Playing in the CrockfordŐs Cup has been exciting so far this season. In the first round, we (Sheena Lanham & Di Hutton, Andy Ridgers and myself) were drawn against a decent team from Dorset and fought a competitive match – so tight was it that we were level after the 32 boards were completed. This meant that we had to play three extra boards and as we unfortunately lost  all of them we had to concede defeat and look forward to the Plate competition in which we were drawn against a strong team from Trowbridge. The match started very well for us and after 3 of the 4 stanzas of 8 boards each we led by a commanding 32 imps. We were confident going into the final set that we could hold on but our opponents raised their game, your correspondent went to sleep (it was way past his bedtime at 11.40 pm) and we managed to concede 36 imps in 7 boards leaving us 4 behind in the match.

And then came this hand:

S: AJT9x 
H: KQT9xx  
D:  A9 
C:  -

S:  876                                                                                            S:
H:  632                                                                                            H -
D: Jxxx                                                                                            D KQxx
C: Qxx                                                                                             C AKJxxxxx

                                                      S: K432 
                                                      H AJ87
                                                      D T87
                                                      C 8x

At both tables North opened 1H and at both tables East bid an athletic 5C. Then things changed. Sheena and Di were doubled to end the auction. Eleven tricks made for +550. At out table I did not double and Andy bravely bid 5S which I suppose I could have passed but having great support for both his suits and a strong feeling that he must have a club void to bid so aggressively I accepted the invitation and bid 6H which rolled home for +1430 with the help of EastŐs singleton spade Queen. A swing of 1980 points and 18 imps and the match. Phew!