WMCC game 2

IRELAND 7 SWITZERLAND 8

After a spirited fightback to take this game to an extra-end, Ireland’s mixed team lost out, once again by one shot, in their second game at the World Mixed Curling Championships in Canada.

Ireland’s mixed team skip James Russell – photo credit WCF

The team had gone into the fourth end break leading 3-2 after stealing in two consecutive ends, but the Swiss swiftly wiped that advantage out, taking a four in the fifth. Ireland got a good two back in the sixth and after giving up a single, kept their nerve to score the deuce to tie the game up at seven all at the end of the eighth. The Swiss team then used the last stone advantage in the extra end to take the single for the win.

Next game for Ireland will be against Brazil at 8pm (our time) tomorrow.

Come on Ireland!

WMCC game 1

IRELAND 5 AUSTRALIA 6

A defeat for the Irish in their first game in the World Mixed Championships in Kelowna, BC, going down by one shot to an Australia quartet after a very close contest.

Australia, wit the hammer opening proceedings with a two at the first end. Ireland – James Russell, Ailsa Anderson, Arran Cameron and Katie Kerr – took a single at the second, but Australia raced in to a 4-1 lead with a second deuce at the third. Ireland got another single before the half time break to peg the score back to 4-2.

Ireland’s Ailsa Anderson in action – photo credit WCF

After a chat with coach Steve Callan, the Irish tightened up their defences and single were swapped over the next two ends before the Irish stole a two in the seventh end to level the game at five all. But the Australians made use of the last stone in the eighth and final end to record a 6-5 win.

Mixed team ready to take on the world in Canada

The Irish Mixed team are either at, or nearly at, their base camp in Kelowna, British Columbia, ahead of the World Mixed Curling Championship starting on Saturday.

James, Ailsa, Arran and Katie with coach Steve in front.

The team of James Russell, Ailsa Anderson, Arran Cameron, Katie Kerr and coach Steve Callan will start on Saturday evening with a game against Australia. They then face Switzerland, Brazil, The Netherlands, Russia, USA, Finland and Denmark.

Skip James Russell said: ” Hello members and fans. Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support, with special thanks going to those of you who have helped us out with our preparations for the World Mixed in Kelowna. Myself, Ailsa, Arran, and Coach Callan have been working hard over the start of the season both on our curling and team building at the new curling academy in Stirling, Greenacres, and Kinross. While super lead Katie Kerr has been travelling across the United States on her free weekends to practice tick shots. Glamorous locations include Baltimore, Phoenix, and Ice Station Valencia. 
“Arran and Steve were sent out earlier than everyone else in order to scout out the local gym scene so the team can relax between games and I have it on good authority that that is exactly what they have been doing. The ‘Vice on the Ice’, Ailsa Anderson, arrived in Canada on Wednesday  and rumour has it that she has been sitting in an ice bath since in order to be acclimatised to any conditions during the competition. I am currently sitting in Calgary Airport awaiting my connection to Kelowna, wondering if I will be able to convince the rest of the team that pizza is the ideal food for competition. Katie Kerr for once has the shortest distance to travel to get to the championships and is celebrating this by arriving last. 
“For all of us it will be our first world championships and we could not be more proud to do it representing Ireland. Shoulder to shoulder we will stand and hopefully we will make you all proud.
“Finally, as many of you know we are the first Irish team competing since the passing of our friend and founding member Tony Tierney. We would like to dedicate our time at the worlds to Tony as our way of thanking him for all he has done for the ICA. We would also like to give our deepest condolences to Charlotte and Tony’s family. May he rest in peace.”
 

Opening bonspiel at Greenacres

Frances Donald, John Graham, President David (presenting), Carolyn Hibberd and John Reidy

Welcome to the new season and congratulation to John Graham’s team who took the prizes at the ICA Opening Bonspiel at Greenacres Ice Rink.

A total of six rinks took part and before the players took to the ice a minutes silence was held in in memory of Tony Tierney.

We also welcomed two new members, Eleanor Burns (the new Mrs John Burns) and  John Reidy.

RESULTS:

Neil Fyfe beat Marie O’Kane 8-2
Bill Gray beat James Russell 10-2
John Graham beat David Whyte 12-2 ( no respect for the Pres!)
President David Whyte said: “Remember to get your names down for  the Fyfe Trophy on 20 October and the next Bonspiel on 11 November and finally, we all wish James and team well in the Mixed at Kelowna in Canada.”

In memory of Tony Tierney 1949-2018

 

As an association, but more so as a group of close friends, members of the ICA are having difficulty coming to terms with the passing of one of our most illustrious members, Tony Tierney.

This is a tribute to Tony, seen through the prism of Irish curling.

Photo credit – WCF

Tony and his two-year battle with cancer went down to the last stone in an extra end. We all knew it was peels at the start of the year and although Tony fought all the way, throwing guard after guard in the path of his disease, his opposition had the crucial last stone. We all prayed for a reprieve for him, that cancer would come up short, but it drew the shot and Tony shook hands and left the ice with his head held high, having given his all.

Tony was one of the original members of the Irish Curling Association, a regular supporter of its competitions and a committee member for many years.

Tony also had the honour of playing for his country 104 times. During his Irish curling career, he achieved the one thing that every competitive sportsperson dreams about – he became a world champion.

Tony (second left) with his teammates and coach – photo credit – WCF

Tony played lead in the Irish team that won the World Men’s Senior Championships in Tårnby, Denmark, in April 2012, in one of the most unforgettable weeks of his life. He and his teammates – Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray, David Whyte, David Hume and coach Gordon McIntyre – went through the entire championships undefeated and beat hot favourites Canada in an extra-end to take the gold.

His sterling performance for Ireland in Tårnby led to the nickname ‘Tony Two Ticks’ but he was even more proud of his teammates, after that monumental success, than he ever was of himself.

Photo credit – WCF

He followed that up four years later in Karlstad, Sweden, winning a bronze medal at the same championships, playing for Ireland with Peter Wilson, Peter JD Wilson, Ross Barr, Neil Fyfe and, once more, coach Gordon McIntyre, one of Tony’s closest friends.

European ‘B’ Gold medallists 2007 – left to right – Neil Fyfe, PJ Wilson, Robin Gray, Peter Wilson, Tony Tierney and coach Ron Myers.

He was also in the team that won Ireland’s very first gold medal at any championships, winning the European Curling Championships ‘B’ League in Füssen, Germany, in 2007 with Peter Wilson, Robin Gray, Neil Fyfe, PJ Wilson and coach Ron Meyers. From 2005 to 2016, he represented Ireland in eight World Senior Championships, two European Championships, six European Mixed Championships and one World Mixed Championships.

Photo credit – WCF

On the ice Tony was committed, competitive and played hard to win. He was also famous for taking into consideration every possible outcome before making a tactical decision and was locked into a wonderfully idiosyncratic pre-shot routine that he was mercilessly ribbed about.

Off the ice, ‘Tony Terrific’ was nothing short of a legend. Blessed with exquisite comic timing, he was a regular when curling social events called for an entertainer. His stand-up routine was unforgettable, with his audience bent double with laughter as Tony reached the punchline. Aided by his “it’s the way I tell ‘em” Belfast accent; such was his talent and command of the floor he managed to make often told tales sound just as fresh and funny as the first telling.

We all will have our favourite Tony Tierney joke, but I doubt we will ever want to hear them again as only Tony could tell them…… and sadly, he is suddenly gone and with him, the magic of a storyteller with the room in the palm of his hand.

Photo credit – WCF

Of course, our sadness pales in comparison with what his devoted wife Charlotte and his family are going through and our deepest sympathies go out to them at this most difficult of times.

Tony had many things to be proud of away from curling. He was a successful and respected businessman with a wide circle of friends. He was a man of integrity, honesty and faith. He was warm, witty, charming, easy-going and generous to a fault, but most of all he was happy and fulfilled in his personal life. He adored Charlotte who was clearly the love of his life, as he was hers.

It was with that immense love as his talisman that he fought leukaemia so long and so bravely.

Photo credit – WCF

In his lifetime, Tony Tierney conquered the world, but his world was Charlotte and their life together and he would want our gaze now to turn to her and to give her all the strength and support we can.

That, surely, would be the finest of tributes to Tony.

Tony Tierney – world curling champion. April 21st, 2012.

 

 

Garmish summer spiel

Louise , Bill, Frances and Ian.

ICA members went up the Zugspitze during their summer break in Garmisch

Two rinks from the ICA took part in the summer bonspiel over in Garmsich-Partenkirchen, Germany, last week with the ‘Paddy Power’ team of Bill Gray, Louise Kerr, Ian Donald and Frances Donald winning the low road.

 

Arran, Johnjo and Gillian

The other team, called the ‘Green Giants’, consisted of Johnjo Kenny, Arran Cameron and Gillian Russell. They played their way into the top league but had a bad last day on the ice to miss out on top spot. Unfortunately, the fourth member of that team had to withdraw from the event due to illness in her family. The ice in the imposing Olympic stadium was a challenge for all the teams due to the very warm conditions outside, making the ice both heavy and frosty, and some of us had to re-boot our backswing delivery to get the stone to the other end! The ice did improve a little on the second and third days and the ice makers worked tirelessly to make it as playable as possible.

Curling titans Andrea Schopp and Johnjo Kenny

Eighteen teams took part this year including local German teams, teams from Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Ukraine.

The ICA party enjoy rinks beside the lake before dinner outside the hotel in Grainau.

The organisers did a fantastic job hosting the event with a drinks party the first evening, a barbeque the second night and a superb grand dinner at a hotel in Grainau, at the base of the Zugspitze mountain, on the final evening.

A special thanks from everyone to Arran Cameron who undertook the bulk of the organisation for the trip.

Day 6 in Östersund

The Irish teams in Östersund at the World Seniors and Mixed Doubles on the last day of the round robin games.

Photo: @WCF / Richard Gray

The Senior men played Russia in a tense, closely fought game, but a steal of 2 in the final end saw an end to their progression prospects.

Bill Gray commented “Didn’t do enough to put away the challenge of a spirited Russian team. This leaves us at the mercy of the Draw Shot Challenge which isn’t good enough to rank us above Finland. Looks like the dream is over for this year. ☹”

They finish 4th place in group C with 3 wins and 3 losses.

Photo: @WCF / Richard Gray

The Senior Women took on Latvia in their last game of the competition.

Ireland lost their last game to Latvia

They finish 6th place in group B with 2 wins and 5 losses.

Photo: @WCF / Richard Gray

The Mixed Doubles duo played Brazil in their last round robin game of the competition. This was one of their best performances of the competition so far and a very closely fought game.

They finished in 8th place in group E with no wins.

Day 5 in Östersund

The Irish teams in Östersund at the World Seniors and Mixed Doubles day 5 of the round robin games.

The Senior Women had a tough game against the Finnish team.

Tomorrow they have another early start, playing their final round robin game against Latvia at 08:00.

The Senior men played in a crucial game against USA. Bill Gray commented “Massive result from the competition perspective. Still haven’t played our best but one more win tomorrow morning should see us into the playoffs. Great support from our fellow Irish Athletes!”

They are currently third in group C – all to play for as they play their final round robin game against Russia at 08:00 tomorrow with a chance to qualify for the playoffs.

Seniors support from the Mixed Doubles team – John Furey and Eoin McCrossan Photo: @WCF / Tom Rowland

The Mixed Double duo played Austria. Tomorrow they meet Brazil at 17:45 in their final round robin match.

Day 5 in Ostersund – women’s view

Ireland 2 Finland 9

Ireland and Finland ladies teams after their game this morning

Another defeat here in Ostersund this morning against a very accomplished Finnish team. The Irish once more won the draw shot challenge, thanks to Christina and Clare, but, apart from a good second end were out-curled by the opposition. Two of them live on a small island called Aland, half way between Finland and Sweden, where there is a curling rink! One more game to go against Latvia tomorrow.

After the curling and before supporting the men in their crucial game against the USA, the women walked to the nearby ICA Supermarket! There we found a cafe with coffee and cakes at reasonable prices!

The name tickled us so much we had to get our coach Gerry to take a photo of us outside.

Day 4 in Östersund

The Irish teams in Östersund at the World Seniors and Mixed Doubles day 4 of the round robin games.

The Senior Women had a tough game against the undefeated Scottish group leaders in the first session of day 4. The team concluded “We were outplayed by a very classy Scottish team.” Tomorrow they have another early start, playing Finland at 08:00.

The Senior men played Croatia in the evening and got one step closer – only two more games to go. They commented “Not particularly impressive for the first four ends but ran out comfortable winners against Croatia“. They are currently fourth in their group – all to play for as they meet team USA at 12:00 tomorrow.

The Mixed Double duo had a two match day. They played Germany in the morning and Guyana in the late evening. Tomorrow they meet Austria at 17:45.

Photo: @WCF / Richard Gray

Photo: @WCF / Richard Gray