Irish Ladies Squad Day

LadiesSquadDayOn Saturday 6th April 2013, the Irish Curling Association held a squad session aimed at the lady members.

Although this came at the end of the current season it was attended by 5 members, Yvonne Chalmers,Frances Donald, Susan Scotland, Claire McCormick and Charlotte Tierney. Gordon McIntyre (Coach of the Irish Men’s Senior World Champion team) was in charge of the day.

We began with some gentle warm ups followed by an on ice delivery assessment of each player. When deliveries had been adjusted and Gordon was happy with the improvements then video and laser beam technology were used to record each delivery.

After lunch much discussion took place during the playback of the videos and everyone enjoyed “seeing oursel’ as ither’s see us”. Back on to the ice again to try out the new deliveries.

We then moved on and some time was spent in learning and applying split timing. This was followed by the players sweeping skills being analysed and the session finished with one end of curling being played to assess the ability of each person to judge correctly the sweeping of each stone.

Everyone enjoyed the day and wants to thank Gordon for his help and enthusiasm. Each person learned something new and will look forward to applying her new found skills next season.

All asked that these squad sessions can be continued next season and I was happy to inform everyone that the committee had this very much in mind.

This event was organised and reported on, by Carolyn Hibberd (ICA committee member)

WSCC 2013 Team Profile – Christina Graham

Christina profile pic

Name – Christina Graham
Age – Past caring
Occupation – Probate Genealogist
Status – single / married / divorced / still wondering? – Married
Children – names and ages please – David (39); Richard (37)
Years curling – 15
Home club and ice rink – Glasgow Ladies, Braehead, Glasgow

In-turn or out-turn? – Out-turn

Best ever curling memory? – Watching the Irish Seniors Men win the gold medal at Copenhagen 2012

Favourite sport outside curling:
To watch – Golf/tennis
To play – Golf

If you had to switch careers, what job would you do? – A Trapeze Artist

Favourite TV programme? – Borgen; anything with David Attenborough

Favourite holiday destination and why? – Favourite holiday: Trip to Antartica on Russian icebreaker – amazing, defies description; Favourite destination: Tra na Drum na Craig (Drumnacraig) in north west coast of Donegal, not far from Portsalon – the most beautiful and relaxing place in the world!

Apart from the ICA, what website do you spend the most time on? –

Best / worst subjects at school? – Maths/art

Who’d be your four ideal dinner guests? – David Attenborough/George Clooney/Edna O’Brien and Ursula, my beautiful granddaughter

Sum yourself up in five words – happy/enthusiastic/optimistic/organized/reliable.

WSCC 2013 Team Profile – Marie O’Kane

Marie profile picName – Marie O’Kane
Age – 61yrs
Occupation – Retired – Nurse
StatusChildren – None
Years curling – 28yrs
Home club and ice Rink – Greenacres Ice rink, Reform CC, Greenacres Ladies, ICA Leinster.

In-turn or out-turn? –No Preference.

Best ever curling memory? –. Taarnby Copenhagen 2012 watching Ireland’s men winning the World Seniors Gold Medal.

Favourite sport outside curling: to watch – Gymnastics, to play- Golf

If you had to switch careers, what job would you do? – Anatomist – academic

Favourite TV programme? – Anything to do with Archaeology.

Favourite holiday destination and why? – Italy for the scenery, climate, architecture, culture and food.

Apart from the ICA, what website do you spend the most time on? – Shopping,

Best / worst subjects at school? – best, Maths, worst, French.

Who’d be your four ideal dinner guests? –.Michael Palin, Eliza Manningham-Buller, John Simpson, Daniel Barenboim, and Lady Gaga (for Gerry)

Sum yourself up in five words – A happy and contented person.

Irish team beaten in final of Dalrymple Cup

THE prestigious final weekend at Stranraer Ice Rink for the Dalrymple Cup and the prize of a ten-day holiday in a McMillan Hotel was up for grabs at the weekend and Irish curlers were involved at the death.2013 Dalrymple Cup finalists

The final weekend sees all the season’s weekend competition winners return for a four-day curling extravaganza when stamina off the ice is equally important as stamina on the ice.

Reaching Sunday afternoon’s final were our very own Peter Wilson and David and Frances Whyte who had local crack curler Kara Compton keeping them right.

They qualified as the winners on the Irish International Bonspiel in February and Pete was keen to get some serious competition in ahead of next week’s World Seniors in Canada.

The team reached the final and had to hammer in the last end with the score ties with John Davie’s rink.

Then the roof fell in – only Pete knows what happened but his last stone left the station without him. Faced with an opposition stone just peeking out from behind a guard on the four foot he elected to chip it out but fell out of the hack.

Hey, it happened and the team should be congratulated for getting to the final of a very tough competition and they can look forward to consoling themselves over a pint or a gin and tonic with a prize of a week’s stay in a McMillan Hotel.

Mixed blessings

THE granite came finally to rest for the domestic ICA season with the Mixed Challenge at Greenacres Ice Rink at the weekend.
After three hard fought games it was Team Gray – Robin Gray, Louise Kerr, Johnjo Kenny and Hazel Gormley-Leahy – who will represent Ireland at the European Mixed Championships in September – destination unknown.
It did cross my mind to put up a post yesterday morning saying the WCF had announced it was back in Erzurum, but fear of giving our skip a cardiac arrest stopped me in my tracks.
The play-off deservedly went the distance as the teams were very evenly matched. Everyone played some great shots but missed the odd one too.
Even looking at the linescores it’s difficult to remember exactly how it all unfolded. It’s much easier to do that sitting on your ars* in the bar watching. Those supporters behind the glass on Friday night who were busy discussing their summer holiday destinations at the start of the seventh end with the score at 6 -1 in Team Gray’s favour, soon turned their attention back to the ice as car crash curling left Neil Fyfe with a simple draw for a five to even the score going into the last. However, Robin Gray make a name for himself in curling by knowing how to draw the four foot and he duly delivered with the last stone of the game for the win.
The second game was very close at the way through with the Fyfe-led foursome stealing a two in the seventh to put the pressure on the opposition. In the last end was woefully short with a draw and I will still be playing that shot again (at the right weight) for at least another couple of weeks! For Robin’s last stone he tried a tricky wick- in to go for a championship-winning three but in the end it didn’t work out so we were into the high-noon decider.
Tem Fyfe – Helen Wilson, Billl Gray, Alison Fyfe and Neil Fyfe now had their tails up and sniffed blood when taking a two at the first end. Apart from Team Gray blanking the second it was two’s all the way after that.
The turning point was, once again, the seventh when Gray’s rink playing a steady end and had three shots locked around the button with only Neil’s last stone to come. Even at HIS strike weight he could only remove one cleanly. A second oppostion stone spun out as far as the 12 foot and was declared second shot after a measure. That steal of two left the Gray quartet with the straightforward job of running their opposition out of stones in the last end.
But Team Fyfe fought all the way and had three in the rings at the business end of the decider.  Frantic sweeping (stiff arms this morning) saw Robin’s last strike whistle past a guard by a whisker to lift a double and secure Team Gray’s second Irish mixed title.
It was unfortunate that PJ Wilson’s infamous back problem came back to haunt him a few days before the challenge but Bill Gray was a more than adequate replacement and Team Wilson did him proud on the ice. Hopefully, coming so close to glory will have fired them up for next season’s mixed competition.
Off the ice it was an enjoyable social  weekend and  thanks go especially to Carolyn Hibberd and Liz Knox for accommodation and sustenance for various team members.
Hazel came all the way from Malaga to reaquaint herself with the game of curling after a break of six months. We worked as a team  with Johnjo  translating Robin’s on ice instructions for her while I had  to explain the Greenacres scoreboard system on several occasions. Could she get her head round the score was in the middle and the ends went above or below – no. In the end I told her: “Mon ami, for someone who speaks four languages it’s not ******* rocket science.”
So…….moving on…….what happens in September?
If anyone out there has offical news the mixed IS at Murrayfield can you let us – and wee Evie – know please.