Northern Bridge League
The Northern Bridge League is a teams-of-eight competition between county bridge associations, mostly in the north of England. Regular participants in recent years have been Cumbria, Lancashire, LIncolnshire, Manchester, Merseyside & Cheshire, Westmorland and Yorkshire. In some years, teams from Scotland, north Wales and other English counties have also taken part. There are three divisions: A, B and C, with the C division intended for players of ‘good club standard’ and B and A for each county’s strongest players.
Since the pandemic, the competition has been played online using RealBridge. There are four match days, usually Saturdays in the summer and early autumn months. On each match day there is a round robin of matches in each division, and the scores are aggregated to give an overall winner of each division for the season as a whole.
The NBL has its own website and results pages, which can be accessed using the links on the right.
The 2023 season of the Northern Bridge League
Yorkshire teams completed a highly successful season in the Northern Bridge League by winning Divisions A and B In division A, Yorkshire were 25 VPs ahead of Manchester, and in division B 21 ahead of Lancashire. Yorkshire almost had a clean sweep, being just pipped in Division C by Manchester on a tiebreak, after finishing level on points.
The first match day of the 2023 season took place on 8th July. In the A division, Yorlshire lead by 1 VP from Manchester with Lancashire 5 points further behind.
In the B division, Yorkshire entered two teams which the organisers have confusingly labelled A and B. Yorkshire A(B) already have a big lead of 27 VPs with Lancashire second. Yorkshire B(B) are in ninth place.
In the C division, Yorkshire are in fourth place.
The Yorkshire teams were:
A – Dave Robinson & Tony Sowter, Keith Joules & David Waxman, Mike Jackson & John Hayton, and Tom Cohen & Phil Morrison.
A(B) – Ian Johns & John O’Sullivan, Bob Marchbank & Terry Read, David Lewis & Colin Fallows, and Nichola Cockerill-Smith & Richard Pike.
B(B) – Lesley Bridson & Catherine Thompson, Daryl Kayes & Chris Boyes, Julie Grant & Ian Grant, and Rod Hose & David Adams.
C – Glyn Foley & Peter Camm, Mike Hopkins & Rob Cave, Tricia Pearce & Margaret Allison, and Richard Hilton & Pauline Cooper.
The second round of matches was played on 19th August.
In the A division, Yorkshire finished third with 48 out of 100 VPs and have been overtaken in the league table by Lancashire, the gap being 9 points.
In the B division, Yorkshire B(B) earned the bragging rights by finishing third with 91 VPs out of 160, while Yorkshire A(B) were sixth with 73 VPs. Yorkshire A(B) are still the leaders in this division but by only 5 VPs from Lancashire, while Yorkshire B(B) have climbed to seventh.
In the C division, Yorkshire were third with 78 VPs out of 140, which moved them up to third in the league table behind Lancashire and Manchester.
The teams in this series of matches were
A(A) Dave Robinson & Tony Sowter, Brian Senior & Sandra Penfold, Keith Joules & David Waxman and Frank Dixon & Paul Brereton
A(B) Ian Johns & John O’Sullivan, Bob Marchbank & Terence Read, Ian Cook & Dennis Haines and Nichola Cockerill-Smith & Richard Pike
B(B) Lesley Bridson & Catherine Thompson, Carole Kelly & Christina Powne, Rod Hose & David Adams and Colin Fallows & David Lewis
C Glyn Foley & Peter Camm, Mike Hopkins & Rob Cave, Robin Ashdown & Matt Brash and Richard Hilton & Pauline Cooper
The third series of matches took place on 2nd September.
Yorkshire teams are now leading the A and B divisions and are in third place in the C division.
In the A division, the third series was won by Manchester with 83 VPs, four ahead of Yorkshire on 79, with previous leaders Lancashire languishing on 39. So in the cumulative table Yorlshire with 182 VPs have a narrow lead of five over Manchester and a more substantial one of 21 over Lancashire.
In the B division, RealBridge resolved the confusion over the nomenclature of the two Yorkshire teams by labelling them One and Two. Two took the honours again with 120 VPs, ahead of One on 109 and Manchester third with 101. In the cumulative table, One lead with 287, Manchester have 269 and Two 258. Note – the three divisions do not have the same number of teams, so there are more points to be won in B and C than in A.
In the C division, Yorkshire scored 83 VPs, one behind Westmorland, and one ahead of the other Lake District team, Cumbria. In the cumulative table Yorkshire are a close third on 238 VPs, just four behind Manchester and seven behind leaders Lancashire.
The teams were as follows
A – Dave Robinson & Tony Sowter, Tom Cohen & Phil Morrison, Brian Senior & Sandra Penfold and Robin Jepson & Alan Brosgill. Brian & Sandra were third in the A division cross-imps table with +1.09.
B One – Ian Johns & John O’Sullivan, Bob Marchbank & Terence Read, Ian Cook & Dennis Haines and David Lewis & Colin Fallows. Ian & Dennis were third in the B division cross-imps table with +1.28
B Two – Lesley Bridson & Catherine Thompson, Chris Boyes & Daryl Kayes, Rod Hose & David Adams and Terry Childs & David Wilson. Chris and Daryl were first in the B division cross-imps table with +1.33.
C – Richard Hilton & Pauline Cooper, Tricia Pearce & Margaret Allison, Bill Barraclough & David Duckworth and Ian Johnson & Carol Heron
In the fourth round of matches on 14th October, Yorkshire A were second with 62 VPs, behind Scorland with 69. In the B division, Yorlshire One were second with 85 VPs, just one behind Westmorland. Yorkshire Two were ninth. The same two counties took first and second places In the C division: Westmorland 96,Yorkshire 89.
The teams for the fourth round of matches were:
Frank Dixon & Paul Brereton, Phil Morrison & Tom Cohen, Alan Jarvis & Tom Copeland, and Alan Brosgill & Robin Jepson. Alan and Tom were fourth in the cross-imps table, and Phil and Tom were sixth.
B Division, Yorkshire One:
Ian Johns & John O’Sullivan, Rod Hose & David Adams, Ian Cook & Dennis Haines and David Lewis & Colin Fallows Ian and Dennis were fourth in the cross-imps table.
B Division, Yorkshire Two:
Richard Hilton & Pauline Cooper. Mark Ballantine & David Wilson, Peter Carson & Gill Copeland and Bob Marchbank & Terry Read.
Glyn Foley & Peter Camm, Mike Hopkins & Rob Cave, Julie Grant & Ian Grant and David Duckworth & Bill Barraclough. Mike and Rob were second in the cross-imps table.
Let’s also acknowledge the contribution to these successes made by the team of selectors – Alan Brosgill, Dave Robinson, Sandy Davies, Julia Staniforth and Simon Woolham – for their very efficient behind the scenes work in recruiting the team squads, and the organisation of the arrangements for each round of matches.
This page was last updated on 16th October 2023.