Team Rowan scored a fantastic 15-1 win in the first match of the season. Could they maintain that form with Anna and I in the team?
Things started badly. Our opponents seemed to be bidding and playing very slowly, and in response we got a bit tired and the bidding suffered. As an example of how it all seemed to go wrong after Anna had passed I opened a light 1♥ and she responded 2♣, natural and showing 10+. I had ♣AKx so passed. On another day Anna would have five or six Clubs and 2♣ would have been a good contract, but today it was a 4-3 fit and went two off.
At one point the opponents had a mix-up and ended in a 6-1 Spade fit. If we'd have been sharper we could have beaten it, but instead let declarer make it. Anna made a couple of good 3NTs, but then we went off doubled in a bad sacrifice, twice. This was the low point:
East opened 1♦. With Anna having already passed I felt like I was right for a weak 2♥ overcall, but decided to spice things up a bit and bid 3♥. No particular reason, but I was a bit bored perhaps. The pre-empt worked as West was forced to make a stretch to bid 3♠. However, Anna wasn't in on this and thought I had a genuine 3♥ bid with something like ♥KQJxxxx and so raised me to 4♥. East doubled and I had to take the medicine.
The defence took three Diamond tricks then East switched to the ♠T. I covered and West won the ♠Q. He couldn't continue Spades so lead a Club. I thought about finessing but thankfully didn't, and was able to hold my losses to 4♥x-4, which still cost 800. On a part score hand this is expensive, especially on aggregate scoring.
After all the other tables finished we were still playing. At one point someone actually turned out the lights, then realised we were still playing. It was just our table left and the two team captains waiting for a result. The very final board epitomised the disaster. After I had opened 1♥ partner was silent and the opponents reached 3NT. I had:
♠x ♥ JTxxx ♦ AQxx ♣Qxx
Obviously I lead a Heart, and then found partner's only points were five Diamonds to the King. In the end we lost the match 12-4. As the team captain said, it could have been worse!