These are busy times in Junior Bridge...
The Under 25 Trials will take place in Loughborough this weekend, October 13th and 14th. Junior Bridge in Europe runs on a two yearly cycle which recently came to an end with the European Youth Teams in Jesolo, Italy in July. Our U25 team which took part in that event are mostly too old for the next projected championships in 2009, so it is a time for new hopefuls and old wannabees to come forward and stake their claims. There are places up for grabs in the Channel Trophy — an annual four nation tournament between England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands in December and in the Junior Camrose Trophy (the Home International Weekend) in February.
Three of last year’s team, Ben Green, Duncan Happer and Simon Cope have moved on from Junior Bridge, whereas the other three members of the 2007 team, Susan Stockdale, Dave Cropper and Stuart Haring are taking part with new partners. Two of the most exciting and talented players from last year's Under 20s squad, Ed Jones and Ben Paske are playing and expected to give their older rivals a run for their money. Rob Myers and Dan McIntosh are another younger partnership that hopes to make an impact. There are at least three other partnerships with players of considerable experience, John Atthey and Chris Owen, Joe Mela and Tom Dessain, and Mike Bell and Alex Morris. The results are sure to be close.
Several Junior players took place in the Great Northern Swiss Pairs in Warrington last weekend. Pride of place must go to John Atthey (How can he still be a Junior??, he seems to have been a better player than me for about ten years already). John playing with Clive Owen (Chris’s dad) won the event ahead of a strong field with U20 squad manager Mike Byrne and Andrew Woodcock, both under thirty in 2nd place. Mike Bell was 3rd and Joe Mela and Tom Dessain 7th. Two other U20 pairs, Dan MacIntosh and Rob Myers and Tom Paske and Adam Hickman were in the top 30 (out of almost 100 pairs).