Commons win for the first time since 2005
The House of Commons Team were successful for the first time in four years at the 35th annual House of Lords versus House of Commons match played at Crockford’s Club on Friday December 4th. Their win cuts the Upper House lead to 18-17.
An exciting set of boards was produced by Paul Bowyer together with commentary and Lord Kalms found an excellent lead to defeat 3NT on an early board but Nick Palmer (Lab, Broxtowe) and John Hemming (Lib Dem, Birmingham Yardley) helped the Commons to a lunchtime lead when they bid a good 6♦ played very competently by John Hemming to make when trumps didn’t break kindly.
After an excellent lunch one might have expected the standard to slip a bit but it didn’t and the Commons added to their lead and went into the final set leading by 2690 points.
The Commons captain Michael Mates (Conservative, East Hampshire) remarked that his team had once blown a lead of 3000 with two sets to play but didn’t see how they could do the same with only one set to play. Fairly shortly the computerised scoreboard showed that the Commons majority had been slashed to 280. As fingernails were being bitten however a fine defence by the captain himself restored a more healthy lead and the Commons ran out winners by 2800 aggregate points over the 28 board match which was played in fine spirit.
Michael Mates accepted the Jack Perry Trophy on behalf of the winners and also won the Sir Anthony Berry Trophy which is awarded for the best bridge moment, adjudicated by Jeremy Dhondy, for his excellent defence mentioned above to beat a game contract made at the other tables.
Winning team (L-R: Evan Harris, Tony McWalter, Nick Palmer, Michael Mates, John Marek, John Hemming, Bridget Prentice, Robin Squire).
The House of Lords team were: Lord Skelmersdale, Lady Oppenheim-Barnes, Lord Baker, Lord Kalms, Lord Harrison, Lady Billingham, Lord May of Oxford, Lady Henig)
Report by Jeremy Dhondy. The match was sponsored by Stephen Perry of London Export Ltd in memory of his father Jack whose name is on the match trophy.