Brier bits 3

Everyone sings the Canadian National Anthem before each draw

Everyone sings the Canadian National Anthem before each draw

Team Canada discuss their optiona against New Brunswick

Team Canada discuss their options against New Brunswick this afternoon.

Just back from watching Team Canada go 7-0 down after four ends against Saskatchewan. Poor Johnny Mo had a shocker. My cousin is convinced he is suffering from the curse of the Irish pin.

Team Canada finally got on the board and chipped away but they lost the game and you can see they are feeling the pressure of being the first Team Canada. Not having had to prequalify has put them at a disadvantage at this level. Northern Ontario on the other hand are pin sharp and a mean mean curling machine. One shot an inch out of place and they will eat you for breakfast. Koe won again tonight but his last draw was light played and his sweepers carried it miles. The home crowd also helped by roaring encouragement to the two sweepers to keep pumping those arms all the way. PEI have been a surprise but all that young team have played some excellent shots and are unfazed by any of the teams they meet.

Off the ice it was minus 16 today and we battled through a blizzard to get to Tim Hortons coffee shop for my ‘Timmys’ hit. The snow storm thankfully passed but it will be minus 30 tomorrow before ‘warming up’ later in the week.

Today I ate a jelly doughnut then a Timmys Brier doughnut. Lunch was the buffet in the posh restaurant in

The wean magnet. Ah well, makes a change from cats.

The wean magnet. Ah well, makes a change from cats.

the Saddledome again with my usual five puddings. Then it was a beer – I like the local Calgary brewed Orignal 16. Then a hot dog followed by a slice of pepperoni pizza and a mango smoothie!

Success at Braehead

IMG_1221Team Gray in the upcoming Irish Mixed Playdowns got together to play in the Brechin and Allcomers Trophy event at Braehead on Sunday.

Great to see new member Jacqui Barr joining up with Dad, Ross, for the first time on the ice, alongside Margarita Sweeney-Baird and Bill Gray who had hot-footed it from the Rink Championships in Forfar.

The newly formed team won all four of their 5 end games to lift the Brechin Trophy in the 4 game schenkel competition. Skip Bill said the quickfire competition was like speed dating on ice but he was delighted for the four of them to get a run out before the playdowns at the end of March.

Brier bits 2

The Saddledome

The Saddledome

Hanging out with cousin Rhonda at the Brier Patch

Hanging out with cousin Rhonda at the Brier Patch

A smile from Kevin.

A smile from Kevin.

Would you Adam and Eve it. The things you learn when you are sipping a beer in the Brier Patch. Turns out cousin Liz’s husband Rodney’s brother Kevin was married to Hec Gervais‘  daughter!

Today Kevin Koe got back to winning ways after two defeats. His Alberta team beat Onterio tonight quite comfortably. He must be the coolest dude in curling. It doesn’t matter if he nails a triple or stuffs a four foot draw through the back his face never shows a trace of emotion. No fist pumping, no roaring at the sweepers, no brush banging and no high fives. Zen like state of calm control.

Today I ate – a jelly doughnut, a cinnamon ring, buffet lunch was ham, ceasar salad, potato gratin, blueberry pie, chocolate slice, strawberries and cherry pie, then nanchos and cheese followed by a huge pretzel and two beers!

That was three games today so I am getting wabbit (taught my 5 year old cousin Olivia a new word today – ‘boak’ as in ‘Kevin Koe looked like he was going to boak’).

Brier bits


Kevin Koe's slide is amazing.

Kevin Koe’s slide is amazing.

The Brier trophy

The Brier trophy

Met Johnny Mo outside the Brier Patch. He was thrilled to bits to receive an ICA pin!

Heaven on earth for me here – great curling, country music thumping out at the Brier Patch and wall to wall junk food.

Curling wise Johnny Mo and team Canada won a tight game v Manitoba and tonight a clearly unwell Kevin Koe lost after an extra end to British Columbia. He spend most of the first five ends in the toilet.

Pistol Pete wins Stranraer weekend

High Road winners

High Road winners

Peter Wilson and his rink of Lauren Morgan, Gerald Bailey and Margarita Sweeney-Baird were the popular winners of  the Stranraer International Weekend Bonspiel, topping the High Road with seven points.

High Road runners-up

High Road runners-up

Runners-up on six points were  Stewart Wilson (Peter’s brother), Elaine Turnbull, Tommy Campbell and Anne Stenhouse on six points. They had the same points and ends as Johnjo Kenny’s team but had a better shots total. John Burns’ team were fourth on six points. Neil Fyfe and Jim Cullen scored five points, PJD Wilson three and Bill Byers held up the High Road section on two points.

Low road winners

Low road winners

In the Low Road competition, the winners were Michael Sutherland, Fiona Turnbull, Ross Barr and Alison Barr on six points.

Low Road runners-up

Low Road runners-up

The runners-up were Andy Robinson, Rhona Robinson, Alan Griffiths and Rosemary Griffiths on four points.

At the end of a grand weekend of curling, cuisine and craic, ICA President PJD asked wife Anne to hand over £25 McMillan Castle Hotel vouchers to the High Road winners; Tipperary Crystal wine glasses and boxes of red wine to the runner-up; boxes of Tayto crisps to the Low Road winners; Irish themed books to the Low Road runners-up and the consolation prize of  cans of Guinness to newcomer Ken Hutchison’s team.

Ken and Anne Hutchison were taking part for the first time.

Ken and Anne Hutchison were taking part for the first time.

It was great to welcome new member Jonny Harper over from Belfast to play in his first ICA event as lead to Marie O’Kane but the talking point of the whole weekend had to be Irish Pete’s fantastic last end last shot double raise double take out on Sunday morning to score four for the win against PJD when he was two down and PJD had one shot and was possibly lying two, with both stones buried behind a wall of stones. We are hoping to get the clip of the ‘shot of the weekend’ from the Stranraer Ice Rink video tapes for the ICA webpage.

Jonny on the right at the end of Marie's game against Bill

Jonny on the right at the end of Marie’s game against Bill

Saturday night’s raffle raised £300 for ICA funds. Thanks to all who brought raffle prizes and bought tickets.

Playdowns looming

The playdowns for the ICA men’s championships will be played at Dumfries Ice Bowl on Friday, March 6th; Saturday March 7th and Sunday March 8th.

There are two teams entered:

Peter Wilson, Andrew Gilmore, Alan Mitchell, Tony Tierney (Robin Gray unavailable for playdowns).

James Russell, John Furey, Johnjo Kenny, Arran Cameron, Eoin McCrossan (Craig Whyte unavailable for playdowns).

The championship will be a ‘best of five’ format  – all games 10 ends – with the winners going forward to represent Ireland at the European C League in Champrey, Switzerland, 12th – 17th October.

Three teams have entered for the Irish Mixed Championships:

Johnjo Kenny, Marie O’Kane, Tony Tierney, Jen Ward

Neil Fyfe, Alison Fyfe, David Whyte, Ailsa Anderson

Bill Gray, Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Ross Barr, Jacqui Barr

The playdowns for this will take place at Dumfries Ice Bowl on Saturday, 28th March and Sunday, 29th March. Round-robin games will be followed by a semi-final and then a final. The winners will represent Ireland at the World Mixed Curling Championships in Berne, Switzerland, 12th – 19th September.

Andrew joins the ICA

Sixteen-year-old Andrew Gilmore (right) is the ICA's latest recruit

Sixteen-year-old Andrew Gilmore (right) is the ICA’s latest recruit

A thousand welcomes to 16-year-old Andrew Gilmore who joined the Irish Curling Association at the weekend.

Andrew is a keen member of Stranraer Young Curlers and will be playing for Peter Wilson’s team at the men’s playdowns in Dumfries 6th / 7th / 8th March.

Andrew says he is delighted that he has been asked to curl with the  ICA and looking forward to his first game!
He lives with his mum and dad, John and Diane, a couple of miles outside the village of Drummore, near the Mull of Galloway. Andrew turned 16 last November started curling when he was in primary 7.  He is now in 5th year at Stranraer Academy and currently studying hard for his highers.  Andrew’s career plans are to apply to Glasgow City Nautical College to study as a deck officer, hopefully on cruise ships.  He plans to stay on at school for a sixth year as he can’t go to sea until he is 18.
His hobbies are curling, golf and sailing.  He  also plays the piano and has just passed his grade 5. He also plays the guitar.  Andrew has an under 17 Asham team which he skips.



Kinross Bonspiel Results

Kinross winnersAn excellent bonspiel was enjoyed by ICA members at Kinross Curling Rink on Sunday 8th February 2015.

Six teams played and the results were very close with John Furey playing an fantastic shot to take four and the last end and win the bonspiel.

The bonspiel was rounded off with a soup & sandwich lunch. Many thanks to Carolyn Hibberd for organising the event.

Final scores were:

John Furey, Gillian Drury, John Burns, Gillian Russell 8
Marie O’Kane, Ross Barr, Yvonne Chalmers, Nathan Furey 5

Arran Cameron, Christine Furey, Eoin McCrossan, Erin Furey 8
Ian Donald, David Hume, Christina Graham, Jen Ward 6

James Russell, Louise Kerr, David Hibberd, Frances Donald 8
Bill Gray, Craig Whyte, Alison Barr, Clare Darragh 6

Kinross Bonspiel team line-up

The teams have been picked for the ICA bonspiel at Kinross on Sunday at 12.15pm and the six rinks will line up thus:

Marie O’Kane, Ross Barr, Yvonne Chalmers, Nathan Furey
John Furey, Gillian Drury, John Burns, Gillian Russell

Arran Cameron, Christine Furey, Eoin McCrossan, Erin Furey
Ian Donald, David Hume, Christina Graham, Jen Ward

James Russell, Louise Kerr, Elizabeth McKay, Frances Donald
Bill Gray or Johnjo Kenny, Craig Whyte, Alison Barr, Clare Darragh