Each year Yorkshire enters teams for several inter-county competitions, listed on the right. Click on the link for information about the Northern Bridge League and for results in the years 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for information about the other inter-county competitions.
Would anyone interested in playing in a Northern Bridge League team in 2024 (matches are from July to October) please contact the chair of the selection committee before March 2024, when the teams will be selected. You will find the names of the selection committee members elsewhere on this site – click on the ‘About YCBA’ tab and then on ‘Official Documents’. The next section explains the selection criteria.
Inter-County Player Selection
The YCBA Board delegates responsibility for selection of players for the Northern Bridge League, Presidents Cup and Tollemache to selection committees. There are many factors to take into account in selection decisions, but the main considerations are:
Criteria for selection for the Northern Bridge League (NBL)
- Established or evolving partnerships
- Competing in Yorkshire League and/or Online Yorkshire League Division 1, 2 or 3
- Some experience of playing with success against good standard opposition in national and county competitions.
Criteria for selection for the Tollemache and President’s Cup
- Established partnerships *
- Recent success in national and county level competitions.
Weighting for Teams events will be significantly higher than Pairs events.
- Competing in 5 or more NBL Division 1 events within the last 3 years with a positive average butler / cross-imp rating.
- Competing in Yorkshire League and/or Online YL Division 1 or 2 with a positive average butler / cross-imp rating over the last 3 years.
* Exceptions may be made due to late withdrawals, new partnerships with good recent record or other exceptional circumstances.
YCBA pays the entry fees, but there is a charge made at the venue to cover the cost of catering & hire of the venue, part of which is paid by the YCBA.
The entry fees for the Tollemache Cup and President’s Cup competitions will be paid in full by the YCBA. If an overnight stay is required, the YCBA may make a contribution to the cost of the stay.
The ‘Tolle’ is the EBU’s principal inter-county competition for teams-of-eight. All county associations are eligible to enter, and most do so. It is played in two stages. A qualifying round is currently played online over a weekend in November. The counties entering are divided into two groups, playing a round robin of matches, and the leading four teams in each group qualify for the final. The final is played face-to-face over a weekend the following February.
In the qualifying round of the 2023-24 Tollemache Cup,Yorkshire finished in a disappointing twelfth place in their group.
The Yorkshire team was Alan Brosgill (captain), Tony Sowter, Tony McNiff, Sandra Penfold, Brian Senior, Frank Dixon, Paul Brereton, Tom Copeland, Alan Jarvis, Tom Cohen, Phil Morrison and Robin Jepson.
The President’s Cup is another inter-county competition, initiated by David Stevenson (Merseyside & Cheshire) but currently organised by Cumbria Contract Bridge Association.
The participants vary from year to year, but most are county associations in the north of England. It is played over a single weekend in the summer and the format is a round robin of matches between the competing teams.
Yorkshire were the winners of the Presidents Cup in 2023, with an impressive victory margin of 200 imps over second placed Manchester. The competition was played online on RealBridge over the weekend of 24th and 25th June. The Yorkshire team – four pairs played on the Saturday and the other four on the Sunday – comprised Dave Robinson & Tony Sowter, Sandra Penfold & Brian Senior, Alan Brosgill & Robin Jepson, Alan Jarvis & Tom Copeland, Fiona Brown & James Thrower, Keith Joules & David Waxman, Paul Brereton & Frank Dixon, and Mike Ferguson & Nick Woolven.
The Pachabo Cup is an EBU competition, for which counties may enter the winning teams or runners up in their principal knockout competition for teams-of-four. In Yorkshire, the knockout competition is the Waddington Shield.
In 2023, the Yorkshire team included players from the winning team and the losing finalists of the Waddington Shield: Richard Pike, David Waxman, Tony Sowter, Dave Robinson, Frank Dixon and Paul Brereton. The competition, played on 11th June, featured teams from 23 counties, and Yorkshire finished in 13th place. The winning team was Gloucestershire.
Garden Cities Trophy
The Garden Cities Trophy is another EBU competition, for which county associations may enter the winners or runners-up in their designated competition for affiliated club teams-of-eight. This event is played in two stages, starting with regional semi-finals, from which the leading teams qualify for the final.
The Yorkshire League is YCBA’s designated competition, so the winners of Division 1 of the Yorkshire League are invited to play in the Garden Cities.
In 2023 this was Leeds, who finished in first place in the regional final played at Bradford on Saturday 13th May. Leeds therefore qualified for the national final, played at Coventry on Saturday 17th June. They won four of their seven matches and finished in fifth place with 74 VPs. The competition winner was Cambridge. The Leeds team was Martin Edge (captain), Nick Woolven, Alan Jarvis, Tom Copeland, Alan Brosgill, Robin Jepson, Martin Ott and Terry Read.
National inter-county league final
The winners of each division of regional inter-county leagues qualify for this EBU competition. For Yorkshire the inter-county league is the Northern Bridge League and, as the NBL is staged in the summer and autumn months, the divisional winners are eligible to play in the NICL final the following year.
Yorkshire won the C division of the NBL in 2022,
The Yorkshire team in the NICL final, played on Sunday 18th June 2023, was Glyn Foley & Peter Camm, Richard Hilton & Pauline Cooper, David Adams & Rod Hose, and David Wilson & Mark Ballantine. Teams from six counties took part, and Yorkshire finished in a strong second place, just 3 VPs behind the winners, Northamptonshire.
Yorkshire’s A and B teams have qualified for the final of the NICL in 2024.
This page was last updated on 13th November 2023.