Ron Paterson – a tribute

ICA members were saddened to hear of the death of former member and treasurer Ron Paterson on Tuesday, 24th October, after a short illness.
Ron and his devoted wife Jane became members of the Irish Curling Association in 2004 and Ron’s razor sharp intellect and financial acumen were put to good use when he served as ICA treasurer from 2008 to 2013.
The current ICA treasurer, and President, David Whyte commented that the books Ron kept were “immaculate”.
Ron also enjoyed playing in ICA bonspiels and was a keen competitor on the ice. Off the ice he also enjoyed, and endured, many ICA curling adventures abroad accompanying Jane when she was a member of the Irish ladies team at the European Championships, the European Mixed Championships and the World Seniors. Many a long day Ron spent in the stands as a faithful supporter of Irish teams. He was also the ‘Keeper of the Flags’ and made sure the four provinces banner was in a prominent position and the right way round!
His dry wit and endless curiosity made him excellent company and Ron and Jane were the warmest and most convivial of hosts, opening the doors of their home to many curlers from near and far, always ready to welcome their many friends with a dram and a plateful of Ron’s latest culinary creation – he was also a superb and adventurous cook.
Away for the curling world, Ron was well-known as a salty sea-dog, and sailing was right up there with Jane and their much-loved black lab dogs in his ‘things I really and truly love’ list.
Jane said: “Ron’s abiding passion was sailing. He built an ‘Enterprise’ dinghy in his garage which he and I raced competitively for many years. He went on to compete against the “Big Boys’ in major events on the Clyde and West Coast. To celebrate the millennium, he took part in the Classics Malt Cruise to Islay with family and friends. The highlight of his sailing career was undoubtedly being overall winners of West Highland Week and The Scottish Series in the same year. Quite an achievement.”
After a successful career with IBM, that took him on several overseas assignments including a very happy two years in Minnesota, USA , Ron retired in 2000. He and Jane lived for many years in Skelmorlie before moving to Auchterarder in 2013. He also loved his garden, a passion he shared with Jane, and had many plans for their new home in Perthshire before illness intervened.
He was a true gentleman of impeccable character, who was kind, determined and loyal in equal measure. Ron Paterson served the Irish Curling Association faithfully for many years and will always be remembered and missed by all who were lucky enough to know him.
The sympathy of all the members goes out to Jane at this difficult time.

Jane would like to extend her heartfelt thanks to all ICA members who took the time to send a card and a special thank you to those who came to the funeral. It was very much appreciated.

Ireland’s ladies team get some practice in

Marie, Louise, Christina and Clare

The Irish ladies team heading to the world seniors in Sweden next April got together on the ice for the first time at the Greenacres Invitation last week. Marie O’Kane, Louise Kerr, Christina Graham and Clare McCormick had plenty of practice against some of the top senior ladies teams in the world and improved every game.

Going forward, they have engaged Gordon McIntyre to coach the team ahead of their world challenge.

Senior European Invitation champions at Greenacres

Johnjo gives the team a pep talk. photographer Andrew Mitchell

Ireland men Johnjo Kenny, David Whyte, Neil Fyfe and David Hume won the European Senior Invitation at Greenacres Ice Rink this afternoon beating Scotland’s Ian Drysdale in the final  6-5.

The winners! picture courtesy of Greenacres Ice Rink

Congratulations to the team on an excellent performance against first class opposition.

Ireland men into Greenacres Senior European Invitation final

The team representing Ireland in the mens half of the Greenacres Senior European Invitation are into this afternoon’s final at 2.30pm.

Johnjo Kenny, David Whyte, Neil Fyfe and David Hume will play Ian Drysdale’s current Scottish senior champions in the final.

If you have a free afternoon why not go to Greenacres and cheer them on.

Come on Ireland!!

Fyfe Trophy success for Mr President

The bronze, silver and gold medal winners at the Fyfe Trophy

There was an excellent turn-out of ICA members for the Fyfe Trophy at Breahead Ice Rink yesterday, organised by Eoin McCrossan.

Five rinks played a round-robin of three-end games, with a break for lunch between game three and four.

The top three team at the end of the event were:

1st: David Whyte, Andrew Gilmore, Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Frances Donald (and Frances Whyte for one game)
2nd: John Furey, Jen Ward, Ross Barr, Gillian Russell
3rd: Neil Fyfe, Steve Callan, Carolyn Hibberd

Neil Fyfe presented most of the medals (bar himself!) and the Fyfe Trophy to the winners. Congratulations to them and thanks to everyone for taking part in this annual test of endurance over 15 ends!

James Russell was testing out the camera settings on his new phone and here are the results……..

Day 7 update from the Big Cheese

Day 7 Update from Ross Barr

The final session of the round robin stage saw Team Ireland come head to head with Team Spain. Both teams were on four wins and sitting joint third. Knowing that the winner of this match would qualify for the knock out stages provided an extra degree of interest. Spain secured a two shot advantage in the second end after blanking the first. Chasing the game from that point Team Ireland set up a number of promising ends but they were continually thwarted by the accuracy of the Spanish play.

A disappointing end to what was generally a successful and very enjoyable tournament for Alan, Jacqui, Ross, Clare and coach Alison. Team Ireland offer thanks to all those who have provided encouragement and support throughout the competition.

Mixed update

Team Ireland on the ice – photo credit WCF

The Irish Mixed Team, playing in the world championships in Champery, Switzerland, finished their round-robin games against two of the strongest team in their group, going down 1-10 to Korea and 0-8 to Spain.

Ireland skip Alan Mitchell – photo credit WCF

Clare and Ross on sweeping duties – photo credit WCF

Alan, Jacqui, Ross and Clare did their best and finished with a very respectable four win – three loss record, just missing out on a qualification spot. Well done to you all – and coach Alison, now you can relax and enjoy the rest of your stay in the Alps.

Day 6 in Champery

Alan ‘Skippy’ Mitchell on the blog:

Met with another beautiful day in the Swiss Alps we had the full day to prepare for our 6th game and enjoy the superb weather with temperatures exceeding the nicest of Belfast summer days.

Our opponents today were the young South Korean team who had 5 wins to their name – looking resplendent in their bright yellow team uniforms they exuded confidence from the moment they stepped on the ice. It was soon obvious they had trained to a very high standard and were positioning stones to the nearest mm.

Some great 1st end play by Ireland was sadly the highlight of the game and the incessant pressure applied by the Koreans took its toll. We can take comfort that without doubt these young players will be stars of the future.

Our team walk back from the rink witnessed another glorious sunset which lifted team spirits and soon brought our trip back into perspective.

Day 5 update from Champery

Ross Barr writes:
Our 8 am game against Kazakhstan got off a solid start with four players in both teams for the first two ends.  The Kazakhstan lead was then banished to the coaches bench where she remained for the rest of the game, as usual.  A lead of 6 – 2 was established by mid game break. Hands were shaken during the eighth end when the score line read 7 – 3.Team Ireland then retired to review stone placement and sweeping tactics on the patio.

The team decided nutrition needs should be met by a visit to the local Cailler chocolate and Gruyere cheese factory in preparation for the game against Korea.

World Mixed latest

Alan and Jacqui discuss tactics at World Mixed Curling Championship. Photo credit – WCF

Another two excellent results for Team Ireland at the World Mixed Championships in Champery.

Having beaten Luxembourg 10-3 they then took down Kazakhstan 7-3 to stand proudly top of their group with four wins and one defeat.

They play Korea tomorrow afternoon. Keep it up team you are doing Ireland proud!