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NORTH

Ireland go into the second round of the Camrose Trophy just a fraction behind Wales - but don't anyone ever tell me that luck does not play a big part in Bridge, even at this level, because the match against Wales proved luck plays a major part - and Ireland really suffered from a large dose of the bad variety.

We lost very narrowly, but if there was any justice in the Bridge world we would have slaughtered them. Wales were hopelessly outbid, but as I have so often said, the mice usually win at this game, while aggressive, but expert bidding usually loses the Imps by the bundle.

For example, why was the Queen of trumps wrong in a Spade slam that Wales didn't even attempt to bid? And when you are faced with K,10 opposite J,3 with game on if you guess right, does the play of the K have to be wrong?

The runaway win against England was very sweet in that we totally outplayed them from start to finish.

Here is one of the hands against Wales. If you can't bid slam on this hand you should retire from Bridge. Ton Hanlon and Hugh McGann at their best.

Bidding (NS vul; dealer N) N E S W 1C P 1S P 1NT P 3H P 4D P 4S P 5H P 6S AllP

Carrott Club opening and a logical sequence to the obvious 6S. So it is down once again to the dad-ratted Queen. Wrong, of course and Wales stopped in 4S.

NORTH

♠K98

♥J9

♦A432

♣A754

WEST EAST

♠Q72♠65

♥83♥10752

♦J876 K1095

♣KQJ6♣832

SOUTH

♠AJ1043

♥AKQ54

♦Q

♣109

Sunday Independent