Bridge - The Scotsman 18/03/13

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SCOTLAND were disappointing in this year’s Camrose Trophy.

England won both weekends, finishing on 182 VPs, chased home by Ireland on 170.5; Northern Ireland, 161; Wales, 146; Scotland, 119; and the CBAI (the sixth team provided by the host nation) on 103.

The Scottish team was John Matheson, Iain Sime, Phil Stephens, Alex Wilkinson, Paul Barton and Brian Spears, captained by Mike Ash.

The Scots started with a big win against Wales, picking up a slam swing on this deal.

The Welsh East-West bid to 5C (they were briefly in 3NT doubled, but gave too much respect to our North).

Declarer took two spade ruffs in dummy, but had to settle for 11 tricks. After West’s weak jump overcall Sime made a takeout double, and when partner volunteered 4H he leapt to slam.

The lead of the C9 looked like a singleton.

There were five club tricks and a spade, but the other six would have to come from hearts.

Ruffing spades in dummy might fatally weaken the trump suit, so it looks better to ruff two diamonds in hand.

That requires three entries to dummy, so Matheson won the queen of clubs at trick one and ruffed a diamond.

He played queen of hearts, heart to the king and ruffed another diamond. He entered dummy with a spade ruff, drew the last trump, discarding a spade, and bravely finessed the ten of clubs for his contract.

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