Congratulations to Janet de B and her team, who had an excellent week last week — as I know to my cost. First, we met in an early round of the Hubert Phillips Bowl, which my team actually won two years ago. This time, Janet’s team trounced us so badly that we conceded with ten boards to go. ‘Gutted,’ as footballers say. Rather more importantly (for them), they went on to win the third and final weekend of the Premier League — a fantastic achievement, well deserved — and my partner and I were among those who got a battering from them there too.
In truth, nothing was going to save us from relegation to Division 2. I was lucky enough to be on a team of wonderful players, but we’d had two dire weekends previously. Sometimes, the force just isn’t with you. On this hand, for instance, John Cox and Peter Taylor found a wonderful defence against my teammates John Hassett and Jeff Morris:
John Cox, sitting West, found the only lead to defeat the contact — the ♦2! His courage was rewarded: dummy did indeed have a singleton diamond and Peter held the ♦K. On winning, Peter swiftly read the ♦2 as a suit-preference signal and returned a club for John to ruff. At our table, the opponents stopped in 4♠, which no amount of brilliance could defeat.