The weekend saw both the CBAI’s 4Fun Teams Championship, in Westmanstown, and the IBU’s Egan Trophy (All-Ireland Teams Championship) in Belfast.

There was a great turnout of 38 teams in Westmanstown, up 30% on last season, with lots of counties represented, and many sporting their county colours. This used to be a feature of the event; perhaps it’s time to insist again that all teams dress up for the occasion. The 4Fun Teams in the brainchiild of Frank Kelly of Offaly, and the teams play for the Frank & Brenda Kelly Trophy. The format is that each team must consist of a Master playing with a Novice and an Intermediate A playing with an Intermediate B, and the aim is to give newer players a chance to play with more experienced ones, and give them an introduction to teams scoring, in a fun and enjoyable setting. Certainly everyone seemed to enjoy themselves on Saturday, in no small measure due to the calm and friendly guidance of our TDs, Fearghal O’Boyle and Mairead Basquille. If your region does not currently enter teams for the 4Fun competition (in some regions it is so popular that they even have a qualifying event) have a word with your regional secretary and ask them to ensure that a team is sent next year.

The winners were:

  • 1. Wexford 2: Trevor Murphy (M), Michael Lennon (N), Marguerite Sweetman (A), Eric Pinaqui (B)
  • 2. Offaly: Frank Kelly (M), Declan Downey (N), Heather Ridgeway (A), Anne Crombie (B)
  • 3. Laois: Damien Nee (M), Mary Tierney (N), Peter Conroy (A), Dilly Webster (B)
  • 4. Dublin South – Milltown Golf Club 2: John Duffy (M), Ray Lund (N), John Coulter (A), Julie Anderson (B)
  • Session 1: Donegal 1: Maeve Costello (M), Ailish O’Boyle (N), Marion Skelly (A), Geraldine Harkin (B)
  • Session 2: Dublin South – Regent BC 1: Claire O’Donoghue (M), Charles Alken (N), Simon Burrell (A), Teresa Murphy (B)

Two of the prizewinners had afternoons to remember, for different reasons. Declan Downey won second prize, in a field of 38, in his very first organised game of bridge, so was obviously not phased by the occasion. And John Conroy unfortunately had a fall at the venue during the halfway break and gashed his head. Our thanks to Doctor Patrick O’Connor and the two nurses from among the participants who very kindly tended to him. He recovered sufficiently to return for the second session, although with his head swathed in bandages he looked more like he’d been playing in the Leinster rugby match than playing bridge! We trust that he is not feel any after-effects of the fall. Our thanks also to CBAI President Gordon Lessells for his attendance, and for presenting the prizes. This was a particularly appropriate occasion for Gordon to remind everyone of his theme for the year – to “Cherish Our Novices and Beginners”. Full credit to all the teammates that did exactly that at the weekend. Full results

4Fun Teams Winners 2024

The Entire Wexford Contingent

4Fun Teams Runners Up 2024

4Fun Teams Third Place 2024

4Fun Teams Fourth Place 2024

The Egan was contested by the usual cohort of ten invited teams. The prizewinners were:

  1. John Carroll, Conor Boland, Adam Mesbur, Nick Fitzgibbon
  2. Peter Goodman, Dan McIntosh, BJ O’Brien, Terry Walsh
  3. Paul Delaney, Tomás Roche, Martin Brady, David Dunne

Thanks to TD Alan Hill for making sure everything went smoothly over the weekend. Full results