The Lady Milne Trophy Home Internationals for Womens Teams
by Patrick Jourdain
In 1934 the Lady Milne started as the Ladies Team championship of the National Bridge Association run by Hubert Phillips. Then in 1950 it became the trophy for the Ladies Home Internationals with one team eligible from each country. In 1949 entry was still open to many teams. In 1950 the winner is recorded as “Scotland”. It is assumed that in 1950 it became the Home Internationals with only one team from each country. In the early years England fielded the winner of the Whitelaw Cup, its Womens teams championship.
The event is now played over one weekend for Womens teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Since 2009 the host fields a sixth team called by the name of the Federation. This team can also win the trophy for the country and did so for England in 2010. Teams play a head-to-head match of 32 boards against each of the other five, each being victory-pointed.
In 2011 for the first time in 62 years the series ended in a tie, the trophy being shared between Scotland and England.
England has won outright on 46 occasions (one being its “B” team in 2010). Scotland has won outright 10 times: in 1950, 1956, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2007, and 2009; Wales won in 1967, 1968, and 1988; Northern Ireland won in 1981 and 1985; the Republic of Ireland, joining the series in 1998, has yet to win.