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Full deck . . . Oamaru Bridge Club past president Frances Sheehy inspects her cards at the club's rooms in Steward St ahead of today's re-opening after Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

Covid-19 may have dealt members of the Oamaru Bridge Club a dud hand, but from today their luck is in.

The club resumes social bridge for all grades today at its Steward St clubrooms, which have been closed since March 20, when the New Zealand Bridge Association shut the popular card game down at club level.

Friendly games will be played for the rest of this month on Tuesdays and Fridays and the 2020 programme has been pushed out and will now take place from July to November.

Oamaru Bridge Club past president Frances Sheehy said it would be a relief to be able to take a seat around real table, as opposed to a virtual one, and players could not wait to see how the cards fell.

“They’re pretty excited. Especially one or two who are very competitive. They didn’t see why we had to close.

“A lot of us played bridge online. I played with my usual partner and then had different people we knew [who] we played against.”

She said playing online did not have the same feel as sitting across from another player.

“It’s more competitive I would think, playing face-to-face.”

Ms Sheehy, who has been a member of the club for 45 years, could not recall it being shut down for a longer period than it was due to Covid-19, with the exception of the Christmas holiday season, when the club did not meet for three or four weeks.

The Covid-19 pandemic also meant Oamaru’s all grades tournament on June 28 was cancelled, but it was expected at least one tournament will be staged in Dunedin next month.

A junior and intermediate tournament, also scheduled for Oamaru, will go ahead as planned in August.

The club has about 190 active members.