Small tournaments are a bit of a lottery at Match points. I think 4 or 5 tables are probably better just played as aggregate. However this time we had 3.5 tables, so no option but a Howell and each board was 4, 2 or 0.
Playing with Gerry we came second with 57%.
The 5 level belongs to the opponents but we are red against green, what will I get for a double? Maybe only 100, 300 max. I opted for 5H which turns out to be a decent contract except:
AD, small club, diamond ruff. The rest defended 4Sx, 1 down.
Gerry opened 1NT passed round to Ian who as it happens has good values, but protects with much less. Anyway he bids 2D (D + a higher) and Bob bids 2H passed out.
I got off to a good start with a small heart to Gerry's 10. With no attractive return, Gerry followed this defence by returning the Queen to Dummy's Ace.
Bob ran QD, diamond to Ace and a club to King and Ace. Gerry returned 6C and Bob didn't take a risk and went up with QC. He now ran the 10 to Gerry's Jack, discarding a spade and Gerry played a spade to my Ace. I cashed KH and played a spade, down 3.
AS led and I can't believe Dummy, we certainly don't have more than three defensive tricks and can't go more than one off. Steve switched to a club, ruffed, spade ruff with 9H, small heart to Ace and that was that, spade ruff, QH two top diamonds, claim. The rest defended 4S.