John warms up for World MD’s

John Wilson, who will represent Ireland at the World Mixed Doubles in Norway next month, warmed up with a great win in the Perth Mixed Doubles at the weekend.

Linsey and John were successful at the Perth Mixed Doubles competition.

John’s playing partner was old friend Linsey Spence from Lockerbie as his Irish mixed doubles partner Louise Kerr was busy curling in the Irish Mixed Championships at Dumfries.

John and Linsey won the final 8-6 against Sean and Janie Clemie.

Well done John!

Team Russell are mixed champions

Niamh, Craig, Ailsa and James are the new Irish mixed champions

James Russell with his team of Ailsa Anderson, Craig Whyte and Niamh Begley won the Irish Mixed Championship at Dumfries at the weekend and win the right to represent Ireland at the World Mixed Curling Championships in October.

The champions were put on the back foot on the Saturday, losing their first game to Team Gray (Bill Gray, Louise Kerr, David Whyte and Nina Clancy) 6-3 but recovered to beat Team Kenny (Johnjo Kenny, Jan Ward, Ross Barr and Jacqui Davidson) 9-6 in their second game.

The finalists – Bill, James, Louise, Ailsa, David, Criag, Nina and Niamh

As Team Gray beat Team Kenny 6-3 in the round-robin, Team Kenny were eliminated and the two remaining teams fought out a best of three on the Sunday, with the round-robin game counting as game 1. After a very close and tense game in the morning , which Team Russell won 5-4, it went down to a decider for the title and Team Russell outplayed Team Gray in the last game 9-3, taking a five in the sixth, when Team Gray conceded.

It was a double celebration for the winning third player Ailsa Anderson who got engaged last month. Congratulations to the winners, and double congratulations to Ailsa!

Thanks go to John and Eleanor Burns who acted as umpire and timer respectively during the weekend.

Mixed playdowns

The Irish Mixed Championships start tomorrow at Dumfries Ice Bowl.

Three teams have entered skipped by James Russell, Johnjo Kenny and Bill Gray.

Game times are 10am, 3pm and 6.30pm on Saturday and at 9.30am and 12.30pm on Sunday. The winning team will earn the right to represent Ireland at the World Mixed Championship in the autumn.

Results will be posted here.

ICA members at Henderson Bishop finals

The ICA website was unmanned midweek as both administrator Christine Furey and reporter Louise Kerr were playing against each other at the Henderson Bishop finals at Stranraer Ice Rink. Christine was playing for Greenacres while Louise was representing Stranraer.

A third ICA member, Nina Clancy, was also at the finals, with the team from Kirkcaldy.

The Henderson Bishop for the high road was won by Murrayfield 2 while Stranraer won the Cherrystone Trophy for the low road. See Scottish Curling website for further details and scores.

New names on Stranraer Weekend Trophy

John, Bernie, ICA President David, Robert and Helen with their cases of Magners

At the close of another very successful Irish Curling Association International Weekend competition at Stranraer Ice Rink, sponsored by Magners Cider, the winners were a team with a very international flavour! The Granite Trophy went to Scottish-born English Curling Association stalwart John Brown along with new Irish Curling Association member, Irish-born Bernie Gillet, who lives in Ontario, Canada, plus John’s Scottish old school friend Robert Jamieson (Hutchesons circa 1960’s) and Robert’s English wife Helen!

Lesley, Graeme, Jim, Liz with the Ailsa Criag painting and ICA President David

The runners-up in the High Road, receiving the Ailsa Craig painting, were Jim Cullen , Liz Cullen, Graeme Cowe and Lesley Cowe.

Nina, Alison, Walter and Bill, with the Irish Oak Trophy, and ICA President David Whyte

The winners of the Low Road, winning the Irish Oak Trophy were Bill Gray, Nina Clancy, Walter Scott and Alison Scott.

The runners-up in the Low Road, winning the Basil Gray Memorial Trophy, were Duncan Johnston, Janie Clemie, Sean Clemie and Harriet Johnston.

Alan, Isobel, Ian and Frances with ICA President David

The consolation prizes went to Ian Donald, Isobel Nisbet, Alan Nisbet and Frances Donald.

Thanks to all the competitors who took part in the weekend competition and especially to everyone who bought raffle tickets at Saturday evening’s cocktail party raising £275 for ICA funds. Finally, a huge thanks to Magners for sponsorship of this popular event. The winners and the runners-up have been invited back to the North West Castle for the close of season Dalrymple Cup.

Magners to sponsor Irish Weekend

Magners have generously provided sponsorship for the Irish Curling Association International Weekend at Stranraer Ice Rink this coming Saturday and Sunday.

Magners have been making cider in Ireland since 1935 and varieties of the drink are popular around the world.

As well as providing four cases of cider for the lucky winning team, Magners drinks will also be offered as a refreshment for guests at the ICA cocktail party on the Saturday evening in the North West Castle Hotel. Please remember there will be a raffle at the party to raise funds for the ICA and raffle prizes are very welcome.

The ICA is very grateful to Magners for the sponsorship and we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.

Kinross winners

The ICA held its annual spring bonspiel at Kinross on Sunday,  February 3rd.

Due to a few other competitions on etc we were struggling to fill the three sheets we had booked but gathering 18 curlers, we decided to play six teams of three in a six- stone/ eight-ends format. This worked well in that each player only the normal two stones per end but it did have the effect of ends coming to skips stones very quickly!

David Whyte with Alison Barr and Maria O’Neill matched up against John Graham with Clare McCormick and Dave McHale with the game ending peels 8-8;John Wilson’s team of John, Sue Scotland and Frances Whyte went down 7-10 to Bill Gray, Nina Clancy and Sharon Graham but the perpetual trophy and prizes were won by Team Burns skipped by Ross Barr with John Burns and Frances Donald who defeated David Hume, Ian Donald and Gillian Russell by 12 shots to 5.

Winners John Burns, Frances Donald and Ross Barr with ICA President David Whyte

President David (Whyte) presented the prizes along with a short update on the successful trip to Dublin the previous week.

Stirling winners

The ICA held a bonspiel at Stirling before Christmas, my apologies to the winners that the results slipped the net!

Arran Cameron beat John Wilson 9-2 and Bill Gray beat David Hume 6-4.

Arran and his teammates Maria O’Neill, Margarita Sweeney-Baird and Ross Barr are pictured with their prizes and the obligatory festive head gear.

Stranraer Weekend draw

The Irish Curling Association hosts its annual weekend competition at Stranraer Ice Rink on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th February.

Here is the draw times for the Saturday games:

Section 1 – 9.00am and 1.20pm

Peter Wilson v John Gilmore

Arran Cameron v Duncan Johnstone

Tommy Campbell v David Whyte

Ian Donald v John Burns

Section 2 – 11.10am and 3.30pm

Drew Paton v John Graham

John Wilson v Jim Cullen

Andy Robinson v Michael Sutherland

Bill Gray v John Brown

Two trophies at 4N

Ireland players and supporters with their two trophies.

A huge thanks to everyone who made the journey south to Preston to represent Ireland at the annual Four Nations competition. Ireland beat England to secure the Turnbull Trophy and Scotland to retain the Marshall Millennium Trophy and were beaten by Wales to the Meikle Trophy by a shot.

An excellent weekend at the Flower Bowl Ice Rink, with its green ice, was hosted by the English Curling Association and our thanks go to them for looking after us so well.

A word of praise for Maria O’Neill, who was curling for Ireland for the first time and secured two wins to do her bit for her country – well done Maria! Also to Alison Barr, who had previously played for England in the Four Nations, coming over to the green side this time round and helping our cause alongside husband Ross.

Wales will be the 2020 Four Nations hosts – the time and the venue are still to be decided.