Sixteen players from Carrickfergus Grammar took part in the School Ulster School Bridge Pairs competition recently.
Alex Millar and Carl Nicholl won the intermediate section and were second overall in the open section.
In the novice section, Carrickfergus took the first three places. First, Lochlan McInytre and Josh Jordan; second, Callum Winsby and Erin Hoban; third, Jake Kennedy and Ethan Hughes. Most have been playing bridge since Year eight.
The Northern Ireland Bridge Union is operating a pilot project in Carrickfergus and will start teaching the game to primary seven pupils at two schools in the Carrick area.
Pupils from Carrickfergus Grammar have played in the Home International bridge competitions previously.
They have also played in European competitions including the prestigious White House competition played annually in Amsterdam.
NIBU plan to roll this project out to other schools.
Bridge is a “trick-taking card game” using a standard 52-card deck. In its basic format, it is played by four players in two competing partnerships, with partners sitting opposite each other around a table.
According to the NIBU, an American research Dr. Christopher Shaw who recently completed a study which shows that students who play bridge perform better in standardised tests.
A spokesperson for NIBU said: “Dr. Shaw examined six groups of fifth formers. Analysis showed that bridge develops inferential reasoning skills. The group who were taught bridge achieved the best results.”