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Thursday 21 March 2019

Players travel from far and wide for 47th Bridge Congress

Trisha Murphy from Wexford
Trisha Murphy from Wexford
Marian Dunne from Wexford
Kathleen Farrell from Gusserane
Eban Stewart, Wexford
Paddy Farrell, Gusserane

Padraig Byrne

Bridge players arrived from all over the country to Clayton Whites Hotel as it hosted the 47th annual Wexford Bridge Congress over three nights. There was a huge attendance over the three days and among those to make the journey was Contract Bridge Association of Ireland president Peter O'Meara, who came from Birr, Co. Offaly, and was guest of honour for the weekend.

Prize winners over the weekend came from Wexford, Waterford, Clare, Wicklow, Dublin, Kildare, Laois and even as far away as Northern Ireland and England, showing that the competition continues to attract the best bridge players from across the country.

Peter performed the official opening on the Friday night, while South East Region President Marie Devereux from Fethard was also present as competitions got under way in earnest in the McClure room of the hotel.

The Greystones-Arklow combination of Rose O'Farrell and Cyril Goode enjoyed great success in Wexford, winning the mixed pairs section, while local pairing of Derek Crosbie and Imelda Mulcahy followed closely in second with Kevin Kennedy and Máire Fennin in third.

The winners of the intermediate B pairs came all the way from Warrenpoint in Co Down, with a Dublin pair in second and Wexford's own Michael Field and Mary Lynch in third.

The prizes in the Selskar Pharmacy sponsored Novice Pairs all stayed within the county with Graham and Jane Porter in first, Breda Conroy and Gabriel Willis in second and Anne Deane and Geraldine O'Brien in third, all of whom are members of the Tincone Club in Wexford Bridge Centre.

Taking centre stage on Saturday was the Congress Pairs and Intermediate Pairs competitions. England based Martin Garvey teamed up with Tramore's Sean Connor to take first prize in the Whites Hotel sponsored congress pairs. Second and third went to Clonmel and Newbridge, with sessional prizes being won by a Dublin pair and a Waterford-Greystones combination. Terry O'Hara and Dave Noonan were the winners of the Best Wexford Bridge Centre Prize.

The intermediate pairs competition saw a great turnout with a total of 56 pairs in action on the day. Anne Kennelly and Bernie Kearney from Tullow, who also play in Bunclody, were the winners with second and third going to Carlow and Dublin. The A2 and Best B prizes went to Dublin pairings, while sessional honours went to Waterford and Kilkenny with Mary O'Donoghue and Rosaleen Leahy as the best Wexford Bridge Centre pair.

The major competition on Sunday was the team of four, with Dublin team of BJ O'Brien, Enda Murphy, Conor Boland and Paul Delaney emerging as the victors.

Sunday also saw a competition for novice and beginners, with a good turnout of twelve pairs, most of whom come from the classes run in Wexford Bridge Centre by bridge teacher Michael Coffey. For many of these players, it gave them a first taste of competition and all prizes went to Wexford players. Mary Murphy and Annette Spencer won the beginner's section outright, with Martin Buggy and Irene Fehilly closely following behind. The novice section was won by Eric Pinaqui and Trevor Murphy, followed by Victor Kelly and Tim Kehoe in second. Concluding the event, chairman of the organising committee Michael Coffey thanked the attendees and the committee for all their hard work on a successful event.

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