Wexford shows a strong hand at 45th bridge congress
The 45th Wexford Bridge Congress drew a large contingent of bridge players from all round the country to the Clayton Whites Hotel last weekend.
There were large numbers of competitors in attendance at all session with many of the top prizes on offer being won by Wexford players. President of the Contract Bridge Association of Ireland Pat Duff, from Ardee, in Louth was guest of honour for the weekend and presided at the official opening on Friday night.
Pat quickly showed up in the prizes and he and his wife Rita came third in the Mixed Pairs Competition held later that night.
An indication of the wide appeal that Wexford has as a Congress can be gauged from the fact that the winners of the Mixed Pairs competition came from the North of Ireland while in second place was a Waterford pairing.
Anne Conway and Marguerite Sweetman, from Wexford, ensured the home crowd made a good start to the weekend as they took the Intermediate B title on Friday night with the minor placings again going to Waterford and Down.
The Novice Pairs competition sponsored by Selskar Pharmacy was dominated by Wexford players with Michael and Fiona Murphy leading the way followed by Mary Delaney and Chrissie Twomey with third place going to Ann Wall and Nora Furlong.
The main focus of attention on Saturday was the Congress and Intermediate Pairs competitions with strong showings in both competitions by local players.
Derek Crosbie and Katherine Lennon were very popular winners of the Congress Pairs title which was sponsored by Clayton Whites. Podge and Jo Ussher, from Kilmuckridge, took the Intermediate Pairs title from a massive entry of 74 pairs.
Esther Swan and George Watson came third in the Congress Pairs while Jim Sexton partnered Frank O'Farrell, from Carlow, to take the second session prize. The prize for the Best Wexford Bridge Centre Pair went to Dave and Maureen McGrath. Mary O'Donoghue and Roisin Leahy took the Best Wexford Bridge Centre Pair in the Intermediate Pairs.
There was again a wide geographical spread among the winners in the teams competition on Sunday with the winners from Dublin, the second placed team from Cork, the Best Intermediate team from Waterford and the second Intermediate team being a local team of Kathleen O'Reilly, Joy Wall, Catherine Lynn and Theresa Coffey.
The special Novice prize on Sunday night was shared between Wexford pairs Michael Murphy and Fiona Murphy and Josephine Grennan and Chrissie Twomey. The ever popular Open Pairs competition held each day proved a happy hunting ground for local players with many of them featuring in the prizes
The full list of prize winners was as follows:
Mixed Pairs: 1st: Mary Madden & Tom Curran (Belfast/Newry), 2nd: Pierce Kelly & Marian Davenport (Waterford), 3rd: Pat & Rita Duff (Ardee Co Louth); Inter B Pairs: 1st: Anne Conway & Marguerite Sweetman (Wexford), 2nd: Conall & Catherine Donegan (Faithlegg), 3rd: Michael & Geraldine McNamee (Warrenpoint, Co Down); Novice Pairs Friday: 1st: Michael & Fiona Murphy (Wexford), 2nd :Mary Delaney & Chrissie Twomey (Wexford) 3rd: Ann Wall & Nora Furlong (Wexford); Congress Pairs: 1st: Derek Crosbie & Katherine Lennon (Wexford), 2nd: Siobhan Part & Fran Swift (Kildare), 3rd: Esther Swan & George Watson (Wexford); 1st Session: Liam McKay & Pat Breslin (Waterford), 2nd Session: Jim Sexton and Frank O'Farrell (Wexford / Carlow).
Best Wexford Bridge Centre Pair: Dave & Maureen McGrath, Intermediate Pairs: 1st: Podge & Jo Ussher (Kilmuckridge), 2nd: Eleanor Kehoe & Margaret O'Kelly (Dublin), 3rd: Trevor Whelan & Tina Nolan (Waterford), 4th: Martin and Adrienne Purdy (Dublin); Best A2: Breda Collins & Margie Heylen (Waterford), Best B: David Connolly & Giles Nurnin (Dublin), 1st Session: Eileen Brennan & Margaret Barron (Carlow), 2nd Session: Brid Gunn & Stephanie Carbine (Dublin), Best Wexford Bridge Centre Pair: Mary O'Donoghue & Roisin Leahy; Teams: 1st: Conor Boland, Michael McAuliffe, Martin Brady, Kate Daltry (Dubln); 2nd: Mary Hayes, Kathleen O'Connmor, Eileen Kelleher, Phil Murphy (Cork); Best Intermediate: Ann White, Helen Fitzgerald, Margaret Breen, Veronica Fitzgerald (Waterford), 2nd Intermediate: Kathleen O'Reilly, Joy Wall, Catherine Lynn, Theresa Coffey (Wexford), 2nd Session: Maria Whelan, Brian O'Farrell, Eileen Donovan, Wojeich Gorzysc (Enniscorthy / Arklow / Dublin); Novice Sunday Joint 1st: Fiona Murphy & Michael Murphy, Chrissie Twomey & Josephine Grennan (All Wexford); Open Pairs 1sts were: T O'Hara & D Noonan, M Hayes & K O'Connor (2), M Knowles & A Kennedy, Jerry Daly & P Breen, M Crowe & M Walsh, K Murphy & M Jackman, M Joyce & I McCrone, M O'Hara & M Kilgallen, B Kehoe & A Kelly, M Walsh & C Casey, I McCarthy & E Stewart, V Saunders & E Quirke, E Kehoe & M O'Kelly, A Kavanagh & I Mulcahy.
Open Pairs 2nds were: J Long & A Kavanagh, E Humphreys & C Lynn, J Meagher & L Brennan, B Kehoe & A Kelly, M Begley & I McCarthy, A Kavanagh & I Mulcahy, C Wheeler & I Burke, M O'Reilly & M Martin, M Cronin & J Wall, R Mahon & M O'Neill, F McManamy & M Begley, V Saunders & E Quirke.
Tournament Directors for the weekend were Brian Lawlor, Eamon Galligan and Michael Coffey.