Women Series. After 12 out of 23 rounds, The Netherlands is leading over England, Italy (yes, Italy is third in the Women Series), Denmark, France and Sweden. The Dutch players are Carla Arnolds, Marion Michielsen, Jet Pasman, Anneke Simons, Wietske Van Zwol, Meike Wortel, and Alex Van Reenen as non playing captain and Hans Kelder as coach.
The Italian Heroines are Margherita Chavarria, Caterina Ferlazzo, Gabriella Manara, Simonetta Paoluzi, Francesca Piscitelli, Ilaria Saccavini, and Gianpaolo Rinaldi as non playing captain. About them, Cristina Golin, past European championess, today said: “I’m by no means happy to be at home [Cristina failed to qualify in the trials] but in my opinion this is a very good team with a very good captain”
The Seniors Series has ended the first stage, won by Norway: Rune Brendeford Anderssen, Tor Bakke, Arve Farstad, Helge Maesel, Roald Maesel, Peter Mastrander. The other nine teams qualified to the final stage are Poland, Belgium, Ireland, Hungary, England, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Bulgaria. Italy came 23th out of 26 teams.
Open Teams: in the Group A it is Sweden the leader: Peter Bertheau, Per-Ola Cullin, Fredryk Nystrom, Johan Sylvan, Joan Upmark, Fredric Wrang, and Per Gunnar Eliasson as non playing captain and Jan Lagerman as coach. Behind Sweden, the other eight teams in the qualifying zone are Monaco, Norway, France, Russia, Germany, Estonia, Iceland and Austria.
The Group B is led by England: David Bakhshi, Tony Forrester, David Gold, Jason and Justin Hackett, Andrew Robson, and Simon Cope as non playing captain and Ben Green as coach. Behind England there are Denmark, Israel, Latvia, Turkey, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria.
In my opinion, although England is very strong, and also it has good chance to win the title, the Group B is a little weaker than the Group A.
Italy is eleventh in Group B, with few hopes to get the qualification to final stage, and, if they got it, with almost no hopes of entering the first six places, the result which would be necessary for qualifying to the 2015’s Bermuda Bowl. No hopes but one: that the pair Lauria-Versace always play – no one longer dare breaking the pair – and a great deal of humility by everybody, players, coach and captain.
It is difficult to remember worst times for the Italian Open and Senior Teams; however we Italians are lucky: we never lack of a spark, a light in the dark. At Opatija it is the Heroins who are the guard who is still keeping high the prestige of Italian Bridge.
Paolo Enrico Garrisi