MEN – IRELAND 6 NEW ZEALAND 5
THE first end gave us a false sense of security when a big three was posted for the Irish men in their game against the New Zealand team in tonight’s draw at the Grant Harvey arena here in Fredericton at the World Senior Curling Championships. But after taking their one, the New Zealand team stole a one at the next three ends. The team were on the rack at this point but Johnjo was pulling out a handful of key shots to keep the team in with a chance at every end. However the opposition were matching them, and even getting the better of them, at this stage.
The biggest problem for the supporters was the time clock was running down. At the seventh end they had the sense to call a time out to discuss what to do. Johnjo wanted to go for a guard to stop the Kiwi’s going for their two, as they were lying shot. But Pete was in favour of a hit in off an Irish stone on the other side. Pete won the day and the shot didn’t come off but, thankfully, the NZ skip caught the guard.
At the last end they boys needed to manufacture a two for the win. The Big Man set it up again with a draw to the back four behind two covering stones. The NZ skip could not follow and Pistol Pete drew the shot for Ireland to lie two. The Kiwi skip then tapped the shot stone back but left our Pete with a quarter stone hit to spring the NZ counter out to the left and win the game and with the crowd at fever pitch and the clock down to 23 seconds he delivered the shot with his characteristic aplomb.
After a debrief, team spokesman JJ said: “It was messy but it was a win and we will now move on.”
Team – P Wilson, JJ Kenny, PJ Wilson, T Roche.
MEN – IRELAND 4 SWITZERLAND 5
I just made it in to see the last end of the game when the score was four all. Pete’s last stone had to bite the button for the win but the sweepers were onto it too late and, even with four of them hammering into the ice, the stone ground to a halt top 12. That left the Swiss stone in shot position. The boys were naturally disappointed but this is a marathon not a sprint and they will take it shot by shot, game by game just now. Tonight the opposition is New Zealand who had a cracker of a game against Scotland, during the same session, taking a two to win in the last end.
Team – P Wilson, JJ Kenny, PJ Wilson, N Fyfe.
WOMEN – IRELAND 2 USA 11
The woman were caught out with the very swingy ice in this game as seven foot draws are not often encountered on curling ice back home. Hits, draws and tap backs were sailing past their intended target and it is a case of sweeping from the hogline all the way instead of waiting till the braking point when it is already too late. Marie again played two great shots against a pile of opposition stones and it was a relief to get to the end of the sixth to shake hands and go for a beer.
Team – M O’Kane, L Kerr, G Drury, C Graham.
That is our two toughest games out of the way now so hopefully we can learn from our mistakes and get a win on the board before we go home! The ladies have a day off tomorrow. Back on Tuesday to play Russia who were blown away by the might of Canada 21-1. But they kept smiling too!
The perils of seniors curling was highlighted yesterday when the New Zealand women’s second player collapsed on the ice during their warm up. She was stretchered off the ice and rushed to hospital with a suspected stroke.
MEN – IRELAND 5 SCOTLAND 4
THE Irish men’s team got their country’s defence of the men’s senior title off to a good start at the World Senior Curling Championships with a win over Scotland. The team had struggled with weight control on the very fast ice over the first few ends, and the Scots capitalised with a three in the second end. The Irish could have levelled the score at 3-3 in the third, but skip Pete’s last stone was heavy. It stayed at 4-2 for the Scots until the seventh end when Pete hit and stuck when trying to blank the end. One down and chasing the game, the turning point in the last end was Pete playing two great draws under pressure. His first drew to top eight behind a covering stone. Scotland’s skip David Hay tried for both stones but just lifted the first one. Pete then drew back four, at seven o’ clock, tucked in behind his first draw. David Hay was then heavy with his last stone gifting the Irish the steal of two and the win.
The same four will take to the ice in tomorrow morning’s game against Switzerland with Tom Roche coming on against New Zealand later in the day.
Team – P Wilson, JJ Kenny, PJ Wilson, N Fyfe.
WOMEN – IRELAND 2 CANADA 8
THE ladies had a difficult start against the home team and losing a three in the first end didn’t help matters. But skip Marie kept her head with two great draws to get the team on board and they played with more confidence in the second half of the tie. But at 8-2 down after six they shook hands.
Team – M O’Kane, L Kerr, G Drury, C Graham.
The WSCC Irish men’s team beat Scotland 5 – 4 in their first game.
The WSCC Irish ladies team lost 8 – 2 to Canada in their opener.
Off for food now so more details later.
Talking tactics at the opening banquet …
AFTER today’s WSCC practice session the men’s team line up for their first game against Scotland today at noon will be :
Peter Wilson – skip; Johnjo Kenny – third; PJ Wilson – 2nd; Neil Fyfe – lead.
Peter and Marie have just rolled up at the Delta Hotel. Both a bit frazzled looking………
BOTH Irish skips – Peter Wilson and Marie O’Kane – have had their flights out of New York delayed due to an ice and snow storm. They are both now in Montreal, having stayed overnight there, and are due to arrive here in Fredericton later this morning. All other team members are here.
The same snowstorm is due to hit the Canadian eastern seaboard later tonight and we will be visited by the white stuff all weekend.
PJ would like me to point out that the squirrel eating dog at their B&B is not a racist. He is quite happy to exterminate red and grey squirrels with equal gusto.
AN ice storm has left Irish men’s skip Peter Wilson stranded at an airport in New York. Flights have been cancelled all over eastern Canada and the USA and Pete’s flight has been delayed. His wife Elaine got through to PJ Wilson earlier today to say he was hopeful of getting to Montreal but did not know when he would be able to get a flight from there to Fredericton. We await developments but looks like he will miss practice……
Thankfully, Johnjo missed the chaos and should arrive here in a couple of hours.
Other news – after breakfast we took a walk downtown. It’s a brisk 15 minute hike to the heart of the city. Sun was out but there was a chilly breeze coming off the St John River. After a coffee and cake we found an Irish Bar showing the Masters so spend a happy hour with a beer – only some of us – and some crisps on the leather sofas in front of the wide screen telly. Could be our base for the week methinks.
The curling shop next to Home Hardware was a definate stop off and PJ got his shiny new shoes, Neil tried on all styles but could not decide on a winner but the prices are good (logically) compared to back home.
So, snooze time calls – then when JJ arrives we will go out to eat at the diner across from the hotel.
The B&B that the boys are staying in is 10 minutes walk from the hotel here. The owners, a very nice English couple, have a dog that eats squirrels. They feed the little fluffy tailed ones by putting nuts on top of the garden fence and then the dog picks them off one by one.
THE ICA advance party of PJ Wilson, Anne Wilson, Tom Roche and Louise Kerr have arrived safely in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada ahead of the start of the World Senior Curling Championships on Saturday.
Weather mild, food great, natives friendly – hambugers and beer have been demolished and it’s off to bed now after over 40 hours spent travelling.
More news tomorrow…………knackered.
Update – make that 30 hours travelling. There is perverse one-upmanship going on between us all involving long haul flights and time zones! Plod (Neil Fyfe) has appeared this morning – he is currently on his phone texting…….
Name – Louise Kerr
Age – 53
Occupation – Journalist
Status – single / married / divorced / still wondering? – single
Years curling – 39
Home club and ice rink – Glasserton CC. Stranraer Ice Rink / Atlantic Club, ICA.
In-turn or out-turn? – in-turn
Best ever curling memory? – Walking out behind the Irish flag at my first Euros in 2004.
Favourite sport outside curling:
To watch – horse racing.
To play – anything equestrian.
If you had to switch careers, what job would you do? – Argentinian Tango dancer in the streets of Buenos Aires.
Favourite TV programme? – Corrie / Strictly.
Favourite holiday destination and why? – Alps. Snow, wooden chalets and gluewein.
Apart from the ICA, what website do you spend the most time on? – E-Bay
Best / worst subjects at school? – Best – Scottish country dancing / worst – knitting.
Who’d be your four ideal dinner guests? – My four best friends.
Sum yourself up in five words – lazy, selfish, animal-loving spinster.