ESI 2012 – Day 3

Irish Mens team vs Wim Neeleman (Netherlands)

Team took to the ice without hard working skip JJ in the clash with the Dutch. Team Ireland started well with a 2 in the first followed by a superbly engineered steal of 5 to lead 7-0 after 2 ends.

The game progressed with Team Ireland continuing to control the game. The Dutch scored a two in the third followed by Ireland taking a single and then a stolen single to lead 9-3-and then traded singles with the hammer to run out 10-4 winners. It was an excellent performance from the team but skip Bill Gray commented that the much improved game by lead David Hume was an important factor in the win.

On to the eagerly anticipated clash with former World Champion Keith Prentice on Friday morning, which was a must win game for the current World Champs to enable them to continue in the competition.

Team Prentice started with a single and a steal of one in the second to take an early lead. In the third end, David Whyte played an excellent freeze to lie shot behind guards in a complicated situation and after a few more stones, JJ had a peal weight take out shot to roll and tap the Prentice stone lying in second shot to score two and played it perfectly moving the opposition stone the required 2 inches.

This gave the team the confidence to go after a steal in the next which, after a draw by 3rd Bill Gray behind guards they managed to do with some excellent guard play.

The teams traded singles with the hammer, with Keith Prentice failing to blank the 7th end giving the Irish boys the hammer in the last.

With two stones left to play, Ireland were only lying second shot with a Prentice guard out front. The Scots tried to draw another stone down to prevent an angled tap by JJ but the shot over curled and opened up the front of the house. It was left to JJ to play a half stone takeout to score one for the victory. The Big Man nailed it with the minimum of fuss to win the game. The Irish boys were delighted with the win which they felt owed much to their steely determination and play under pressure. When asked for a quote the skip said “on to the next game!!”

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