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Half Year Review

What better to warm the cockles of our collective hearts than some sizzlingly scintillating statistics from the first six months of play at the Mollymook Bridge Club :)

There has been a total of 123 club games played at the clubhouse from the start of January till the end of June 2024, with on average six tables playing each daytime session. Our biggest day to date was the Australia Wide Novice Pairs event which attracted eleven tables of players (i have included a write up of the event below), and we have some similar events (Australia Wide Open Pairs and the State Wide Pairs) coming up in August :)




I had covered previous months in earlier news articles, so a somewhat belated but still heartfelt happy birthday to our May and June babies: David, Stephanie, Liz, Viv, Mary, Nada, Carole, Moira, Ann, Ros, Col, Val, John, Lucy, Eva, Leigh, Faye and Pennie.  And a further congratulations to Cheryl and Tony Rascionato who earned their first masterpoints in the month of June :)  I spoke in an earlier news article about the McCutcheon awards.  For each rank of masterpoints (eg Club, State etc), the ABF recognises the top twenty people who started the year in that rank and have accumulated more masterpoints than their peers.  In previous years, Peter Gill is invariably at the top of the list - though I think his and Liz's many month stint overseas has made that extremely challenging even for Peter to catch up.  However since I have been aware of the awards, three years ago, one other Mollymook player has consistently featured in the McCutcheon listings, and she is again representing us, sitting in eighth place for Bronze National - Lauri Perino.  Grats Lauri, that number one spot doesnt look too far away ... :)

2024 Pro-Am #2

What a great day.  It was almost a full house at the club, with eleven tables filled with randomly paired players, ready to compete in our second Pro-Am of the year.  In our post covid years we have very rarely reached eleven tables, and only once achieved more than eleven tables at the club - when we had twelve tables for the 2023 Ros Simpson event.

Things got off to a slightly delayed start, with an almost full deck of directors endeavouring to pair up our Ams with our Pros based on masterpoints; and then we had to try to remember what sort of movement you should have with eleven tables ... but eventually the movement was confirmed (eleven rounds of two boards mitchell); tables were announced and people took their places.  Early money was on the winners of the first pro-am Jill de Friend (paired with Maureen Harrison) or Tony Rolfe (paired with Julie Jeffery), with informed punters also betting heavily on the heavy weight pairing of Graham Evans and Tony Rascionato.

It was fantastic to see so many smiling faces at the club - but especially great to see Peggy Ayers join us after a long break.  Had she lost any of her form over the intervening months - not according to Maureen who was heard to comment when despondently walking away from Peggy and Faye's table: "Dont believe a word of it - she has lost none of her golly-gosh skill".  Well at least I *think* she said golly-gosh ...

And speaking of players that we miss, Jim McKenzie had left us with about $100 in his bridge table money fund.  We asked his wife Deidre what we should do with the money.  Deidre, an avid, avid reader, said if it was her money she would ask us to buy some books for the library, but seeing as it was Jim's money, please spend it on pizza and beers at your next event.  Which we did.  And we all raised a glass to Jim and other missing friends after the close of play.  We had realised earlier in the day, that we may have made a significant strategic blunder when we scheduled the event on the King's Birthday public holiday - with pizzas afterwards.  None of our regular pizza venues were open!  Lucy, quick to solution as always, offered to cook up a quick batch of a dozen or so pizzas !! But we much preferred her company and insights at the bridge table; and in the end we decided we would just have to go with Dominos.  Next year we will do better - anyway, I am sure that Jim would be quick to remind us that all is forgiven :)  And as it turned out, with enough Prosecco, any pizza tasted good.

The decision to play only twenty-two boards was a very good one - it gave everyone time to play at a more relaxed pace and to have brief discussions between boards.  My favourite quip of the day was made by some anonymous excel nerd when playing against Rowena Barton and Col Jones: "Well you really cant have a table without at least one Row and one Col".  Umn. Hilarious stuff - no really :)

After all rounds were played, cheese and crackers were laid out, corks were popped and the directors, with palms appropriately greased retired to the directors room to weave their magic and produce the day's results.  Coming first was a fun day, followed by a lot of chatter and laughter, backed up with some fine food and drinks.  In terms of the actual bridge placings - well the early money was almost right: in third places (E-W then N-S): Col Jones & Rowena Barton and Neill Duffy & Alan Foreman; in second places Jill & Maureen and Julie & Tony and standing tall on the top tier of the winners podium were Cheryl Rascionato & Ken Harrison (with a score of 64.86%) and Jan Titcombe and Susanne Dillon (with a score of 66.95%).

Thanks to everyone who turned up and created such a wonderful social day of bridge and banter.  Thanks to Lucy especially for all her running around preparing food and drinks for the day.  Thanks to all those who helped setup the room and reset the room after the event, and a special personal thanks to the nerd cluster (think of it as a ganglion - but made up of nerds not nerves) of computer programmers, chemists and lawyers who regaled each other after the event with super nerd humour from their past lives (thanks  Bob,Tony, Tony, Neil, David and Hardy with a brief cameo from Glenice).

2024 Australia Wide Novice Pairs


It was close to a full house at the club house on Monday 28th May with almost eight tables competing in the 2024 Australia Wide Novice Pairs (AWNP) event and a further three tables playing the regular Monday session.  

About 3,000 players from 100 bridge clubs around Australia compete in the AWNP each year - with every club playing the same boards.  At the conclusion of the day's session every player is provided a booklet which contains analysis and advice for each of the hands played, plus players are eligible for a number of other prizes.  It's a fun event.

After a somewhat confused and chaotic start with the organisers managing to confound almost everyone with unexpected table allocations and a surpisingly widespread inability to count to 7.5 (that did not bode well), things settled down into a healthy rhythm. 

Our cracking patissieres (and a special thanks to Margaret, Barb, Lynne and Carole) had outdone themselves with a cornucopia of confections and a plenitude of pastries arrayed in a manner most pleasant to the eye, The card playing was great - the intervals inbetween even better :)  The baffles got quite the workout when there was a slow table or two.

At the end of play, the babble of bridge was replaced by the bubble of bottles and the popping of corks as glasses were charged (and quickly discharged and recharged) to celebrate our local AWNP champions (thanks for the prosecco Lucy :).  In the under 50 MP category (where both players had less than 50 MPs), Kim McElhinney and Neil Duffy placed third with Karma and Gary Parker second, and in first position for the U50s were Margaret Callan and Donna Molloy.  In the overall event,  Liz Baker and Jen Langley tied with Carole Cluney and Katie Emms for second place while first place for the second year running, went to Rae Duffy and John Reid.

The overall results for all players taking part, can be found here.  At the time of writing, with only about a quarter of all competing clubs having finished, four Mollymook pairs were listed in the top 60 pairs :) 


Our thanks to the many people who contributed to making the day such a fun day.  Thanks to Rae and Neil for their help in setting up for the event, to Tony Rolfe who directed for the Monday regular session, to our previously noted bakers and prosecco procurers and a special thanks to David Bavin who invoked his (impressive) stentorian voice to assist in crowd management.  But in particular - thank you to my fellow Novice players who came along in droves, with such wonderful spirit, creating a really enjoyable day. I am only sorry that Mary, Dennis, Robbie and David were unable to join us - as they all had to withdraw for health reasons.  

South Coast Autumn Tears

For the last few years Nowra has organised an annual event which I had heard referred to as the South Coast Autumn Teams (SCAT) - but I noted recently that the event is actually titled a Friendly Interclub.  I was interested in the history of the event - so I googled SCAT.  Well blow me down.  I would change the name too.

The event this year was held on Sunday 26th of May. It was a beautiful beautiful Autumn day - perfect for being somewhere outdoors :p  Seven clubs were invited to compete - being IBA, Berry, Kiama, Southern Highlands, Bowral,  Nowra and Mollymook, with each club sending along two teams.  The two teams from Mollymook were Moira, Rae, George and Leigh aka The Young Guns and Lauri, Sue (Tooth), Graham and John aka the Tant-less Teamsters.  KT, who was originally slated to not only play (and captain) the Tant-full Teamsters but was also the event director, had to pull out at the last minute due to illness (detractors may suggest that the near perfect fishing conditions may have further aggravated KT's 'illness').  But his legacy was that the Teamsters were ranked far far higher than their cumulative masterpoints would otherwise have placed them.  Who wants an easy path to victory though - am I right.

Battle was joined promptly at 10:00 and the Young Guns leapt into the fray with a string of early victories, while the Tant-less Teamsters struggled against some pretty stiff competition.  At half time, despite the Youngsters impressive efforts, there was sadly no mention of Mollymook in the top four clubs' placings.  A break for lunch and some strategic planning however promised to see our fortunes reversed in the second half of the event.  So sad to see promises broken like that.

The event was very close fought at the top of the leaderboard, and at the close of business it was IBA, followed by Southern Highlands and Bowral who took home the medals. It was a fabulous day, with great camaraderie and a friendly spirit pervading the entire day. The organisation by the Nowra Bridge club was magnificent, the room was presented beautifully, the food selection was extensive, enticing and eminently edible and the event ran with precision and efficiency.

Congratulations to our Young Guns who played some fantastic bridge to bolster the Mollymook results and a special thanks to Sue who was called upon at very short notice and who filled KT's galoshes very capably.  

Interclub Swiss Pairs at Batemans Bay

It was a dark and stormy night ...

.. well morning may be a tad more accurate if not less poetic ... as we travelled down to Batemans Bay for the first Interclub for 2024.  The Mollymook contingent was small but potent, being represented by Glenice & Fay, George & Leigh, Lauri & KT, Ken and Maureen and Graham and JR.  After a wet but otherwise short and comfortable trip we arrived at the BBBC.  Seven tables were laid out for battle - with many of the region's top players girded for the fray though we were sadly missing a few of the BBBC standard-bearers - notably the Creets and Brassils. Hopefully they will join us for the return event later in the year at Mollymook.

After a warm welcome, our hosts started fattening us up for the slaughter - with a table load of morish (not to be mistaken with foods from Northern Africa ...) treats.  Not wanting to insult our hosts, we indulged ourselves.  Repeatedly. As the clock struck 09:30, we regretfully rolled ourselves away from the food-laden table and assumed our places.  The contest had begun.

Leigh and George sprang into the fracas with a couple of quick successive wins catapulting them after two rounds to the second top table (I think they left their mark on table Two in the form of a few bloodied claw marks ..).  Ken and Maureen force marched their way immediately to the top table, where they remained bivouacked for all but the final round, while Glenice, Fay, Lauri, KT, Graham and myself oscillated amongst the tables in between.  As it turned out, it was a good day for oscillating.

Three rounds passed quickly and a break for lunch was called. After some top shelf sandwiches and a short motivational half-time team speech from Faye (though as it turned out, we didnt end up fighting them on the beaches ...), the MBC contingent returned rested to the the action.   The second half was tough, and despite having dug in resolutely over the course of the morning, Ken and Mo were finally ousted from the top table in the penultimate round.  As the clamour of combat was replaced by the popping of bubbly corks and the clink of wine-filled glasses, the fog of battle cleared and it was Batemans Bay who emerged victorious in the forms of David Hill and Mary O'Neill in first place with Ken and Mo in second a jot ahead of Patricia Afflick and Richard Prickett.  History will not record their names, but a couple of other MBC pairs took pride of place in the trailing pack.  Full results can be found at

Thanks to BBBC for a tremendously enjoyable day of bridge, to the providers of the wonderful baked goods, to Ray Turner for his organisation and directing on the day, and to the other regional players for their company and camaraderie on an otherwise cold and cheerless autumnal day.

Month in Review - Apr 2024

Grand National Open Teams Qualifying

GNOT is a tad simpler :)

So what is all the fuss about?  The GNOTQ is the only event run by the club each year which awards gold masterpoints.  The GNOT event is usually run each year in April across five sessions, with a somewhat unique movement for club events (and yes, half tables do make for a lot of confusion and chaos in the GNOT).  This year's GNOT was won by Maureen and Ken Harrison, not far ahead of the irrepressible Lauri Perino and Kevin Tant pair.  Interestingly, though Mo and Ken won the event, it was Lauri and KT who took home the bacon in terms of the most gold masterpoints earnt.  How can that be I hear you virtually ask?  I dont pretend to understand it fully - but let me just say that the spreadsheet used to calclulate MPs is called the KTEmulator - enough said right ?

Looking at masterpoints earnt for pairs with an average of less than 50 masterpoints - George Palavestra and Leigh Taylor (1.98 MPs) placed first, followed by Gary and Karma Parker (1.92 MPs) with Barb Mansfield and Lynne Povey in third spot (1.32 MPs).

And looking at masterpoints earnt for pairs with an average of less than 100 masterpoints - Sue and Bob Jones accumulated an impressive 3.48 MPs follwed by Carole Cluney and Bruce Wiggins with an also impressive 2.28 MPs.

In the five sessions of GNOT, club members earnt just under 47 masterpoints, which is more than would typically be earnt in an entire month of club sessions.  I know that masterpoints are by no means the be-all and end-all of bridge, but they are a nice side benefit.  Thanks as always to KT, who plans, facilitates, oversees or runs and analyses and compiles overall results for all of our GNOT sessions, and is constantly looking for ways to improve how the event is managed.


Happy birthday to our people who have just finished celebrating their April birthdays: Louise, Jen, Kim, Denise, Paul, George, Lauri, Janet, Ron and Ross W and to our May birthday celebrators: David, Baker, Vivienne, Mary, Ann, Leigh and Faye.

I know we have many wedding anniversaries which go unrecognised every month - but I would like to call out a couple of recent anniversaries: congrats to Jim and Mary on their 8th wedding anniversary and also to Cheryl and Tony Rascionato who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary by coming along to supervised play.  How apropos.  I am confident that by the time that we are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary, Libby and I will need to have supervised play as well :)

Congratulations to some of our most recent joiners who were awarded their first masterpoints in April: Nada Carroll, Lyn Willett and Ian Willett; and a belated congrats also to Sylvia Stone who was awarded her first masterpoints in February. 



World Champions ?

It is super super rare that we are honoured by having potential world champions walking in our midst .. and for once I am not talking about Liz and Peter. Row Barton and Rae Duffy are off to Rivenna Italy in early September to compete in the world club dragonboat racing championships with the Nowra Waterdragons.  Good luck you two :)

Pictured on the right are Row and Rae practicing the brandishing of their championship gold medal - using the bronze medals which they won recently at the Women's Over Sixty Nationals in Perth



Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

(compiled from results for the months of March and April)

Slammin Champin

The slammin' champin title was shared by Graham Evans (8 Small 2 Grand) and Ross Milbourne (11 Small).  Looking at players with less than 100 masterpoints, Karma and Gary Parker with 7 small slams finished just behind Rae Duffy (6S 1G).  And in the under 50 masterpoints, Barb Mansfield (5S) and Jen Langley (5S) slotted in just behind the Parkers :)

Quite a few people were successful in bidding and making grand slams in March and April, including David Badger, Glenice de Montemas, Michael McTiernan, Lauri Perino, John Reid, Tony Rolfe, Kevin Tant and Faye Thomson

When you divide the number of slams by the number of sessions played, the people most likely to make a slam each time they played in the period were Rae followed by Row, then Karma and Gary.

Highest Winning Percentage for a Session (matchpoint scored sessions)

The single session highest winning percentage for a matchpoint scored game was absolutely smashed by Neil and Rae Duffy who achieved a session winning percentage of 83.3% on the 11th April.  Peter Gill and John R were next best, a long way back at 74.1% achieved on the 6th March.  I have been tracking game results since May of 2021, and Neil and Rae's score of 83.3% is now the highest result in a matchpoint scored game at the clubhouse that I have recorded (pipping Jim McKenzie's 81.3% recorded in October 2022)

Best Average Session Percentage (matchpoint scored sessions)

Peter Gill has the highest average session percentage  across March and April, recording 63.72% in his three games.  In second place is Row - who averaged 61.83% across an amazing nine sessions of play.  Looking just at our players with 100 masterpoints or less, it is one of our most recent arrivals, Lyn Willett who has the highest average session percentage in the period, averaging 60.42% in her two sessions. Rae Duffy (58.04% over ten sessions) and Alison Betts (55.10% over seven sessions) were next best

Mollymook vs The World

I have read snippets of Liz and Peter's American and European bridge tour via the Mollymook facebook group (thanks Liz - please keep em coming).  As I understand it, the world is still just slightly ahead - but I still have my money riding on Peter and Liz :).  I particularly liked this comment from one of Liz's posts, which I think summed up the current score: "Peter and I are currently in Alpe d'Huez playing the European Winter Games. If our opponents in the American Nationals were usually someone who has been a World Champion some time in their life, here in Europe its much smaller - just 48 teams - and the opponents all appear to be  CURRENT world champions!!! It has been really exciting to meet all these legends".  PS if you are not a member of our facebook group - please join us there to keep up to date on what is happening :)

Club Statistician

I recently had some MBC statistics quoted to me that I had not even thought to compile.  A normal nerd would be excited to find another statistics-wielding nerd to share with.  I am not that person :p  I fear that my self-appointed unofficial title of Club Statistician is in jeopardy.  I need your help !  If you think of any other club statistics which might be interesting to compile and report on - please dont tell Kim McElhinney, just quietly mention it to me :)


1. Slam scores are calculated by awarding one point for a small slam and 1.5 points for a grand - ie the same ratio as they are scored.  While it would be much more accurate to report slams by the pairs rather than separately accruing to each individual in the pair, the effort exceeds the time required :)

Farewell Janet and Ron Turnell

You are probably aware that Janet and Ron Turnell have left our sunny nook to return to Griffith where they first met.  Ron and Janet's eldest son lives in Griffith with his three children and his grandson (ie Janet & Ron's great grandson); and they still have many friends living there.  Our roving reporter (RR) caught up with Janet when she and Ron were playing in the first GNOT session on 12th April:

RR: When did you start playing bridge?
JT: I started in 1986 and Ron joined me at the table about five years later - around 1991.

RR: What attracted you to bridge?
JT: I always loved playing cards.  Growing up in England we played a lot of cards with the family.  Then after coming to Australia I heard that bridge was supposed to be one of the most challenging card games, and I just wanted to try it

RR: What do you most enjoy about playing bridge?
JT: the people, and I just love the thought processes. I also love how people *almost never* bother me with questions while I am playing.

RR: Haha.  Um what is something about you that most of our members wont know?
JT: Ron and I met through the church in Griffith.  We were friends for seven years before we got married; and we have just celebrated our 64th wedding anniversary.
RR: whoa 70 years.  That is a long time
JT: umm that would actually be 71 years now.  You should try playing bridge RR - it is very good for your basic arithmetic ..

RR: What other hobbies/passions do you have other than bridge?
JT: Knitting, cross stitch and tapestry.  And Ron loves his swimming.  We started coming to Mollymook in 1971 and have now lived here permanently for 24 years.  Ron was one of the founding members of the Narrawallee Loggers
RR: Nice :)  Now that Ron wont be taking his spot at Loggers any more - do you think that he could pass it on to me?
JT: No.

RR:What general advice would you give to other bridge players?
JT: Put the effort in and you will enjoy it even more.  I treated it like a uni course and every night I went to bed reading bridge books

RR: Thank you Janet.  We will miss you both greatly.  And if you could just ask Ron about that Loggers spot ?
JT: No.

Janet and Ron have been members of the Mollymook Bridge Club for 17 years.  And not only have they been a constant delight to catch up with at the club house, but they both have multiple mentions on the club's honour boards:  Janet teamed up with Kevin Tant to be club champion for five years (you lucked in there KT), she and Ron won the George Moourhouse Memorial Shield (highest placed Mollymook pair at the congress) twice and they also won the President's Trophy twice.  Their company and their competitive spirit will be sorely missed.  Well played Griffith, well played indeed. 

Congratulations to our first class of 2024

Congratulations to the graduating members of the Introduction to Bridge sessions held in Feb and March of 2024.  Pictured from left to right:

Sue Burton, Nada Carroll, Carolyn Barrett, Hardy Hansen, Tony Rascionato, Lyn Willett and Ian Willett.  And missing from the photo is Cheryl Rascionato.

We pondered long and hard about the best way to advertise the planned lessons - flyers/facebook pages/website notices ?  It turned out the most effective means for advertising the course was to let Narelle Zappas know it was happening :p  I think Narelle motivated at least half of the original eleven members of the course to come along and give it a try.  Oh Narelle - did I mention that we were looking to sell our car ?

Whilst we still have plans to do a further one or two lessons on opening two bids, stayman and transfers, the class is happily progressing to playing supervised games and when bravery allows, joining the Thursday night games

Thanks greatly to Sue Myers-Bateman and Rae Duffy who came along to almost all of the teaching sessions to share their energy, advice and questions with all of us, and also to Peter Gill and Liz Sylvester who also joined the class to share their bridge wisdom.  Next class is tentatively scheduled for August - depending on numbers.  If you know anyone who might be interested, please let Leigh Taylor know :)

Where does he find the time?

Picked up by the eagle-eyed Peter Gill while he and Liz Sylvester are in Louisville on their four month bridge congress tour of the world.  Who could resist reading through the 25 page daily bulletin Daily Bulletin of the 64th Spring North American Bridge Championships especially the limerick section on pages 9 and 10, where Tony Rolfe gets an honourable mention for his entry via Bridge Winners:

A pair of card sharps from Louis-ville
Concocted a plan really e-ville
They cheated their way
Through the very first day
But were caught and said words most unci-ville

Too funny :)  Nice work you two super nerds :)

And as for the bridge over there in Louisville, in the four session Senior Mixed Pairs, Liz and Peter qualified 3rd out of 120 pairs, and finished 19th in the Final

How's Peggy Going ?

It is such a common question from so many people each time that we get together to play bridge, that I thought I would check in with Ken to get the latest updates.

You would be aware that late last year Peg was hospitalised following a very serious stroke and while she was in hospital she suffered a number of additional minor strokes as well as contracting covid.  But with typical Peggy gusto and determination, she has managed to soldier through it all and in mid February she left hospital and is now recovering in a nursing home in Cabramatta.  Her mobility is slowly improving and she is able to get around with the help of a walker.

When asked by one of her recent visitors if there was anything that they could do for her, Peg swiftly responded "Would you mind taking me for a drive - I'm sick and tired of being stuck in hospital and I'm dying for a decent Chinese meal".  Is she missing bridge?  Apparently not too much - she has now found a regular dominoes game, with a 100 year old Russian woman.  She says the competition is fierce.  While it is still unclear what Peg's next port of call willl be, she is still holding out hope that she will be back in Ulladulla at some stage.


Month in Review - Feb-Mar 2024

NSWBA Online Pairs League - Summer 24

Mollymook Bridge Club fielded an astounding 23 players in the four divisions of the Summer Online Pairs; with some amazing results, in particular Leigh and George who finished second in the NS tables in their division - by the merest of margins; and the irrepressible Peter Gill, who together with Rob Ward took out first place in NS for division one.    Full results for the MBC players:

Division 4

  • Ross Wade / Ary Van Der Lely finished 3rd (EW) with 5 wins and 1 draw
  • Bruce Wiggins / Debra Skinner finished 5th (EW) with 3 wins and a draw
  • Jill De Friend / Robert Woods finished 8th (EW) with 2 wins
  • George Palavestra / Leigh Taylor finished 2nd (NS) with 5 wins and a draw
  • Neil Duffy / Kim McElhinney finished 6th (NS) with 3 wins and 1 draw

Division 3

  • Sue and Bob Jones finished 7th (EW) with 2 wins and a draw

Division 2

  • Moira Heath / Liz Sylvester finished 6th (EW) with 3 wins and a draw
  • Lucy Robinson / Rae Duffy finished 7th (EW) with 2 wins and a draw
  • Lindsay Scandrett / John Reid finished 2nd (NS) with 6 wins
  • Sue Myers-Bateman / Elizabeth Baker finished 6th (NS) with 2 wins and 2 draws

Division 1

  • Peter Gill / Rob Ward finished 1st (NS) with 6 wins and a draw
  • Lauri Perino / Kevin Tant finished 4th (EW) with 4 wins and 2 draws

2023 President's Trophy

Congratulations to Liz Sylvester and Peter Gill who won the 2023 President's Trophy event which was held on Saturday 2nd March. Graham Evans and Kevin Tant took out second place ahead of Elainne and Paul Haley and Moira Heath and Lauri Perino equal in third spot.





Feb and March Birthdays

Whoa what a period for birthdays at the club.  Three of our four longest standing members: Nance Tierney, Tony Rolfe and Peggy Ayers all celebrate their birthdays in February or March.  Happy birthday to you three in particular.  You are an inspiration for all of us aspiring bridge players, not just for the logevity of your bridge careers, but the amazing standard of bridge that you continue to play.  So long as I am not playing against you - it's all beer and skittles.

Pictured above, Nance celebrating her 95th birthday :)  I particularly like the way that she is keeping a close eye on Ross and has that knife very very handy to swipe away any unwanted attention before she claims her first slice.  Happy birthday Nance :)  Trust your partner ... indeed (just not in the kitchen) !

Whilst all birthdays are arguable of equal importance, some are just more equal than others.  Lucy Robertson, in her inimicable bridge style apparently pre-empted her 70th birthday by five or ten years, just to make sure she got her cake and ate it too.  Happy 61st or whatever *real* birthday it is for you Lucy.  Nice pre-empt.  Im looking forward to a big cake for my 80th birthday celebrations next month ...

And in no particular order (hmm other than perhaps surname by alpha) .. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our Feb and March babies: Margaret, Peggy, Margie, Iris, Peter, Helene, Henk, Paul, Margaret, John, David, Rita, Christina, Gary, Tony, Nance, Sue, Elisabeth and Rolf :)


Happy Birthday BBB clubhouse

What a lovely birthday party the Batemans Bay Bridge Club arranged to celebrate the 21st birthday of their clubhouse, and it was great to see many of the regional bridge luminaries gathered for the celebration.  The Mollymook contingent was short in numbers, but long in enthusiasm, with Katie Emms, Carole Cluney, Graham Evans and John Reid in attendance.  Lunch, morning and afternoon teas as well as a delicious chocolate birthday cake, were all provided and the food was truly excellent, with the day being rounded off with a glass of wine or bubbly. The atmostphere was certainly celebratory and all our games were played in a very welcoming and convivial manner.  As you would expect the bridge itself was extremely competitive, with both Mollymook pairs having a bit of an up and down day - though happily with a bit more up than down.  Our thanks to all the organisers, notably Ray Turner, Louise Brassil and Karen Creet who managed the event perfectly.

Month in Review - Jan 2024 (and a bit)

Gold Coast Congress

Good luck to our mollymook bridge club members Liz Sylvester, Peter Gill, Lauri Perino and Kevin Tant who are competing at the Gold Coast Congress this week.  The congress runs from Sunday 18th to Saturday 24th and results from the various events can be found here.  One of Liz and Peter's games is written up in one of the bulletins

Baffled by the Hubbub ?

Be baffled no longer - we are now a hub of baffles.  In January the committee elected to purchase noise abatement baffles for the ceiling.  The baffles were sourced from Queensland but were installed by a local handyman who did a magnificent job with the installation (Ross or Lauri can provide his details if you need a handyperson for some work). While the jury is still out for some, a number of members, notably those with hearing augmentation, have commented very positively about the improvement.  And they look fantastic :)

Pro-Am Feb 2024

We held our first Pro-Am event in February.  And while the bridge was great fun, the baking was even better :)  My tastebuds would like to thank Margaret Callan for the delicious peanut caramel slices and Lucy Robinson for the near perfect chocolate-iced vanilla cupcakes.  The banana, walnut and apricot slice while tasty, was quietly contented to be relegated to third position on the day.  We also played some bridge.  The Pro-Am is a new event this year, continuing the success of the Ros Simpson event from previous years.  The event matches up pairs based on masterpoints, usually resulting in a bevy of brand new partnerships desperately trying to work out their system before the director's bell is rung.  Our inaugural event matched up thirteen random pairs for an enjoyable day of chaos and mentorship.  When the dust finally settled and the last board was put to rest, Elita Parszuto and KT had put in a stellar effort to take fourth place, not far behind Margaret Callan (first in our hearts and stomachs, third in cards) and Moira Heath1.  Ros Hughes and Alan Foreman finished in second place behind Jill de Friend and Tony Rolfe who took out first place in our inaugural Pro-Am. Speaking afterwards, Tony was full of praise for Jill's card play - managing not once but twice to make very challenging One notrump contracts when Tony turned up with three or less points.  Thank you partner indeed :)

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

This month the statistical spotlight shines solely on our intermediate and below ranked players.  The slammers award for the opening months of 2024 goes to Stephanie and David Badger, who have amassed one grand and five small slams so far in 2024.  Jen Langley was not far behind with six small slams, followed by Sue Dillon and Moira Heath with five slams apiece.  The winningest percentage in a matchpoint scored game so far this year goes to Rowena Barton and Jen Langley with a 71.4% win in early February.  Congratulations also to Liz Baker and Sue Tooth who's names were drawn from the barrel to receive engraved wine glasses for their recent grand slam game.

1 Margaret and Moira were a pair forged in the fires of fate itself.  At the last Ruth Lumbers, when I was chronicling the bakers wonderful efforts, there was one anonymous dish which despite our best efforts we could not deduce its heritage.  Moira wrote to me afterwards and asked which maestro of the mixmaster was responsible for this calorifically-challenging tastebud-tantalising ambrosia.  "No clue" I waxed lyrical.  A number of months passed by until at one committee meeting, after I had been extolling the efforts of our wonderful providers of baked goods, Margaret Callan quietly intoned: "It's great to recognise our bakers John, but you keep forgetting to include me :)".  It turns out that Margaret, in her early morning peregrinations would regularly stop by the clubhouse before an event and drop in her baked items - one of which was indeed the very ambrosia which Moira had been complimenting.  Margaret - my apologies yet again and my eternal thanks :)

Farewell 2023. You've been a good year

2023 Congratulations

Life Sentence Membership

At the Christmas party (if you havent seen them yet, Row has posted lost of pics to facebook ) Kevin Tant was inducted as the first and only life member of the Mollymook Bridge Club:

Congrats KT - you are an absolute legend.

2023 McCutcheon Rankings

Also making the 2023 headlines (albeit not till 2024), Peter Gill was just pipped in the All Ranks McCutcheon Rankings (most masterpoints in 2023).  Peter came second with 425.81 master points accumulated in the year !  Peter is only one of five players who have won the McCutcheon award three or more times; and it would have been fantastic if he could have landed the award a fourth time.  Peter is now in third place in the all time top Australian Players for master points with 12,896 MPs, behind Pauline Gumby with 14,675 and Warren Lazer with 13,132 MPs.

From memory, we didnt have a lot of other names in the McCutcheon Rankings last year (Lauri I think); but this year we have a few :)

  • Michael McTiernan was ranked 14th amongst his Bronze Life peers
  • Lauri Perino ranked 16th in the Bronze National group
  • John Reid managed a mention in the Silver Local category
  • and Adrian Le ranked seventh in the Nil category

Other 2023 Stats

  • Our slamming champ for 2023 was Ross Milbourne who amassed 61 small and four grand slams across the year;
  • The winningest pair (ie most 1st places) went to Maureen and Ken Harrison with 25 wins in the year, well ahead of KT, Lauri, Lucy and Tony who each took home the gold on 20 occassions in 2023;
  • Highest percentage win in a matchpoint game went to Liz Sylvester and Peter Gill with a mindblowing 77.38% win during the club championships !  My stats only go back to July 2021, but the highest recorded winning percentage in a matchpoint game is still with Jim McKenzie who had an 81.3% win back in October 2022;
  • Our busiest days at the clubhouse were the Ros Simpson Trophy with a fun-filled 12 full tables filling the room, followed by the Dianne and Bill Samuel Trophy Swiss Pairs which saw 11 full tables on each of the two sessions;
  • Friday continues to be the most popular day for bridge at the clubhouse - we averaged just under seven tables each Friday.  Monday and Wednesday we averaged 5.5 - 6 tables over the year.
2023 Dianne and Bill Samuel Trophy

Forty-four will enter - only two may leave.

Well I guess more accurately but less dramatically, only two shall be victorious - we fully intended on kicking all 44 out, come the close of business :p  

On Fridays 8th and 15th of December we played the Swiss Pairs event to determine the 2023 winner of the Dianne and Bill Samuel Trophy.  The field was extremely competitive, with the eleven tables including the majority of the massed might of the Mollymook Bridge Club.  Many of the past champions had returned to compete:  could Graham Evans take home the trophy a fifth time, or would it be Tony Rolfe's chance to equal Graham's four win record.  Could KT make it three in a row, or could one of the other competing past champions make a second trip to the winners circle - perhaps Jim Thomas, Ken Harrison, Ross Milbourne, Lauri Perino or Lucy Robinson. But ignoring past champions, the rest of the field were extremely strong, and it would be no suprise to see any of a number of new names inscribed as the 2023 champions.

The competition was played over two consecutive Fridays, with three rounds of nine boards played on each day.  On the first day, round one was won by Lucy and Tony, round two was won by Robbie and David Lardner just pipping Carole Cluney and Jan Titcombe  and round three was taken out by Peter Gill and Leigh Taylor, with Liz Baker and Sue Tooth not far behind.  When the dust settled, and the newbie director finally finished the day's calculations, the ever young Janet Turnell had managed to overcome any number of hurdles thrown at her by her well intended partner, to win the day's event just a smidgen ahead of Leigh and Peter.

Day two started with a slew of substitutes stepping into the breech to fill in for those who couldnt make it.  My thanks to Peg, Vivienne, Jim, Jack, George and Ross for filling in.  It was still anyone's trophy, with not a lot of distance between first place and twenty-second.   Round four was won by Lucy and Tony just ahead of Rae Duffy and Ross Milbourne, round five saw a victory to Lauri Perino and Kevin Tant just ahead again of Rae and Ross and the final round of the event went to Maureen and Ken followed by Lucy and Tony.

When everything was tallied up the winners for 2023 were Lucy Robinson and Tony Rolfe who were just .19 VPs ahead of Leigh Taylor and Peter Gill in second place.

Vale Jim McKenzie

It is with mixed emotions that I bring you the sad news that Jim McKenzie passed away late in the evening of Sunday 26th November in Milton Hospital.

As most will know, Jim was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer towards the middle of last year. After a number of operations in Canberra and a very long schedule of chemotherapy, he discovered this year that the cancer had spread and after talking it through with his wife Deidre, he made the tough decision to not proceed with another round of chemotherapy - but rather to spend his remaining time with the people he loved and doing the things that he loved doing.  Jim returned to Mollymook with Deidre, visited here regularly by his son and daughters, their children and his siblings, and enjoying his other great passion - playing bridge.

But when on one of her trips back to Canberra, Deidre accidentally put her foot through one of the rotting planks on the back deck of their Canberra home, Jim couldnt resist the challenge, and he decided that cancer or no, he was going to replace that damn deck. He was a stubborn bastard. So off he went, and together with just his grandson he demolished the old and built an entirely new deck for their Canberra home. 

He returned to Mollymook from that adventure, in a lot of pain and under quite a lot of pain relief and yet despite that somehow managed to win the Intermediate Club Championship. Jim loved playing bridge, and he was extremely honoured and touched to receive so many well wishes, thoughts and kindnesses from his fellow Mollymook Bridge Club players in his last months. 

Jim played his last game of bridge at the club on Friday the 17th Nov, which he again managed to win - sheer dogged stubbornness probably. He was admitted to Milton hospital less than a week later, on Thursday 23rd, where he was cared for beautifully, in a room with a stunning view. He told me that he had always loved the trees and wildlife of the area, and had been treated to sightings of some very rare birds in his short stay - though he was not sure if the visions were just drug induced or reality - but either way he was happy to see them.

With the phrase he so frequently commenced each bridge game with, I am sure that Jim would want to remind all of us that "all is forgiven"

Month in Review - Nov 2023

Well what a month November has been.

Australian Open Team Playoffs

The Australian Open Teams playoffs were held in Canberra from 11-16th of November to select the six players who will represent Australia in the Vanderbilt Cup in Buenos Aires in October 2024.  Peter Gill was playing with team members Charlie Lu - Liam Milne - James Coutts - Tony Nunn - Nabil Edgtton.  Liz Sylvester writes: "Eight teams compete in a knockout format. Each match is two days or 120 Boards long.  Peter's team won their first match in a nail biting finish - it was excruciating to watch. After 115 boards they were 4imps behind in an absolute humdinger. The team came through in the last 5 boards finishing with 6H on the last board for an 11IMP turnaround. Phew!!!".   But that was the closest any team came to toppling Peter and his team, who went on to win their semi-final match by 144 IMPs and the final by 105 IMPs. 

You can find the full results and links to hand records and all the BBO Vugraph files here:  Peter Gill has now won the playoffs for the Australian Open an astounding eleven times.  A feat equalled only by one other player being Paul Marston.

2023 Australia Wide Teams Knockout

On the 14th Nov, the Mollymook U100MP team of Bob and Sue Jones, Rae Duffy and Jim Mckenzie/David Lardner won their semi final of the Australia-Wide Knockout.  The team will now compete in the final on 12th December.  Results from all matches and divisions are available at

2023 State (Country) Open Pairs Championship

Lauri Perino and Kevin Tant blitzed the competition to take out the 2023 State (Country) Open Pairs Championship.  Results are available at

2023 Club Classic and Rookie Championships

The Club Championships for Rookie (< 5 MPs) and Club Classic ( < 15 MPs) were played on Saturday 25th November).  There was a great turn out with three tables competing for the two titles  Things were a little bumpy at the start, with the director's sidekick dealing out some questionable boards, but nothing that Ken Harrison could not quickly sort out and the competition continued only slightly delayed.  After five harrowing rounds, the Rookie title was take out by Narelle Zappas and Sylvia Stone (this being Sylvia's first ever masterpoints) and the Club Classic title this year going to Virginia Woodland and Margaret Allen.  Congratulations to our new 2023 Rookie and Club Classic Champions :)  Thanks as always to Elainne for all her organisation prior to and on the day itself, to Ken for overcoming a number of hurdles to provide an almost seamless competition and to Mary Buckley and Elainne for the delightful champagne with which to celebrate the event :)

2023 State Open/Country Teams Qualifying

The Mollymook team of Michael McTiernan - Kevin Tant and Lucy Robinson - Tony Rolfe took on some of the best that NSW bridge had to offer, competing for the 2023 Country Teams title.  Weirdly, in this month of amazing championship results, they did not win.  I suspect they just felt it was fairer to lot some other club win for a change.  From nine very tough matches, the team eked out three wins and a draw - a result with which they should be mightily pleased :)  Full results available at

Around the Clubhouse:

Carol Cluney after bidding her partner Lyn Gribble up to 5H only to see the first five tricks taken by the opponents: "Sorry Lyn the devil made me do it"

Rumours of a fast talking card shark using a false cast on her right hand to palm other people's phones have proven to be unfounded ...


Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Who was the most likely to make a slam in November each time she/he played (ie total slams made / games played).  Honours were evenly shared between Susanne Dillon, Robbie and David Lardner.  On Sue's six outings to the club in November she made four slams, while the Lardners only graced us with their presence thrice but still managed two slams.  Ken Harrison was the undisputed slamming champ in November with a total of six small slams.  Jim Thomas was just inches away from the best winning percentage in November with a 70.50% win on the 11th, but it was the indomitable Tant and Harrison who took line honours for the month with a 70.83% win on the 22nd

2023 Mudgee Congress - Nov 12/13

A contingent of Mollymookers travelled to Mudgee this year to explore the region and play some bridge: Maureen and Ken Harrison, Sue and Bob Jones, Kim McElhinney, Barb Mansfield, Moira Heath, Lauri Perino and Kevin Tant.  The congress is played in three divisions: Restricted, Intermediate and Open - so there is opportunity for everyone to play against people of a comparable level of experience.  Lauri provided a great wrap up of the weekend, and I also asked a few of the others for their thoughts on the congress.  Everyone was effusive about the friendliness of the people they met, the fun exploring the region (and its wineries) and the great venue for playing bridge and the food that was provided. 

Sue Jones writes: "I loved the way that the Mudgee Bridge club asked another volunteer group, guide dogs local group to prepare the lunches. It meant that profit from the lunches went to a local charity.  The beautiful flowers decorations looked stunning and were sold at the end of the weekend with the money raised given to the local guide dog group. I believe that there were at least 20 clubs represented. We'll be going again. We thoroughly enjoyed it."

Barb Mansfield writes: "The Mudgee Congress was very enjoyable more so because the Mollymook group staying at the Soldiers Motel were very entertaining. Top marks to Lauri & Martin for the early morning walks around the parks & gardens to get us fit for a hard days work at bridge; top marks to Ken & Maureen for making sure we didn’t starve organising the evening dinners at the Mudgee Club on Friday, the Golden Dragon on Sat and the Oriental on Sunday and top marks to Moira for a chatty description of the wineries"

Moira did voice some concerns: "The only thing I didnt like was that the slices and cakes were so good that I ate heaps ... not so good for my waistline.  Apart from that I loved the way that they announced all of the bridge clubs that were playing, the friendliness and the fact that they served salads as well as wine at lunchtime. Oh and I also loved the Bridge and the venue."  

And I heard tell that Maureen found the salad dressing a tad too sweet ...

A few of the contingent arrived a couple of days early and Lauri and Mart arranged a visit to a number of the local wineries:

"Logan Wines
First Ridge Wines
Burrundulla Wines
Mudgee Brewing Co
Three Tails Brewery
Bunnamagoo Estate Wines
Lowe Family Wines
Walter Wines

All excellent, from a service and friendliness point of view. Some wines were better than others, but they all had their niche. Best beer at 3 Tails. [...] Mudgee people know the value of being friendly and trying that little bit harder. This was reflected at the congress, which was well run and staffed by helpful, friendly people."

You had me at winery Lauri - I think i will be joining the throng next year :)

Oh and I guess I should also mention the bridge itself :)  No gold for Mollymook this year.  Moira and Lauri came third in the intermediate pairs and Sue and Bob, Barb and Kim came 5th in the Restricted Teams.  Full results at


Ruth Lumbers Trophy

On Sunday 5th November, the thirty-first Ruth Lumbers Trophy was held at the Mollymook Bridge Club.  The Ruth Lumbers Trophy was established in 1991 to memorialise Ruth Lumber’s tireless efforts and enthusiasm in encouraging the establishment of duplicate bridge in the region.  At its inception, four bridge clubs from around the region were invited to compete, being Batemans Bay, Moruya, Nowra and Mollymook.  Thirty-two years later, it was a bleak, windy and wet day.  A perfect day to stay indoors and play some cards.  Nine tables were prepared for battle, with six pairs from Nowra, three pairs each from Moruya and Batemans Bay and six pairs from Mollymook competing for the trophy.  There were some great early rounds from Mollymookers Kevin and Graham, Deb and Katie and Ken and Maureen, but there was no holding back the tide that was the Moruya Bridge Club and at the end of the day it was Patricia Afflick and Richard Prickett from Moruya in first place, Christine and Wayne Houghton from Nowra in second place and Sue Neill and Robert Van Der Hoek of Moruya in third place.    KT+GE and the Harrisons were the top placed Mollymook teams in 4th and 5th place.  A special congrats to Leigh Taylor and George Palavestra who began the competition ranked 18th by masterpoints and finished the day in 12th place with three and a half wins out of their six matches !  Full results are available from the results section of the website.


Thanks to everyone who came along and made the day a lot of fun.  Thanks to KT for directing and his logistics director who tried hard.   A special thanks to our standby pair Faye Thomson and Lyn Gribble who turned up at the appointed hour, agog with enthusiasm, looking resplendent and replete with baked goods, only to be turned away due to a counting error by yours truly (we did of course retain the baked goods - delicious, thank you Lyn).  Wonderful wonderful baked goods were lovingly prepared and presented by Moira Heath, Sue Bateman, Lyn Gribble, Deb Skinner, Leigh Taylor,  Graham Evans and Margaret Callan.  And thanks to John McLennan for the strawberries and cheese.

Month in Review - Oct 2023

Happy birthmonth Mollymook Bridge Club 🙂 

It was early in October of 1982 that Ruth and Eugene Lumbers opened the doors for the first game of duplicate bridge for the newly formed Mollymook Bridge Club. I dont have the exact date of the first game played. I know it was a monday or a wednesday early in october, so I am taking a punt and claiming 4th October for our birthday. An auspicious month for our club championships, the Dianne and Bill Samuel Trophy and the Ruth Lumbers Trophy (even if we did have to slide it back to November this year).

Grand National Open Teams (GNOT) Regional Final

Mollymook sent three teams to the GNOT regional finals in Batemans Bay on Saturday. There was a great turn out with a total of ten teams arriving from around the region:  from Moruya, Sapphire Coast, Batemans Bay and Mollymook. The winning team from the day would be heading to Brisbane to represent our region at the GNOT finals.

It would be extremely generous to suggest that each of the MBC teams had a somewhat desultory start. It would be extremely accurate to state that each team had their worst result that day in the first round; and indeed after round one, Mollymook were filling three of the last four places.

Perhaps this would be a good time for me to regale you with stories of the convivial nature of our hosts and the other players, or the fantastic array of baked goods which our hosts had arranged for us. Louise and Michael Brassil 's orange cake was especially calorifically-unfriendly and delicious. Because I am on a diet, I am proud to report that I managed to refrain from supping on all that was on offer. There was one particularly gnarly looking cracker which I eschewed ... The scales were verily groaning with displeasure the following morning.

Anyway, when the dust finally cleared, I am sorry to report that it was not a Mollymook team standing atop the dais, winners trophy in hand - by the merest of margins a miserly .76 of a VP, the McTiernan-Milbourne-Evans-Tant team were relegated to second place over all with the Neill team from Moruya winning the day.  The other two Mollymook teams of Maureen and Ken Harrison with Sues Dillon and Myers-Bateman; and Moira Heath and Lauri Perino with Tony Rolfe and John Reid, performed well with both finishing in the top 5. 0.76 of a VP aside, a fantastic result for Mollymook.  Results from the Regional Final are available at

In late breaking news, the Moruya regional winners have elected not to travel to the finals in Brisbane, so it will be a Mollymook team representing the region for GNOT honours at Brisbane in early December.  Molly, Molly, Molly !

2023 Club Championships

The club championships for Restricted (< 50MP), Intermediate (< 300 MP) and Open Pairs were played over four consecutive Fridays and Mondays from 6th October onwards. Competition was strong, with sixteen pairs competing on most of the four days. We celebrated after the final round with a delicious barbeque (the steaks from Muir Meats were superb, thanks Sue) with proteins lovingly prepared by KT and Neil Duffy and a mouth watering array of wonderful salads: Lynne brought a heirloom tomato salad, Sue D a rice salad, Moira a potato salad, Ross a greek salad,  Rae a beetroot and rocket salad Sue MB a mexican bean salad and Sue Jones brought the herb bread.  Lauri rounded it all off with a great array of wines and proseco :)  A wonderful way to celebrate the championship rounds and the 2023 club champions:

Open division

Peter Gill and Liz Sylvester blitzed the field on day one with an eye-watering score percentage of 72.92%, followed up on day two with an unbelievable 77.38% score percentage - being the highest percentage in any matchpoint scored game at the clubhouse this year.  Their winning form continued on the third day with a much more sedate but still impressive score percentage of 66.35%; and on the final day Louise Brassil joined the team, and she and Liz won the fourth game in a row with a score percentage of 68.83%.  In second place (and by Ross's accounting for the fourth year running) were Ross Milbourne and Michael McTiernan who, over the four days averaged 62.66% score percentage, and yet were still held to second place by the unstoppable Sylvester - Gill - Brassil.

Intermediate Division

The intermediate division was a close fought competition.  The first round of the intermediates was won by Rowena Barton and Rae Duffy.   In the second round, the Sues Bateman and Dillon were the top placed intermediate pair.  In the third round, Leight Taylor subbed in for Rae Duffy and Leigh and Rowena were the top placed intermediate pair.  Coming into the final round, Sues Bateman and Dillon (who had already won the intermediate division three of the six times that it had been played) were the top placed intermediate pair, followed a short way behind by Jim McKenzie - John Reid and Rae Duffy - Rowena Barton, with a small gap to Lauri Perino - Moira Heath.  Moira and Lauri had a great fourth round, but it was just not enough and McKenzie - Reid somehow managed to sneak past the Sue Dillon and Sue Bateman champion pair to win their first intermediate club championship by the merest of margins of .4 %

Restricted Division

The Restricted Division was a similarly hard fought competition with the lead see-sawing throughout the four days of competition.  Day one saw Leigh Taylor and George Palavestra top the restricted division. They had a great day, coming fifth overall. The second day of competition in the restricted division was won by Debra Skinner and Dani Nikolovski and on day three of the competition, Neil Duffy subbed in for Jen Langley and Neil and Kim McElhinney topped the restricted pairs.  Coming into the final round, Barb Mansfield and Lynne Povey were in the lead followed by Kim and Jen and then Deb and Dani.   Gary and Karma Parker joined the competition on day four and were the top placed restricted pair on the day, but the very deserved winners of the restricted pairs in 2023 were Barb Mansfield and Lynne Povey

A summarised view of the results from the Club Championships is available from the Multi-Session Events link on the main menu of our webpage

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

It was pretty slim pickings in October when it comes to slams.  There were no grand slams recorded in the month, with line honours for the most slams being shared by Ross Milbourne and John Reid - with a fairly sedate five small slams each, followed closedly by Jim McKenzie and Michael McTiernan.  The greatest score percentage in the month of October was claimed by Liz Sylvester and Peter Gill, who scored an amazing 77.38% on the 9th - just pipping Neil and Rae for the highest winning percentage of a matchpoint game played at the clubhouse so far this year.  Peter and Liz also claimed second highest percentage - 72.92% recorded on the 6th.  Both of these games were part of the club championship competition, which makes these amazing results even the more impressive.

With our Club Classic (< 15 MPs)  and Rookie ( < 5 MPs ) Pairs Championships happening later this month, I thought I would take a quick look at some of our players eligible to compete.  In October, filtering on players who played at least two club games, Kevin Le tops the leaderboard for best average winning percentage with 51.9%.  followed by Kim McElhinney on 47.1%.  The top slammer amongst Classics and Rookies in October was Leigh Taylor.

The busiest day in the clubhouse in October was Friday with an average of seven tables each day, followed by Monday with an average of six.


Month in Review - Sep 2023

What a wonderful month September has proven to be.  With Mollymook winning gold (grats KT, GE, Ross and Michael McT) and half a silver (grats Peter and Liz) in the Mollymook Congress teams event.  This was only the second time that a mollymook team has won the teams event of the Mollymook Congress (the last time being exactly ten years prior).  And then towards the end of the month the Ros Simpson Trophy was without exception, the most successful (in terms of attendance) event since covid.  Twenty-four pairs arrived to compete for the Ros Simpson honours on Friday 29th.  Tables 9, 10, 11 and 12 were so excited to finally see some action, having only been seen irregular use for committee meetings, or a Sunday regional get together.  The event was preceded by a sandwich lunch and much banter as people awaited the drawing of the pairs.  The clubhouse was bulging at the seams, and the regular supplement of sugar from the table chocolates (thanks Row) ensured that chatter volumes remained high throughout the event - though I dont think it detracted at all from peoples' enjoyment of the day.   This year, there was a standard system card for all pairs, which didnt in any way inhibit the slam bidding:  six pairs made small slams and the eventual winners and by far our youngest pair: Adrian Le and Susanne Dillon were the only pair to make a grand slam.  Close on their heels in second place were David Bavin and Lauri Perino, with third place going to Barb Mansfield and Elainne Haley.  Thank you to everyone who came along and made this a truly fabulous event.

You can read more about Ros Simpson in the Honour Roll menu section available from the main page.

The 2023 Ros Simpson winners

Jessie, Kevin and Adrian

And the bevy of beaming Molly bridgers


lies damn lies and statistics

Grand Slam honours in September were shared between Sue and Adrian and Ross and Nance.  Ross also hauled in a further ten (!) small slams to top the slam leaderboard in September.  The greatest score percentage in the month of September was claimed by Neil and Rae Duffy, who scored an amazing 77.27% on the 14th.  This is the highest winning percentage of a matchpoint game played at the clubhouse so far this year. Ross and Nance were not far behind with a 73.61% score percentage.

Up till now I have only looked at total number of slams made by an individual in a month; but who is the most likely to make a slam whenever she or he plays (ie average number of slams per bridge session) ?  

Overall and looking at the 2023 calendar year, it is Louise and Michael Brassil who are most likely to produce a slam each time they play, followed by Michael McTiernan and Rowena Barton.  And if we look just at those members still under 50 masterpoints (Restricted), its Barb Mansfield, followed by Liz Baker and Lynne Povey who are the most likely to produce a slam whenver they come to the table.


Mollymook Congress - Sep 2023

It was bright sunshine and a very chill breeze which welcomed bridge players from around the country to the 28th annual Mollymook bridge congress at the Mollymook Golf Club last Saturday (9th Sep).  The congress is played over two days, with a pairs event on the Saturday and teams event on the Sunday. Ours was the first event to utilise the golf club's recently refurbished convention area, and the venue and view across South Mollymook beach were both spectacular.  It augured well for a great event.

The pairs event on the Saturday was won by Vicky Lisle (Sydney) - Niek van Vucht (Canberra) by just 1.5 VPs from Sydney pair Dagmar Neumann - Maurits Van der Vlugt. The best local pair was a close fought contest, only decided in the last round with Liz Sylvester - Peter Gill defeating Kevin Tant - Graham Evans.  Liz and Peter finished the pairs event in 5th place, with Kevin and Graham close behind in 8th.  Leigh 'Icarus' Taylor a recent bridge convert, recounts some of his highs and lows:
For George and I, we were novices at our first congress.   After our first round in the swiss pairs, we were somehow ranked 6 out of 50 and we found ourselves seated at the 3rd table with recent Australian champions. Oops…

Well after a lesson at the big end of town, we found we had flown too near to the sun and with the smell of melting beeswax filling our nostrils, our wings fell off and we plunged back to 38 of 50 for the next round. Anyway, we didn’t get anywhere near the top again and enjoyed our first congress. 😊

The teams event on the Sunday was contested by over 100 players, with a number of local teams competing.  Only once in the previous 27 years had a Mollymook team won, back in 2013 (Graham Evans, Tony Rolfe, Kevin Douglas, David Adamson), but the quality and quantity of competition has increased notably every year since, and the only question really was which local team would place highest on the day.  Coming into the last match, one local team remained undefeated at the front of the field.  Peter Gill takes up the story:

The main bridge event of the year - the annual Mollymook Teams Congress on Sunday - was won by Mollymook team: Kevin Tant - Graham Evans, Michael McTiernan - Ross Milbourne in a thrilling finish by just 0.15 VPs (less than one imp) ahead of Liz Sylvester - Peter Gill (also Mollymook) teamed up with a Sydney pair Dagmar Neumann - Maurits Van der Vlugt.

In the last match Tant maintained their undefeated record by defeating a team which included Geromboux - Yuen from Canberra who won a National Championship in Adelaide four months ago. The Geromboux team finished a distant third, 13 VPS behind the top two teams.

The Sylvester team also won a tough last round match but not by enough, against a young team which included Jamie Thompson who had just returned from Marrakech where he played in the Australian Open team. Best local team was Liz Baker - Lindsay Scandrett teamed up with John Reid - Jim McKenzie. Congratulations to Kevin Tant, Graham Evans, Michael McTiernan, Ross Milbourne (pictured below with convenor Lauri Perino) for a great victory over the top players from Sydney, Canberra and even Victoria.

Full results are available here

Our thanks to everyone who helped make the congress such a great success:  the Mollymook Golf Club who provided us with such a wonderful venue at no cost and sponsored some of the prizes; our standby players who filled in on Sunday; club members who helped bump in and bump out all the tables, side tables, bins, cushions etc; the loads of friendly faces from Mollymook who played; Milton Bridge Club for again lending us extra tables, side-tables, bins etc; all of our wonderful visitors and guests and of course Ross and Lauri who did so much work to prepare for, organise and manage the event.


Month in Review - Jul/Aug 2023

Molly, Molly, Molly

Results from events played in July and August

Southern NSW Bridge Championship – 23rd July

NSW Online Winter Pairs – July/August

  • NSW Winter Pairs is an online statewide event played in three divisions. 
  • Congratulations to Sue and Bob Jones who won the division 3 competition with a 5 win, 1 draw and 2 loss record
  • And congratulations also to Sue Myers-Bateman and Liz Baker who won the division 2 competition with an amazing 7 win, 1 loss record.
  • Results available here:

Statewide Pairs – Friday 4th August

  • Players in this event are ranked against all competing players in the state.
  • Awesome work by Lucy Robinson and Tony Rolfe who were placed 27th in the state, closely followed by Mary Buckley and Elainne Leach who placed 56th.
  • George Palavestra and Leigh Taylor placed 33rd in the Under 25 masterpoint division.
  • Results are available here:

Interclub Swiss Pairs – Sunday 20th August

  • Annual event played between Batemans Bay, Moruya and Mollymook
  • Great results for Mollymook.  Standing atop the winners podium at the end of the day: Maureen and Ken Harrison who finished third, but it was Kevin Tant and Graham Evans who brought home the gold
  • Results available at

Lies, damned lies and statistics

July 2023

  • Louise and Michael Brassil were the only pair to make grand slams in July; but it was the ever-young Jim Thomas who took out the slam award for July with six small slams to his tally.  Hot on his heels was Nance Tierney with five
  • Best winning percentage in July (masterpoint events only) was 68.8 by Janet Turnell and Graham Evans on the 19th, just pipping  Lynne Povey and Jim Thomas with 68.7 on the 15th
  • And with the club championships coming up in July, lets take a quick squiz at our Restricted (50MP) and below pairs, where the most successful (avg %) pair in the month was Donna Molly and Margaret Callan

August 2023

  • Staying with our Restricted pairs, Jen Langley and Kim Mcelhinney were our top ranked restricted pair in August, followed closely by George Palavestra and Leigh Taylor
  • Best winning percentage (masterpoint events only) was a one horse race.  Margaret Callan and Susanne Dillon annihilated the competition with an outstanding 74.3% win on the 9th.  A long long way back in second was Liz Baker and friend with 68.3% on the 2nd
  • Ken and Ross were the only people to achieve a grand slam in August.
Who is this McCutcheon ? - Aug 2023

(reposted from facebook)

I was upbraided at the club recently for being derelict in my duties as self-appointed club statistician (by someone who's wish to remain anonymous I will steadfastly honour): "Who is this McCutcheon?" she demanded "and why am I listed in her or his standings!"

The McCutcheon Trophy is probably the most prestigious individual bridge award in Australia. The McCutcheon Trophy is presented by the ABF to the Australian player who amasses the most masterpoints in a calendar year. Over fifty-one years of awards, thirty players have been awarded the McCutcheon Trophy. Peter Gill and four others have won it three or more times (crikey, the Borins must have been beasts to face at the table) - though Peter has won it more times than anyone in the last twenty years.

So who is or was McCutcheon, I mused at the behest of this lovely-in-lilac anonymous MBC player. It behooves any organisation which presents an eponymous award to provide information about why that person is being remembered. Someone should mention that to the ABF, because no number of searches on their website provided any detail of whom McCutcheon was or is. Certainly when the JFAPAXR trophy is inaugurated I hope that clear mention is made of my baking efforts, my constant wardrobe failures and my canny ability to fail to notice people’s haircuts. The QBA finallly provided an answer:

I am not sure when the McCutcheon Standings ( were implemented, but they list, for each masterpoint rank (Silver Grand and Above all the way down to Nil) the top twenty players in Australia in that rank. In the McCutcheon Totals to 31 July 2023 there are a couple of Mollymook players who are listed as being in the top twenty of Australian players in their masterpoint rank: Peter Gill is fifth overall and in the Silver National rank, Maureen Harrison is currently coming 20th 🙂

I was relieved to be able to finally provide an answer to the anonymous four time club president who had upbraided me. Always putting the club first, she selflessly reminded me what a tremendous honour it was for the club to be recognised at this level, and could I just pass that message along to anyone who happened to be playing against her at the bridge club for the remainder of the year ...

The Great MBC Bake-Off - Jul 2023

(reposted from facebook)

The Great Mollymook Bridge Club Bake-Off (aka the Southern NSW Bridge Championship) was held at the clubhouse on Sunday 23rd July. Player numbers were slightly down on last year, but still a great turnout with ten teams playing for the championship. Mollymook fielded two teams (Barb, Lynne, Liz B and Bob J on one table and Maureen, Ken, Graham and KT on the other), all of whom, by all accounts played with gusto and verve but still failed to garner as many victory points as the top four teams.

While we didnt quite make it to number one on the victory podium, we did earn number one spot in everyone's heart with the delicious food which was on offer to our visitors. I tried valiantly to taste each and every one so that I could provide an unbiased and informed commentary on the food (yes, yes it was a great self sacrifice), but I barely made it past Leigh Taylor's scrumptious blueberry muffins. Sue Dillon made the rookie error of dropping off her Anzac cookies with me to take into the clubhouse, so there weren't a lot of those delicious little nibblies left for our visitors to enjoy (in my defence, it is really quite a long drive). KT and Graham Evans both swapped out their fishing rods for wooden spoons to whip up very tasty chocolate cake and fruit slice (cooked with their own fair and well washed hands I am led to believe). Faye Thomson's chocolate brownies barely made it past the removal of the glad wrap and Lynne's limoncello balls (extra alcohol to impair our visitors) backfired somewhat when most of them were hoovered up by the early arriving mollymook players (delizioso !). Maureen Harrison's fruitcake was simply divine and I think there were only two baked good I didnt get to sample because Maureen and Lynne were by then shooing my plumper and crumb encrusted form from the kitchen area - Lyn Gribble's very delicious and calorie-unfriendly-looking (just like I like it) ginger and walnut slices were they Lyn ? - and - Barb's chocolate slice (which was apparently to die for but she wisely decided to keep it under wraps till next year's bake off)

Anyway a tad long winded - but thank you all for making our visitors really enjoy their day at Mollymook Bridge Club. And for my money, there were at least 8 or 9 people standing on that top podium when it comes to baking - but possibly, when I consider both quantity and quality (and yes it took me three of them before I could really decide) - there may have been one that stood just a little muffin top taller than the rest.

Less baking related, bridge event results available online here: I expect that the more bridgey aspects of the day will also be covered by Rakesh Kumar in the near future - keep an eye out here:

Month in Review - Jun 2023

The best winning percentage in June was achieved by John Hodge and Vivienne Benson-Hodge with 69.4% on the 24th; a smidge in front of Lauri and Ross who cranked out a 69.3% victory on the 26th.
Looking at our Restricted ranked players (below 50MP), the most successful Restricted ranked player in the month was Neil Duffy who averaged 55.0% in his games in the month.  Leigh and George were the most successful restricted ranked pair 
Lauri and Kevin were the only pair to achieve a grand slam in the month; but the slamming champ for June was John R with 11 small slams


  • Winning percentages are calculated on matchpoint games only
  • The total slams for each person includes any slam made by a pair including that person - ie she or he may not have been declarer for all slams.
  • For ranking purposes, a grand slam is valued as 1.5 times the value of a small slam (ie same ratio as the points granted for each)
The Slam Report - Apr/May 2023

(reposted from facebook)

Lauri Perino and Kevin Tant were the only players to record a grand slam in April, but it was a slew of small slams which elevated Maureen Harrison, Ken Harrison and Ross Milbourne into equal third place - each with six small slams in the month. Sitting alone at the top of the podium (he really didnt need that extra height) was KT, with five small and one grand slam in the month.

Jim McKenzie and Sue Myers-Bateman made their slam leaderboard debuts in May. Jim the only person to record two grand slams in the month. He and Sue, with four small slams, squeezed into the 'top three' at equal fifth place. Equal third was Ross Milbourne with an impressive seven small slams; but in first place with eight small slams was Ken Harrison

More new faces in the June and July catch up reports

NB: The total slams for each person includes any slam made by a pair including that person - ie she or he may not have been declarer for all slams.

NBB: For ranking purposes, a grand slam is valued as 1.5 times the value of a small slam (ie same ratio as the points granted for each)

NBBB: Some names have been deleted to protect the lives of the innocent

Australia Wide Novice Pairs - May 2023

(reposted from facebook)

Mollymook novices take on the Australia Wide Pairs challenge

Australian Bridge runs two annual events where all clubs in Australia are invited to compete. This year, for the first time, Mollymook competed in the under 100 masterpoint novice competition; and what a fantastic turn out it was with five novice-filled tables competing.

Dennis and Mike from Milton Bridge Club joined the happy throng of Mollymook novices which included Leigh and George, Elita and Jill. Neil made his first foray into daytime bridge at the clubhouse to valiantly rescue Glenice whose partner, Lyn had fallen ill at the last minute (hoping you are feeling better Lyn). Sue and Jan played some great bridge to take out second place in the under 50 masterpoint contesting teams, with first place in the under 50 MP category going to the effervescent duo of Danica and Liz B.

Filling out the leaderboard were Robbie and David, Val and Elisabeth. Carole and Jim took second place overall, hot on the heels of Rae and John. Our thanks to Ross not only for helping setup for the event and directing, but more importantly supplying the bubbly for a glass of cheers afterwards. Thanks also to KT for helping out with directing as things turned a tad frenetic at the start; and a special thanks to Deb and Tom Skinner who jumped into their car to help Jack sort a flat tyre so that he could get to the church (just) on time.

And finally thanks to all those who turned up on the day to compete and who made the day a really fun event. Results from the event are available at

The Slam Report - Feb/Mar 2023

(reposted from facebook)

I thought that I would reprise the past months which I had failed to report on previously.

The slam report became feasible with the move to our new website (bridgewebs), as results on the new website include small and grand slams made in that session. We officially moved to bridgewebs on the 23rd of Feb, but we were reporting results to Bridgewebs from 6th Feb. So this report covers from 6th Feb to end.

Not a lot of slams were recorded in our curtailed month of February, in fact there were only 13 small slams recorded, and no grand slams (lowest number of slams in recorded history - aka six months). Rounding out second place on the February slam report, with two small slams apiece were Sue Myers-Bateman, Moira Heath, Michael McTiernan and Lucy Robinson, but out the front with a modest total of three small slams was Ross Milbourne 🙂

Unlike its summer-curtain-calling-cousin of February, the harbinger of Autumn saw both leaves and records tumble, with a veritable feast of small and grand slams (mixed metaphors - moi ?). (see notes below for ranking process). Lauri Perino (5s) was just edged out of fifth place by Michael McTiernan (3s; 2g). Fourth place was filled by Ken Harrison (8s,0g), third was Ross Milbourne (6s,2g). Second place was taken by Kevin Tant (7s,2g). But atop the leaderboard with ten slams in the month (9s,1g) was Graham Evans.

Lets hope for some new faces in April and May 🙂

NB: The total slams for each person includes any slam made by a pair including that person - ie she or he may not have been declarer for all slams.

NBB: For ranking purposes, a grand slam is valued as 1.5 times the value of a small slam (ie same ratio as the points granted for each)

Interclub Swiss Pairs - Sep 2022

Bridge 😊  What a game of ups and downs, twists and turns and a surprise around every corner

It was with barely bridled enthusiasm that I arrived at my first interclub swiss teams event on Sunday morning.  There was a big turnout expected with a total of ten teams from Batemans Bay and Moruya and a further ten from Mollymook.  And the room was certainly buzzing as I walked in.  Buzzing mostly in a swarm at the back of the room around the table of goodies which had been lovingly prepared and were busily being presented and um ‘quality tested’.  Cakes, slices, fudges, gateaux, biscuits, cookies.  As Ross had once so wisely intoned, there was nary a calorie in sight which was not going to be thoroughly savoured and enjoyed.  And everyone adorned in their Sunday best 😊 too.  The clubhouse tables with their freshly laundered table clothes, and for my part, I had even ironed my shorts for the occasion.

As people began to arrive in numbers, the clubhouse was filled with laughter and the raucous recounting of recent happenings, since people had last seen one another.  I had a perfect record of knowing absolutely nobody from the other clubs, but with Jim Thomas as a partner, I was quickly introduced to most of the new faces, almost all of whom seemed to come with Jim’s admonishment “Be careful of these two – they are damn good players”.  And so it turned out to be.

Eventually the noise ebbed with Tony’s presence arriving from the director’s room.  This was to be Tony’s first Swiss teams event using our scoring software, but he had gone through it all thoroughly with KT, so we were quietly confident for an error free event.  You know, in the same way that one is always certain that trumps are going to divide 3-2 rather than 5-0 against us.  Not to be outdone when it came to twists and turns, Tony announced a five round 11 board session, accompanied by a murmuring undercurrent of “11 boards – oh that is unusual”.  It was Mollymook’s opening gambit to put our visitors on the defensive.  It failed 😊

It was after the second round of 11 boards (and about my fourth slice of fudge and two of that scrumptious apple cake) that the software managed to throw one glitch too many, and Tony, after discussions with the veritable scrum (yes, yes, all of them those sinewy breakaway types) of other directors present, announced that the Swiss teams event would need to be halted prematurely – with results to be announced – and that the day  would progress with a standard 10 table Mitchell event.  Our visitors were all very accommodating and immediately endorsed that proposal.  Lunch arrived and we all devoured way too many of the grand selection of delectable sandwiches and fruits and then progressed into an afternoon of relaxed bridge and way, weigh, way too many calories.

My thanks especially to Tony and KT for all their work preparing for the event, and to all the people who had prepared the clubhouse, cooked for, or hosted our visitors and those who stayed around to clean, vacuum (nice work Ken), washup and solve any remaining questions about exactly what to do with those last few tasty food items.  It was lovely to meet so many people from bridge clubs nearby, and the event was, as I have come to expect of bridge itself, filled with enjoyment, challenge, surprises, seasoned with just a pinch of disappointment.   Oh, and in terms of which club took the honours on the day, for the afternoon session: Batemans Bay took first place in the North South field, Moruya took first place in the East West, and Mollymook took second place in both.  It seems awfully crowded up there on the gold medal platform of the winners podium …

BBQ - Apr 2022

Surf, sand, sunshine and sangers

Well three out of four ain't bad. On Friday 1st April (no seriously, I fool you not), the club hosted the first BBQ since covid struck our fair shores back in 2020. Despite the howling winds and lashing rain, around 50 people relaxed in the warmth of the clubhouse savouring the smells and tastes of barbequed treats and a veritable banquet of salads and post prandial slices and biscuits.

The barbeque, donated many years ago by Ken and Maureen roared into life despite the two year hiatus. It then fell upon the broad shoulders of Chris Downs and his Sue chef Dillon and sous chef John to brave the blustery conditions and provide a constant flow of wonderfully prepared sausages and onions, steaks and rissoles and vegetarian proteins. Which they happily managed.

Meanwhile inside, a vast array of salads and fruits lovingly prepared and presented by Helene, Margie, Carole and Ross were irresistibly tantalising all and sundry. Eventually people realised there would be plenty of time later for the lagging snags and the salad rush was on (damn if only it had been a pudding race – SAGO ?).

Tables and chairs, players and partners, cutlery and crockery had by this time all been variously arranged, helped or washed (I am pretty sure we didn’t mix any of those up incorrectly) as needed by Lauri, Ross, Rowena and Rae. Who continued throughout the night to ensure that the entire evening ran without hitch, with much enjoyment and with no fuss

And after having satisfyingly sated their savoury palates, as people sat back contentedly chatting, Margie and Liz delighted all and sundry with an array of slices and biscuits to finish off what had been a fantastic meal.

How wonderful it was to be able to get together once again to enjoy such a lovely meal together. I am sure we are all keenly awaiting the next such event.