The Camrose is played over two week-ends, traditionally one in January and one in March. England have a narrow lead going into the second week-end with a score of 92 VPs, ahead of Northern Ireland (87), Republic of Ireland (85.5), Wales (77), Scotland (60) and CBAI (36). The England team for the first week-end in Belfast was made up of the foursome that won the Premier League, Frances Hinden, Graham Osborne, Jeffrey Allerton and Chris Jagger, plus David Price and Colin Simpson, with David Burn as non-playing captain.
The second week-end is being held on the outskirts of Dublin, so it is the Republic of Ireland who provide two teams for both week-ends (that is so that a team does not have to sit out for a match). The baton has been passed to the England team that will be playing in the Bermuda Bowl in Bali in September: Alexander Allfrey, Andrew Robson, Tony Forrester, David Gold, Tom Townsend and David Bakhshi, with Simon Cope as NPC. As NPC of England Open and Ladies’ teams over the past few years, Simon has won almost as many trophies as Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Republic of Ireland broke a period of England domination by winning four straight Camrose Trophies from 2005 to 2008. Since then the winners have been English Bridge Union (England’s ‘other’ team when we hosted the event in Oxford) in 2009, England in 2010, Wales (their first ever Camrose win) in 2011 and England again in 2012.
Nine of our twelve players (and both NPCs) are defending the trophy they won in 2012.
Enough of the statistical build-up: you can watch the matches on BBO and enjoy what we all hope will be a successful weekend. England start against Northern Ireland on Friday evening.