondered would they play together again. They did get together for a couple of games in April, but they seemed to have lost their sparkle and finished well down the field. This led to a lot of soul searching by Orla. She then realised that when she won in March, she had nearly knocked me off my bicycle when she phoned me just before the start of her last game. So, what did she do in May? She decided that it was worth trying to knock me off the bike again in the hope that this would help her win. Luckily for me I was at the end of my cycle and was standing outside Harry Byrnes (well 100 metres away!) with a pint in hand when the phone call came from Orla. I soothed her and told her she could do it and that I was very happy that herself and Ray were back together, I raised my glass to them and as Julius Caesar said “The rest is history”. Congratulations Orla and Ray.  


Part 2 – The Aquitani
Another partnership, Brid Carter and Marian Carroll came out on top after the last game of the Novice/B competition on Thursday 27th. They just pipped Kathleen Briody, who finished 2nd on her own. In fact, this was a reversal of the February result when Kathleen pipped Brid and Marian. Coming into the last game it was all very close with 30 points separating the top six…… There I was writing this on Friday 28th May, when I realised that there was actually one more game to go on Monday 31st, so, I put my pen down and waited. I really need not have done so as the result actually stayed the same. Kathleen did make a valiant effort to capture her third rosette, finishing third on Monday night when playing with Brenda Drumgoole, but it just wasn’t enough, and Kathleen finished one point behind Brid and Marian. On the night Brid and Marian had two good results in the boards that they played against Kathleen and Brenda, and but for that we would not be hailing them as our worthy champions. On Monday night after the results were finalised, the peace and quiet of the northside was shattered by what I can only call “banshee” wailing. I am not saying this was Kathleen, but some words could be distinguished including “Why did you lead that card…., If only I had finessed the other way….”. Or it might just have been a fox. Well done Brid and Marian and Kathleen, “Beidh lá eile ag an aonach”.


Part 3 – The Gauls (Who are actually Celts)
This has been a long time coming. But when it has come, it has been magnificent. John Treanor and Michael O’Keeffe are our Open champions for May. Now I knew that the “O’Keeffes” (the name is derived from “Caomh” which means “gentle) were true Celts and they came all the way from Cork (I even have a few in my own family tree!!), I wasn’t so sure about the “Treanors” though and google wasn’t much help. It told me that the 1st reference to the surname “Treanor” was in 1253 in Durham and then some of them moved to Ireland, where when the young Treanors started attending school, they had to have their names translated into Irish and they became “MacThreinfir” which mean “son of the strong man”. But who cares whether John (Strong Man) Treanor and Michael (Gentle Man) O’Keeffe are Celts or not, they broke all records this month with the highest score and the highest margin over second place since records began (actually that was in January this year) and this is despite being unable to play on a couple of nights because they were Tournament Directors!! When I asked them for their photographs, I wasn’t surprised that they sent me one of them together as I don’t think they are ever apart. As I looked at the sun shining on “Strong” John and “Gentle” Michael, I thought of the “The Sunshine Boys” and then when I saw them holding their sunglasses, I thought of “The Blues Brothers” and then when I saw the smiles on their faces I thought of “The Chuckle Brothers” and thus was born my homage collage to John and Michael. It is always a pleasure to play bridge against you even though I find to my detriment you are too strong for me, but you are thorough gentlemen and great craic. Well done on winning Open Players of the Month for May.

We will not be running the CAVBC Player of the Month competitions in June, July and August, so you won’t have to put up with anymore of these write ups for the summer. But don’t worry, myself and the wolf pack have plenty to do as I am teaching them how to play bridge. In the picture below, they are listening aptly to me as I explain a weak 1 No Trump Bid. 


Have a great summer and enjoy your nightly bridge on CAVBC.

Player of the Month 2021 - Apr Winners! Commentary by Dan O'Mahony
Player of the Month 2021 - Apr Winners!  Commentary by Dan O'Mahony

OMG – How exciting was that. In both the Open and Novice/B competitions, the final winners were only known after the last card was played on the last game of each of the competitions. 

In the Open, it looked like Rona Booth, Máirin MacDevitt and Emily Rogers had it all sewn up between them, when they played with each other (not all at the same time I might add!!) at the start of the month and put a huge distance between themselves and the rest of the competitors. On last Thursday Rona and Máirin were still out in front and had planned to play together in the final game last Friday. If they finished anywhere in the top 5, Rona was guaranteed to be crowned Player of the Month. But on the Friday, they suffered at the hands of the BBO gremlins. There they were both poised at their laptops ready to enter the fray at 19.30, when the game started without them. Rona was heard shrieking with frustration throughout Clontarf. This led to a very tense evening with Rona biting her fingernails to the quick. (Which I am glad to say has not impaired her ability to play online bridge). Was Rona’s lead sufficient? Could anybody catch her? Well Frances Gill did, with her 2nd win of the month when playing with Patricia Quiqley. (This has led to significant soul searching by myself as Patricia never wins when playing with me. Now that may be because I keep doubling opponents who go on to make their contract leaving me with egg on my face. I think I will have to stop eating when playing bridge). Frances picked up 175 points to just pip Rona for the title. This was all the more frustrating for Rona as she had also come so close to winning the February and March Player of the Month Competitions. Along with Patricia, Frances also had the help of husband Denis and Catherine Leehane when accumulating her winning points total. After the dust settled on Friday, Rona ended up in 2nd place, with Máirin 3rd, Eileen Glackin 4th and Patricia in 5th


In the Novice/B competition, April was a rehash of the March. That might sound boring, but it really wasn’t. Again, Marguerite Cox held a 17 point lead over last month’s winners, Finn Ryan and Paula Oliver with one game to go. Again, Finn and Paula came 2nd in the last game playing E/W on the night, just giving them enough points to overhaul Marguerite and consign her to 3rd place, where she also finished last month. In fact, I could have just copied and pasted last month’s write up, the end of the competition was so similar. I asked Paula and Finn what was their secret and while Paula was reticent at first, she told me that herself and Finn love going through the hands the following day to see how they might improve their bidding and play. And I must agree with them. Online bridge offers us all a wonderful opportunity to improve our bridge game, so well done you. I had their photos from last month and because I am such a true devotee of GDPR, I asked their permission to reuse them and as a result Paula has not yet been released from prison. Mary Hynes climbed to 4th place when partnering Bernadette Lacey when they came first E/W on the last night.  

And then there was the Novice game. Gerry Gallagher (smiling from ear to ear and looking very relaxed) and Jim Stokes (in blue) were in front after week 3 and they just did enough on week 4 coming 2nd E/W to stay ahead of Derry Peacock who, while finishing 1st E/W with his partner Eilish Keegan, had to settle for 3rd place. Jim and Gerry had two wins and a 2nd, while Derry had two wins and a 3rd over the four weeks. This just shows how tight this competition is. Gerry learned his bridge at the feet of Linda Gallagher, while Jim had Rita Canavan as his teacher. They have both been playing for 2 years, which means they have spent half their bridge life playing online! When I asked them today for their photos, they were both somewhat reticent, siting that they were both have problems with their hair. You wouldn’t hear the likes of that from a woman and I think their hair looks great. Jim hails from Tullylease, near Kanturk in north Cork and like myself has been living in Dublin since the 1970’s. We both reminisced about our time in the Hi-land Ballroom in Newmarket and the Star Ballroom in Millstreet, which was just over my back wall when I lived there. I must confess I never had any luck in either ballroom and hence I am now living in Dublin and married to Brenda a Dublin woman.   (Actually I am really lucky by the way!) 


Congratulations to all our winners for April. The May competitions have now started. You can check out your own standing by accessing the competitions on the Player of the Month Tab on CAVBC.

Check out the Player of the Month tab on the menu bar for the detailed results for the 3 categories (Open/NoviceB/Novice)

Player of the Month 2021 - Mar Winners! Commentary by Dan O'Mahony
Player of the Month 2021 - Mar Winners!  Commentary by Dan O'Mahony

Wednesday was the end of our March Player of the Month competitions and before we had time to catch our breaths, the April competitions are already underway.

A person smiling for the camera Description automatically generated with medium confidenceNow in the Novice competition we decided to include the Draw for Partner Game in the competition so that we might end up with a single winner. This led to our headline in the National Enquirer – “Murnane Ditches Wall” when Orla and Rosaleen Kane were the winners in the Draw for Partner Game which sent Orla to the top of the standings last week.  Now Orla and Ray have long been partners and were the joint winners of our January Novice Player of the Month, so the big question was what were they going to do for the last game? Would they play together, thus ensuring that Orla could not be caught by Ray or would they play it tactically and play with different partners and give both of them a chance. I couldn’t handle the tension, so I went off for a cycle around north Dublin listening to the John Creedon show on my mobile. So, there I was singing and cycling along the seafront, when John Creedon was interrupted by the ring ring of my mobile. Needless to say, I couldn’t answer it, as it would have meant taking my hands off the handlebars, which might have resulted in my being ditched there and then. But such is the joy of technology, I have a little thingy on my handlebars which was able to display a text from Orla telling me that Pauline O’Connor was trying to register for the Novice game but was unable to do so. I didn’t realise the importance of this text at the time, but given that it was from Orla, I hit the brakes, jumped off my bike and through the even further joys of technology, I was able to log on to BBO on my mobile and fix the problem and text Orla to let her know that all was ok. I remounted my bike and continued singing and cycling, returning home when the Novice game was well underway. I couldn’t contain myself any longer. I had to see the answer to the Orla/Ray conundrum. I then realised the importance of that text. Pauline O’Connor was playing with Ray, and Orla was playing with her twin sister Edel Coughlin. The game was on but not for long. Orla and Edel had a magnificent night, finishing first East/West with a superb score of 72.38%, thus ensuring that Orla was crowned Novice Player of the Month all on her own. Ray eventually finished 4th after finishing 3rd North/South with Pauline. 2nd and 3rd places were filled by Gerry Gallagher and Jim Stokes who had been leading the Player of the Month standings for the first three weeks of March. Well done Orla and I hope yourself and Ray will be challenging together again for the April crown.


A picture containing text, person, computer, indoor Description automatically generatedA picture containing person, indoor, older Description automatically generatedNow if the Novice competition was exciting, then the Novice/B competition was exciting with spades (i.e. IT WAS VERY EXCITING). After the 1st two weeks, Paula Oliver – Prisoner 4141938 and Finn Ryan (who played together throughout and are one of my go to pairs when I am looking for start of game subs) held a slight lead over Marguerite Cox and her partner Eileen Meaney. Then on week 3 Marguerite went into the lead on her own when she had a win with Christine Foran.  At the end of Week 4, Marguerite was still on top with only one more game to go. In that last game, Finn and Paula came 3rd, while Eileen and Marguerite came 6th. This allowed Finn and Paula to just pip Marguerite for the title as they ended with an overall score of 329 points while Marguerite ended up in 3rd with 327 points and Eileen ended up in 4th on 326 points. How close is that? Our reigning Player of the Month for January and March, Kathleen Briody, couldn’t keep up her winning streak and ended up well down the field.




A picture containing person, wall, indoor, person Description automatically generated

The Open Player of the Month couldn’t match the other two competitions for excitement as Kay McDonald went in front at the end of week 2 and stayed there until the end, performing consistently each week and holding off the valiant efforts of Owen Treanor who was 2nd and Rona Booth who was 3rd. At the end of week 3, Rona told me she was thinking of giving up bridge after a run of poor results. I didn’t really believe her, and I was right as she went on to finish very strongly over the last two weeks. The only reason Kay knew she was leading, was because I kept telling her. She did not follow the results on CAVBC. How cool is that? Kay put her success down to the fact that she had very good partners throughout the month including Mary Conlon who finished 4th, Irene O’Drsicoll, Declan Keane and Brid ui Dhonnchu and really enjoyed playing with them throughout the month.


Congratulations to all our winners for March.  The April competitions are now in full swing and you can check out your own standing by accessing the competitions on the Player of the Month Tab.



Check out the Player of the Month tab on the menu bar for the detailed results for the 3 categories (Open/NoviceB/Novice)

Player of the Month 2021 - Feb Winners!
Player of the Month 2021 - Feb Winners!

I don’t know about you, but I was riveted to my laptop for the last week as the Player of the Month competitions unfolded before my eyes, wondering who would be our February winners? Alright that’s a slight hyperbole, but each of the competitions were in the balance until the final game and there WAS quite an exciting finale.

Let’s start with the Open. It was a game of three halves. (I’m hyperbolizing again!!). There would have been four halves, but the Simultaneous Pairs took up the first week. Anyhow in the 1st half, Patricia Quigley went into the lead with three very good results. Then in the 2nd half, Rona Booth (remember her – the winner of the individual game in February, who I said was vice president of St Gabriel’s – Well here is my apology and retraction. Mairin MacDevitt is the Vice President – but then they play together so much, it’s no wonder I get confused) sprinted into the lead, with 3 excellent results when partnering the aforementioned Mairin and Emily Rogers. (By the way, there I was driving along the sea front on my way back from releasing the wolf pack into the wild, when I heard Ronan Collins wishing Rona a happy “roundy” birthday, which was requested by Catherine Leehane from all her friends in bridge. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RONA). Then came the 3rd half and you could hear the roar building up from the crowd as they raised their voices to shout “Come on Eileen” as she took points in four of the last five games, when Eileen was partnered with Moya Collins, Mary Conlon and Adrienne Delaney. I rang Eileen to congratulate her yesterday, she told me how excited and tense she was on the last game of the month on Friday when she was playing with Moya. Moya was also feeling the pressure as she did not want to let Eileen down. And the pressure was on, because Rona and Patricia were “breathing down” Eileen’s neck, but Eileen and Moya held firm, finishing 5th on the night which was enough for Eileen to clinch the Open Player of the Month title for February with Moya finishing in 6th place overall. Such is the efficiency of how Orla Murnane has set up the player of the month process, Eileen was able to log in to CAVBC at 22.30 on Friday and see that she had indeed won. She took a photo of the results and posted it to her family. They all celebrated her victory virtually with a verse of “Come on Eileen”.

Now you will never guess who won the Novice/B Player of the Month for February. Well, it was the same person who won it in January, Miss Consistency herself Kathleen Briody. I was very lucky to get an audience with Kathleen yesterday, when I rang her to congratulate her. On the first occasion she was playing bridge in Malahide and couldn’t really talk and on the 2nd occasion she was on her way to Dollymount for her daily swim. But I did get a chance to ask her what her secret was, and she told me she is from Limerick and she has a fierce competitive streak in her. That Limerick fierceness is one of the drivers of Munster, so I immediately got what she meant. As with the Open, the Novice/B winner was only finalised on the last night. Brid Carter and Marian Carroll were in first place together and just 3 points ahead of Kathleen. Derry Peacock and Mary Gilligan were also in the running. But Kathleen’s fierce competitive nature came to the fore, when she saw them all off, finishing 1st North/South when playing with one of her regular partners Una O’Byrne and clinching the title for Limerick. Kathleen’s other regular partner Brenda Drumgoole finished 6th. To be fair to Kathleen, as well as her competitive streak, she also showed tremendous consistency scoring points in all 8 qualifying games. You could hear strains of “I’ll take you home again Kathleen” wafting up from Limerick!

And finally, another pair have won the February Novice Player of the Month. Congratulations to husband and wife team from Clontarf Bridge Club, Alan and Clare Gordon. There were only 3 games in this competition and Alan and Clare accumulated their points through a 1st in one game and a 2nd in another. Alan told me he was totally surprised and delighted with their win. They have been playing bridge together on Wednesday nights for four years and they both miss the social nature of the game, but at least they get to meet each other face to face after the game. They may even have celebrated their win with “Gay Gordons” jig. (I couldn’t come up with a song for Alan and Clare). Alan is a total gentleman and told me that Clare is the better bridge player, but he can hold his own as a card player as he has been playing cards all his life.  Myra Bermingham and Owen Wilson, members of our TD group, finished in joint 3rd with a 1st and a 3rd in two of their 3 games.

Congratulations to all our winners. And now you get to do it all again for March. The 1st Novice/B game was last night, with the 1st Open game tonight and the 1st Novice game on Wednesday. I look forward to being riveted to my laptop again in the last week of March. How sad am I!!!

Check out the Player of the Month tab on the menu bar for the detailed results for the 3 categories (Open/NoviceB/Novice)

Player of the Month 2021 - Jan Winners!
Player of the Month 2021 - Jan Winners!

So, it is all over bar the shouting. We now know who our Players of the Month are for January. But before we talk about that, I must tell you about the trojan work that Orla has done in putting this together. She brought the proposal of how to calculate Player of the Month to the Coven of TD’s who meet every Saturday Morning (on a zoom call I might add and not around a witch’s cauldron although witch’s broomsticks have been known to zoom a bit – but I digress). Getting back to Orla. Herself and Aidan sat down (virtually) and agreed the change to our result’s load process, so that we could use our CBAI points that are allocated for each game, as the means of allocating points for our Player of the Month games. She then had to deal with issues where the people with a similar name were getting incorrect CBAI points and then had to reload a large number of results to correct that problem. I could go on and on about the other problems that she had to overcome, but you and I would be here all night. However,  she meticulously addressed them all and so we have our results for January.

Well, who gets to do the shouting?

In the Open section Tim Devane, one of our adopted members from Monaghan, gets to shout loudest. In second place was another Monaghan man, Owen Treanor, the brother of John. Now John, who is also from Monaghan because he is Owen’s brother, but has a Dublin address was in third alongside Michael O’Keeffe as they play together a lot. Are you confused yet? I did suggest to Michael, that he might have been better off ditching John, but he told me it would break John’s heart.

In the Novice/B section Kathleen Briody gets to slowly shout the loudest. Think of it as a dragged out roarrrrrrrrr! Kathleen showed great consistency playing in 5 of the 7 Novice/B games and scoring CBAI points in all 5 games. She played with either Brenda Dromgoole or Una O’Byrne in each of these games with Brenda finishing 4th and Una finishing in 8th. The other placings were Derry Peacock in 2nd and Mary Giligan in 3rd. They also partnered each other in two of the games. For all you aspiring Novice/B Players of the Month out there, remember what Aesop said “Slow and steady wins the race”. But as Confucius said, “Whatever you do, don’t stop and pause in the middle of the race” (I might be paraphrasing a bit!!).

In the Novice section there were only 3 qualifying games and Orla (Remember her, the one who put all this Player of the Month together) and Ray Wall played together in all 3 games and scored points in all those games. So, they are the joint Novice Players of the Month for January. (This has nothing to with the fact that Orla keeps the scores.) Gerry Creighton and John Hynes, who also play together were in joint third, but they only played in 2 games and very nearly caught Orla and Ray in the last game. Derry Peacock again figured in the honours list finishing 5th.

Don’t forget, the more games you play in the more likely you are to get more points. This brings another saying to mind that I am sure Aesop or Confucius must have said at some stage during their lifetimes - “Practice makes Perfect”!

The 1st qualifying game of the February Novice/B Player of the Month competition starts this evening and the 1st Novice game is on Wednesday. The 1st Open games is on next Monday 8th February as the Simultaneous Pair games this week do not qualify.

So “Let the Games Begin.”

(This phrase was not uttered by Aesop or Confucius but is actually an order, that was given by emperors in Olympics in Ancient Greece after the sacrifices to the gods were completed to start the Olympic Games.)

We are not doing sacrifices in CAVBC yet. (except when playing non vul against vul)

Check out the Player of the Month tab on the menu bar for the detailed results for the 3 categories (Open/NoviceB/Novice)