It took two melodic bursts from the alarm clock in my smart phone to get me out of bed Thursday morning and I spent the next two hours trying to make up for the lost time.
My phone was ringing again as I searched for a spot to park on the sixth level of the garage behind the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls with the final minutes ticking off toward the 10 a.m. start. This time it was Thursday teammate Beverly Ganim, distressed that I wouldn’t show, despite assurances from my partner, Barbara Sadkin, and ready to bring someone else aboard to play.
But it all worked out. It always does. And 15 minutes later we were settling into a three-way round robin match in yet another knock-out team game. This time we were in Bracket III, the lowest-ranked group, right where we belong, and we vanquished both of our opponents, 16-10 and 41-25 International Match Points, the first one being an estimable Buffalo team of Linda Burroughford, Davis Heussler and the Weltes, John and Martha.
The second session after lunch, head-to-head, found us well-matched once again, winning three of our four rounds against a St. Catharines team of Max Rutherford, Michael Ritze, Maureen Clark and Sharon Stevens and having a jolly old time with Max and Michael.
However, our three winning rounds were small margin affairs – 15-12, 14-12 and 10-5. What determined our fate was the second round, where we went down 21-6, thanks to one unfortunate hand. Teammates Beverly Gamin and Larry Murray (from Windsor) attempted a 6 No Trump slam and came up one trick short, while Max and Michael stopped at 3 NT and made two overtricks. That cost us 13 IMPs, a deficit we could not quite make up.
Our reward for the day – 1.18 red points for winning the round robin. Had we been successful in the second session, we would have been guaranteed at least 4.71 gold points, more than enough to make Barbara a Life Master. Meanwhile, Linda Burroughford, Davis Heussler and the Weltes were afternoon winners. They’ll continue Friday, with a chance to win 8.25 or 11.78 gold points.
Our loss, however, simplified our Friday arrangements. Barbara was going to cancel a bridge date with Nadine Stein and postpone a dentist appointment if we won Thursday afternoon and I was going to have to cancel my Friday tournament date with Art Matthies. Now, despite our disappointments, we can at least proceed as planned.