KwaZulu-Natal Bridge Union
Release 2.19q
Session 1
The Jenny Armstrong
Session 2
The Jenny Armstrong
The Jenny Armstrong
BBO Midlands

Welcome to the KZNBU, the home of bridge in KwaZulu-Natal

We trust that it contains interesting information for our current members, as well as for anyone considering playing in KZN. 

A page carries details of our upcoming tournaments and events, together with the results of recent events. Member information is password protected to ensure compliance with the POPI Act .  

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If you have a news item, a hand of interest, or any other bridge related items worthy of publishing on this site, please contact Jenny Ten-Bokum using this address

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Pages viewed in 2024

Learn how to play bridge - a game that is not only mentally stimulating, but will give you endless pleasure. It's also a wonderful social activity.

Frank Chemaly is happy to start another beginners bridge class.

The beginners course consists of eight or ten weekly classes (ten is better, but it can be done in eight) which last about three hours. They can be arranged evenings, Mondays or weekends to suit those who would like to learn the game. I use my mom, Jan Chemaly's, system which she has taught for over 20 years in Durban and is based on Standard American, which you can play anywhere in the world. Notes are provided.

Classes can be at my home in Morningside, but if anyone would like to host them, I can come to you anywhere in the greater Durban/Ballito/Upper South Coast area. This worked very well with a group of people I taught recently in Hillcrest.

Cost is R800 per lesson, regardless of the number of people attending. Eight is ideal, but it can be anything from four to 12 people. I may charge for petrol if I am travelling further afield.

Feel free to contact me on 083 230 5629 if you would like to join a class, or ask your friends if they would like to join you.

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Carol Stanton in the Western Cape is offering a series of bridge courses online.

There are three six-week courses run at varying times of the year, mornings and evenings. Bridge 101 is a basic introduction to the game, Bridge 102 concentrates on play and defence, and Bridge 103 refines the basic bidding techniques. It is recommended you complete all three. Courses come with a booklet, and involve and hour-long zoom lecture followed by play on Real Bridge.

The courses are heavily subsidised by the Western Cape Bridge Union. For more details, click here

Hand of the week
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DDBC - Monday 20th May 2024

The bidding was vigorous at most tables when this hand was played, although some pairs let East/West play quietly in 4♠, making on the nail

However, a few of the Norths decided not to let E/W have it their way and competed to 5, a good save

The choice whether to bid on or double is always tricky, and in each case West made the correct choice by doubling, as 11 tricks is not possible with correct defence

It’s not easy finding your way to 3 defensive tricks to pick up your 200, beating this contract, even if you see all four hands

At the tables where West was on lead, all chose the singleton diamond hoping to be able to put partner on lead with a spade and get a diamond ruff

Singleton leads are like a 2-edged sword, and handled with indifference, may come back to bite

Unfortunately, the lead set up a long diamond in dummy for a club discard, and 5 hearts was now unbeatable

Back to the opening lead. Can you spot the killer lead. ..........

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Last updated : 21st May 2024 17:35 SAST
Hand of the month - 2nd May - EC Sunshine Coast BBO
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This remarkable hand popped up on BBO on Thursday

Although the spade slam was a potential contract, 6NT was the more common choice. 

6♠ had no chance when trumps broke badly

In 6NT, many South declarers were gifted the 12th trick when West led a small spade, won in dummy, setting up the spades, without loss. 

However those that received J♠ lead, had their work cut out to make 12 tricks

I cashed the A-K of spades and was not surprised to see east show out

Faced with 2 losers, I led a heart to the jack, which held, and a heart back to the queen, which also held!

What now? 

I was about to cash out 11 tricks for 1 down when I decided to play for the only distribution that would offer me a glimmer of hope. ..........

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Last updated : 19th May 2024 13:02 SAST
Hand of the week - Opening bid?
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BBO Eastern Cape, Tuesday, 27th February 2024


You are playing 2 over 1 on BBO and deal. 

Neither vulnerable.

What do you open?


When making an opening bid always consider what your rebid will be whatever partner's response is. ..........

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Last updated : 19th May 2024 13:19 SAST
Hand of the week - Thursday, February 15th 2024

When you look at the makeable, or optimum contract, the way of making it is not immediately obvious

On this deal played on BBO, the man-in-the-box says you can make 12 against best defence

The bidding may tip you off to find the line, but even double dummy it is not that easy 

If North bid 4, vulnerable, it must be on an 8 or 9 card suit. In that case the heart finesse is likely to fail

The probability of clubs breaking is also not good

But you may be able to put pressure on south for the 12th trick

You ruff the second round of diamonds, draw 2 rounds of trumps, cash the K and lead the J

South covers, of course, and you win with the ace, smothering the 9

You play 2 more rounds of trumps arriving at this 5 card ending

On the last trump, you throw the 6

But South has a problem as he can't throw out the top heart so pitches a club

This gives you a 4th club trick, making 12 in all

If south had thrown the 10 your 8 would become trick 12

Last updated : 19th May 2024 13:02 SAST
Defence at the EC
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Hand played at the EC (Sunshine Coast)

on the 13 February 2023

Bidding should tell you a story

If you don't listen then you may miss an opportunity to give declarer the most difficult road to travel on!

You are West, defending 3NT on the bidding shown, and lead the obvious king of spades and, after declarer holds up, you continue with the queen, ducked once again by declarer

The question is, what next?  Of course, the safe play is to continue spades

Count the defencive tricks.  You will always make 3 spade tricks if you woodenly contine with another spade, but you need 2 more to defeat 3NT

Look at the bidding. South failed to open and then bid 2NT showing about 10 or 11 points

More importantly, South failed to respond 1.

If south had had 4 hearts he may well have responded 1. 

But he didn't. ..........

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Last updated : 19th May 2024 13:01 SAST
Hand of the Month - February
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This deal was played on KZNBU BBO on Thursday, 1st February

Every now and again you come across a hand that is perplexing.

The field find their way to 4S and every pair takes the 11 tricks without further thought.

It's only when you later look at the optimum contract that you realise that 12 tricks are there for the taking - apparently!

There is no finesses available and ruffing the 3rd heart is futile as the trump is a trick regardless how you take it and then the defender will make the jack of trumps at the end leaving you no better off

There is no squeeze available. ..........

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Last updated : 19th May 2024 13:01 SAST

Dear KZNBU bridge players

I am reading emails and hearing comments from people asking why we have an SABF and why do we need to pay R250 a year to the SABF to be affiliated.

I have therefore decided to set down my views in writing as your KZNBU representative on the SABF.

The playing of bridge is recognised by SASCOC (The South African Sports Federation) as a sport that qualifies for the awarding of national colours to players representing our country. The SABF is recognised by SASCOC as the national body representing bridge. So, the SABF is the governing body representing competitive bridge in South Africa.

In saying this I accept that some people see bridge as only a social event and see no need for Master Points and participating against Grand Masters in national tournaments, never mind representing South Africa at international tournaments.

There are many aspects to the role of the SABF, which include:

  • Regulating the rules under which bridge is played
  • Taking disciplinary action against players who cheat and thereby maintaining fair play in our competitions
  • Producing an annual calendar to prevent tournament clashes
  • Holding the national license for BBO and distributing the 70% of all BBO tournament fees that are returned to the SABF by BBO, back to the unions
  • Licensing tournament directors for BBO tournaments
  • Organising the national bridge events, such as Congress
  • Awarding Master Points and recognising the grading of players from beginner to Grand Master
  • Representing the interests of South African bridge through membership of the International Bridge Federation and the African Bridge Federation
  • SABF continually offers workshops and other courses to all the  Unions for the benefit of all members 

Recognising the need to introduce new players to bridge, the SABF initiated a programme of online courses for beginners, led by Arie Ridderhof and Carol Stanton. This also involved the purchase of hundreds of copies of the teaching books by Paul Marston, for use in these courses. These courses continue to be offered.

Questions have been raised about the need for affiliation fees when the SABF has R3 million is reserves. The SABF has not increased fees since 2019 and the recent R50 a year increase represents an increase that is way below inflation. The view was taken by the SABF that we should not see competitive bridge as a dying sport, but one that will continue into the foreseeable future. So, to deplete the reserves does not make sense, as then a large annual affiliation fee would be required to continue the work of the SABF into the future.

The SABF has also taken steps to tighten the conditions under which players qualify to be subsidised to represent our country in international tournaments. It is not true that a large part of SABF affiliation fees is still used to pay for these players to travel.

Most of the work of the SABF is carried out by volunteers, but there is a need for administrative support that has to be paid for.

I believe that for a cost of just over R20 a month, we get many hours of enjoyment from bridge and are able to grow our skills by playing with and against those who are better than we are. I accept that COVID changed the face of the game as we moved to online bridge, but that is not how it was intended to be played.

I also accept that we need to grow the game and introduce new people to bridge – the initiative of the SABF needs to be given serious consideration by all of us.

Neil Macleod

KZNBU committee member

Last updated : 19th May 2024 13:01 SAST


Last updated : 24th Nov 2023 12:24 SAST
Caister Lodge - Tuesday morning
Caister Lodge - Tuesday morning

The Library, Caister Lodge - 9 am

An alternative venue has been found for Tuesday monring bridge at the Caister Lodge (264 Musgrave Roa), utilising the Library

Registration from 8:15, to start at 9 am

A  nominal fee of R20 will be charged to cover costs.

Tuesday, 8th August will be the first meeting.

All are welcome, and enquiries can be made with Jackie at 083 233 5880.  

Last updated : 2nd Aug 2023 13:56 SAST
Kloof Bridge Club - Wedneday Morning
Kloof Bridge Club - Wedneday Morning


Kloof Bridge Club plays at the Kloof Catholic Church (Our Lady of Mercy) Hall 79 Old Main Road starting on Wednesday, 8th February

They play only on the first four Wednesday morning’s of each month

For details, contact Lyn de Mattos on 071 526 4406

Last updated : 24th Nov 2023 12:23 SAST
The KZN Bridge Club - Thursday Morning
The KZN Bridge Club - Thursday Morning
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We play every Thursday Morning - all welcome!

The club operates at their new home, the Presbyterian Church Hall at 154 Lilian Ngoyi (Windermere) Road, opposite the Windermere Centre

Off-street parking ..........

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Last updated : 14th Jun 2023 17:00 SAST
Le Domaine Bridge Club - Friday Morning
Le Domaine Bridge Club - Friday Morning

Starting at 9am

The club is thriving running two sections each week; an A and a B section

Visitors are welcome to play at the club, but they need to book in advance. Louise Gibbon has the Le Domaine booking group on WhatsApp. Her number is 082 577 9942. She also requires visitors’ car registration numbers for the security check point at the entrance gate to the estate

Last updated : 22nd Jun 2023 16:41 SAST

Where players can see and talk to each other while playing online

For events, results, and information on the Domaine RealBridge Club website and Le Domaine face to face Bridge Club please click on this link:


Administration and ollection

       of playing fees: Louise Gibbon - 082 5779942

Website administrator and

      Technical Advisor: Peter Coombe - 082 9604824

Tournament Director: Rod Pienaar - 079 6735077


Domaine Thursday

  • A RealBridge pairs tournament starting at 9am every Thursday.
  • Cost R25 per player
  • Booking essential through Louise Gibbon

Le Domaine Bridge Club: Chairlady Lu Cholerton 082 8411549

  • A face-to-face pairs tournament starting at 9am every Friday at the Le Domaine Clubhouse
  • Cost R40 per player
  • Numbers are limited and booking essential through Louise Gibbon

Domaine Saturday

  • A RealBridge pairs tournament at 2pm if there are enough pairs available to play
  • Cost R25 per player
  • Booking essential through Louise Gibbon/Rod Pienaar

Social Bridge

  • A RealBridge social game is open every day of the week and available for play anytime of the day
  • 4 players can arrange to meet on the site and play
  • Cost R10 per player
  • No booking required

 Supervised Play and Teaching

  • A supervised RealBridge game can be enjoyed on the social site
  • 4 players can arrange for a supervised session with a teacher watching them play and guiding and commenting
  • Teachers who would like to teach a group of 4 beginners or supervise the play of a group wanting some input with their game can arrange to meet on the social page for this purpose
  • The teacher must contact Louise Gibbon for a link to allow real-time viewing and teaching
  • Cost R25 per player (excluding the fees of the teacher)
  • Arranging to meet with a group and agreeing on, and collecting the fees is the teacher’s responsibility


  • Anyone who would like to use this site for the purpose of teaching, please contact Louise Gibbon
Last updated : 30th Nov 2023 12:54 SAST
Hand of the Month - December

On Monday evening, 4th December, at the Durban Duplicate online bridge club, North declared in a perfectly normal 6 contract which, on most days, would have been a cake-walk

Without any prior bidding from the opposition, West suddenly puts in a double of the final contreact

If trumps had been no worse than 4-1 you can knock out the ace of trumps and claim the rest

On the day the three of spades lead was taken by the Queen

Time to take stock

West doubled the final contract and this can only mean that trumps are breaking badly

If you were to play a trump at this point, correct defence, will lead to defeat

This is how it will likely proceed

West takes the A and coninues with a spade. This may not appear to be a significant problem, but the premature removal of the spade entry to dummy will lead to a problem at trick 11

You cash the A-K of diamonds and then draw a round of trumps, ending in dummy and start running the diamonds

West follows for 2 more rounds but ruffs the 5th round of diamonds.  You overruff, of course, but are stuck in hand, with no way to reach dummy to draw the last trump to enjoy the diamonds

If you play a trump to the Queen, the 7 is established for west.  If you cash the ♣A and ruff a club with the six it is over-ruffed

Back to trick 1.  If West's double is to have any meaning it must be that he has all the trumps and you will need to keep that ♠A intact

So at trick 2 you unblock the ace-king of diamonds and then lead a top trump. West can win the trick and knock out the ace of spades

But this time you are in control. You cash 2 more rounds of diamonds and switch back to a round of trumps

Then you can cash the ♣A and ruff a club high, while west discards a spade

You continue to cross-ruff the rest of the hand while west follows helplessly underruffing the last 3 tricks!


Last updated : 7th Jan 2024 16:47 SAST
Hand of the Month - November

This gem cropped up on BBO this month

After north had opened 1NT, he declared in 6NT

Assuming East does not lead a give-away spade, making 12 tricks on a neutral club lead is quite a challenge

You knock out the ♣A but before cashing the clubs, which may be needed later for transport, you test diamonds

When east discards a spade on the 3rd diamond you cash the A-K of spades and run the clubs

Before the last club is cashed, with the lead in dummy, this is the 4-card ending:

             ♠ 5



                           ♠ Q                         

 Q87                   J95             



              ♣ J


When declarer cashes the ♣J, west has to hold on to the J, so throws a heart

Having done its job, north can now throw the 6

East is under pressure having to hold on to the ♠Q so also pitches a heart

The 10 now becomes trick 12

Last updated : 17th Dec 2023 13:25 SAST
Hand of the Month - October
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10 October, Kruger Day, Sunshine Coast, Board 1 

Oom Paul, an accomplished hunter, was known to have a keen instinct, useful in the Transvaal bushveld of old

North gets to 4S after West threw in a heart bid along the way

Instinct may be good for the wilds of Africa, but in bridge it can lead to defeat

The six of hearts was led, taken in dummy

Declarer plays a diamond at trick 2. West takes the ace and continues hearts, ruffed by declarer with the 10.  

East is at a critical point in the hand 

He must decide whether to overruff or not. ..........

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Last updated : 9th Dec 2023 18:42 SAST
Hand of the month - September

Sometimes the bidding goes awry, and one ends up in an inferior contract

This happens when the poor cousins of the bridge world (the minor suits) get overlooked!

And you end up in a Moysian* fit slam, certainly not the best contract

This happened at the KZNBU BBO pairs last week

Perhaps north should put in a second double after west rebids her hearts

A second double cannot be for penalties – just reaffirming the powerful nature of the hand and (by standard) declaring 3 card spade support, asking south to rebid spades if a 5-card suit or “do something!” Just don’t pass!

However if north had bid thus, the story would not have been quite so interesting

When North jumped to 4♠, it’s hardly surprising that south, with a heart void and some good spade honours, went on to slam,

But sometimes the Gods are smiling down on you and 6♠ is unbeatable

The ace of hearts was led, ruffed by declarer

He then played a spade to the ace, took the spade finesse back and cashed the king, mildly disappointed to see west show out, meaning that East had a sure trick

A diamond to the Queen held and clubs were started from the top, pleased to see the ♣Q fall in 2

Declarer continued clubs, waiting for east to ruff with the master trump.  When in, east led a heart to the king

The A caught the king, establising the jack, and the hand was high

There is no lead to beat the spade slam

Seeing all four hands, it's easy to spot the best contract, either minor grand slam!  Not so simple at the table

But the most interesting part of this hand is that the "optimum contract" is not, as your would expect, 7 or 7♣ but 7X by west!!

Yes, if a vulnerable grand slam is available to N/S, then west can save a few points by bidding 7 hearts, getting doubled and going down "only" 7!

* Moysian fits (named for Alphonse "Sonny" Moyse) are simply 4-3 trump fits

Last updated : 9th Dec 2023 18:41 SAST
Hand of the Month - August
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The bidding started off with a Multi 2 and then the 2NT rebid showed a balanced 20 or 21 point hand

A puppet enquiry revealed that south had a 5 card heart suit, guaranteeing a 10 card fit

The RKC enquiry confirmed possession of all keycards.  Having 10 hearts including the ace and king meant that even if the queen of trumps was missing it should fall in 2 rounds, making the slam a good prospect.

As north had bid hearts when making the relay bid, after the Multi opening by south, he ended up as declarer. ..........

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Last updated : 25th Aug 2023 12:57 SAST
Hand of the Month - July
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The Links, Saturday 1 July

Quite a few of the KZN players play at the Links on a Saturday afternoon

This hand cropped up last week, giving declarer a challange in 3NT. ..........

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Last updated : 19th Aug 2023 14:03 SAST
Hand of the month - May
Hand of the month - May
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This hand was played on Monday 29th May (am) on BBO

The X is a support double



Opening lead: A

After successfully getting to 6♠, you need to ensure 12 tricks

The Ace of hearts is ruffed, of course

The illusion on this hand is that to make 12 you must try to ruff both remaining hearts in dummy

In fact outside losers can be discarded on the clubs - no further heart ruffs are required. ..........

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Last updated : 22nd Jun 2023 16:37 SAST
What is your bid?
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Hand 20 played on KZN BBO on 24th April

West, your partner, passes and North opens 1NT

You are east with this hand

What action do you take?

What can/should you bid with 18 HCP's and a nice 5 card major?

You really want to bid - after all, it's your best hand of the day.  A juicy double is maybe worth 500.  Or should you simply overcall 2♠ 

Make your choice before reading on. ..........

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Last updated : 9th Jun 2023 14:30 SAST
A tip for defenders
A tip for defenders
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In a hand played recently most of the field ended up in 3 after West had invited game

Sitting North you start by leading the singleton J.   Partner wins with the ace and returns a diamond, which you ruff

The question is how can you get back to partner’s hand for another ruff.

If partner has the ace of clubs, then a club is called for.  However, if partner has the ace of spades, then a spade is the way to partner’s hand

If you and your partner have no idea about suit preference signals, then it is a guess. ..........

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Last updated : 25th Apr 2023 14:05 SAST
Optimum Contract. What is it?

I find the optimum contract suggested by the BridgeWebs results file often quite interesting

The suggestion, upon analysis, has always made perfect sense

Of course, the assumption that the rest of the field will bid to the optimum, is no guarantee for a good result. So going for -1400 (6♠X vulnerable -5) against your opponents 6 vulnerable slam making for -1430 may not always work out as you might hope

In the expert game, more so, as the rest of the field are likely to bid to the slam

On Tuesday you may wonder why 4SX for - 300 is the optimum contract as suggested on board 14

Until you notice that 3NT is makeable on the slimmest of spade stops, but only if played by West

Remarkably, 3 pairs did reach this shaky game and, what's more, 2 made their contract!

The question is, if East declares in 3NT, how do you make sure you beat it?

In this case, the ♠J seals East's fate

The Jack holds, and a small spade is won by north

North keeps firing hearts through, finally forcing an entry to South's hand and he eventually has to capitulate - 2 down

Last updated : 25th Apr 2023 14:06 SAST
Card reading - 4th highest
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This hand cropped up on Thursday morning, 19th January.

You are West

North opened 1NT and, after South failed to find a major fit, lept to 3NT.

Your partner leads the ♣8 and dummy plays the ♣2

Plan your move. ..........

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Last updated : 25th Apr 2023 14:07 SAST
The fight for part-score
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Although tight games and difficult slams are the "stuff" of bridge columns, the fight for a partscore can be just as rewarding in the pairs game.

This hand cropped upon the 9th January 2023 on KZN BBO

It illustrates the point beautifully

Many pairs were permitted to play in 2 after North put in a spade overcall, with South remaing silent, making 8 tricks for an average, +90

However at some tables South, not content to leave E/W to make their part-score, put in a belated bid "stealing" the contract with the master suit.

If 2♠  makes then an excellent result ensures

However if N/S go 1 down, vulnerable, its -100 and a very poor result

Now its up to East/West to get their +100

East leads the ace of diamonds and, after noting West's encouraging card, must decide what to do next

At one table, East cashed the Q and switched to the singleton club

Declarer rose with the ace, entered hand with a heart and ruffed a diamond

The Jack of spades was tabled, and whether covered or not, had to concede a club and a heart and a trump, to make on the nail, E/W conceding -110 for a very poor percentage

Lets go back to the first trick

Its not easy for East to find the switch at trick 2 to defeat the contract

Can you spot it. ..........

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Last updated : 12th May 2023 15:05 SAST
Wed 22nd May 2024
Kloof Bridge Club
Kloof Catholic Church 9 am
Thu 23rd May 2024
Windermere 9.00am
Thu 23rd May 2024
RealBridge Domaine
RealBridge 9.00 am
Thu 23rd May 2024
BBO 9:30am
Fri 24th May 2024
BBO Midlands
BBO 9.00am
Fri 24th May 2024
Le Domaine A
Le Domaine 9:00am