Ireland gained some success at the recent European B League championships in Braehead when ICA member, Alan Mitchell, won a tremendous B league silver medal as coach to the successful Slovakian Men’s team. Not only did the team of Jakub Polák, David Misun, Patrick Kapralik & Juraj Gallo win the silver medal but gained promotion to the European A league for 2017. Congratulations, guys!
Well done to ICA members Robin Gray and Neil Fyfe who, along with team-mates Doug Kerr and Eric Richardson, won the Edinburgh International Senior men’s title at Murrayfield last weekend.
It had looked like the official men’s team – Peter Wilson, Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray and David Whyte, might make the final too, but unfortunately they were beaten in the semi by Callum Harvey.
Two teams of senior men represented the ICA at the annual European Senior Invitation last week at Greenacres Ice Rink.
Unfortunately there was no glory for the boys in green this year with both Peter Wilson’s team and Johnjo Kenny’s rink winning two games and losing three.
Johnjo Kenny and his rink of John Burns, David Hume and Gillian Russell won the Fyfe Trophy, the Irish Open Championships, at Braehead Ice Rink on Saturday.
Six rinks took park in the round-robin, five games of three-ends format, and two rinks played with three players only, due to last minute call offs.
The runners-up were David Whyte, Care McCormack and Bob Sherrard.
Third place in the high road went to Neil Fyfe, John Gilmore, Margarita Sweeney-Baird and Anne Gibson.
The winners of the low road were Alison Fyfe, Dave Hibberd and Eoin McCrossan.
Anne Gibson presented the trophy and medals to the winners on behalf of the Fyfe family.
I am pulling rank here and hijacking the ICA website to say thanks to everyone in the ICA and other curling associations who bought my book about the Galloway soldiers serving in the Great War – Galloway’s Great War, Volume I: August 1914 – August 1915.
The second book, Galloway’s Great War, Volume II: September 1915 – September 1916, will be on sale from November 11th. Again, a percentage of each book sold will go to Poppy Scotland.
In our last game, Team Ireland stepped up to the plate against a Slovakian team that needed a victory to progress. Right from the start, we were a totally different proposition than we had been in some of our previous games-perhaps because we were able to relax with the pressure off. Having said that, we desperately wanted to win to finish on a positive note. The Barr family provided us with the hammer courtesy of a great LSD from Jacqui and off we went. We were able to control the game pretty much all the way through with the exception of the 6th end. In that end a couple of takeouts that didn’t quite work out left the Slovakians with a draw for 3 which they would never have made had it not been for their exceptional sweeping which was a feature throughout the game. It just shows what can be achieved on ice this quick with dynamic sweeping. That three left us 4-3 down after 6. A well played end in the 7th allowed Bill to draw for 2 to go one ahead
The last end played out in our favour as the Slovakians failed to clear a couple of guards and with a stone on the 4ft, the skipper was able to play a top 12 biter to force the draw which just slipped deep and the win was secure. A good end to what I think we all agreed was a frustrating campaign in that a 3-3 record would have been a satisfactory result rather than 2-4.
All in all it has been a great experience for the team to be involved in a World Competition and we have had a lot of fun as well as enjoying the serious business of the curling. We have been privileged to represent Ireland and I’m sure all look forward to the opportunity at some pint in the future. Many thanks to all for your messages of support. They were much appreciated.
Two teams for the ICA played Ardrossan Castle at Greenacres last night in the oldest international fixture in curling – it has been played – on and off – since 1861.
The Irish team of Martin Sutherland (skip) Carolyn Hibberd, Marie O’Kane and Clare MacCormick (Lead) defeated the Ardrossan Castle side of Gordon Christie, Donnie Shedden, Bill Stevely and Angus Dodds by 13 shots to 3. The game seemed closer than that but our side were always able to get their stones in the right positions on very swinging ice where weight was crucial.
The other ICA team of Neil Fyfe, Christine Furey, Alan Mitchell and Erin Furey had a much closer tussle against Frazer Erskine , and C ,K, and G Millen.
This was a game of two halves with the Irish being 4-0 down after four ends. They fought back to level the game at 4 all but a brilliant last shot by skip Frazer swung the game Ardrossan’s way with the final score standing at 4- 7. Overall the winners of the Belfast Medal Trophy are the Irish Curling Association.
The player of the match, which was agreed by everyone, was young Erin Furey. At 11 years of age it was thought that she is the youngest winner of the oldest curling international fixture in the world. Also the youngest Irish player to have taken part in an International match. Our lucky little leprechaun has been booked for next year’s fixture!
The game was followed by a supper at the rink and time for a catch up with everyone
A slideshow of some of the fantastic shots of our Irish mixed team in action in Kazan this week. All photographs and courtesy and copyright of the World Curling Federation:
The coffin lid was finally nailed down on Team Ireland’s qualification hopes today in the match against Finland. It was tacked down after a disappointing LSD which effectively scuppered our hopes. In the match itself, it was the skips turn to catch the weight disease early on but a near freeze in the first lying four against with his last caused the Finnish skip to go safety first and a score of 2 resulted. We played much better at times during this game but the loss of a big 3 in the 4th put us on the back foot again and against a very accurate striking team as the Finns were, we just couldn’t keep enough stones in play to force either a multiple score or a steal. We have one more game tomorrow at 8am (the joys) against Slovakia so it’s off to late practice tonight and then up and at them tomorrow. There is a little extra spice in this in that Slovakia and England’s relative hopes rest on the result. Win for us and England go through; lose and the Slovakians get the nod over England and Finland they think. Anyway despite all of that we will be going all out to finish on a high.
Team Ireland took to the ice at 8pm last night for their only game of the day against the Hungarians who on paper at least looked a pretty strong team – and so it proved. Having given up the hammer from the LSD, we then compounded this by once again struggling with the weight on probably the fastest sheet we have played on so far (and the fastest I have ever experienced). Consequently we gave up a 4 and were on the back foot for the remainder of the game.
Hungary rarely missed a shot but we hung in after losing a further 2 in the 2nd and played some better shots but it’s fair to say that we were not allowed a look in as the opposition removed any opportunity of multiple scoring in a professional display. I would think they will go a long way in this competition. No excuses really; we can’t let a team such as Hungary get an early big lead as the standard of their play along with many others in this tournament is excellent. We still have a chance to qualify by winning our last two games and relying on some other results going our way so still plenty to go at. A day off today (watching SWE v ENG as I write this) and then up and at Finland tomorrow at 1200 MSK time.