Four Nations 2014 Results

FourNations2014-2Another fantastic weekend of curling at the Four Nations in Hamilton hosted by the Irish Curling Association. Scoring was provided by Adrian Meikle with a very informative scrolling display (final version here) letting everyone know where they were at on the seven trophies up for grabs.


The event was well supported by all four nations and everyone enjoyed a very sociable dinner and disco on the Saturday evening. As always, entertaining speeches were given by all national associations, topped of course by our ‘guest’ speaker Bill Gray. The Irish Curling Association also marked its 20th Birthday with a cake cut by some of our founding members.

Ireland accept the Turnbull cup from England.

Ireland accept the Turnbull cup from England.

Scotland picked up 3 trophies, Wales took 2 and England & Ireland both took 1, so no-one went home empty handed.


As Wales beat us, maybe the President and Secretary might not have been quite so happy?

ICA President, Peter Wilson chaired the prize giving.

ICA President, Peter Wilson chaired the prize giving.

Summary aggregate scores are:
Marshall Millennium – Ireland 20 Scotland 41
Meikle Trophy – Wales 38, Ireland 27
Turnbull Cup – England 20, Ireland 30
Kay Trophy – Wales 28, England 34
Tom Ballantyne – England 42, Scotland 58
Connie Miller – England 10, Scotland 18
Big Bertha Stone – Scotland 22, Wales 32

FourNations2014-TrophiesSee Adrian Meikle’s full summary of the weekends score at here.

Ireland hosts Four Nations 2014

IRISH curlers will be gathering at Lanarkshire Ice Rink, Hamilton this weekend (18/19th January 2014) for the annual Four Nations Curling Championship and this year Ireland are hosting the event.

Last year saw Ireland beat Scotland but lose to Wales and England. The previous year Ireland won two trophies and the year before all three,  so let’s all hope that the emerging pattern here doesn’t come to it’s natural  conclusion with Ireland winning zero trophies in 2014!

Ireland participates in three of the seven inter country trophy challenges, playing 4 games in each (1 mens, 1 ladies and 2 mixed). The winner is the country with the highest aggregated shots up total over all four games.

The trophies competed for during the Four Nations weekend are:
* Marshall Millennium Trophy (Scotland versus Ireland)
* Meikle Trophy (Wales versus Ireland)
* Turnbull Trophy (England versus Ireland)
* Welsh Stone (Scotland v Wales)
* Kay Trophy (England v Wales)
* Tom Ballantyne Trophy (England v Scotland men)
* Connie Miller Trophy (England v Scotland women)

Irelands game times are as follows:

Saturday 18th – 9.00am – Men & Women V Scotland / 12noon – Mixed V Wales / 3.00pm – Mixed V England.

Sunday 19th – 9.00am – Mixed V Scotland / 11.30am – Men & Women V Wales / 2.00pm – Men & Women V England.


The 26 plucky volunteers representing Ireland on the ice this year are:

Starting of course with John Burns (our long suffering serving secretary and moving alphabetically through the ranks, Steve Callan, Arran Cameron, Yvonne Chalmers, Paul Cromey, Helen Cross, Claire Darragh, Francis Donald, Christine Furey, John Furey, Alison Fyfe, Bill Gray, Carolyn Hibberd, David Hume, JohnJo Kenny, Clare McCormick, Alan Mitchell, Jim Nixon, Kathie Nixon, Marie O’Kane, Tom Roche, David Smith, Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Craig Whyte, Frances Whyte and not forgetting Peter JD Wilson.

Squad system made the difference

JohnJoNewly crowned Irish senior champion skip Johnjo Kenny talks to Louise Kerr about what this win means to him and his team, what made the difference at the weekend and what are his plans for the future:

LK – A successful weekend by the narrowest of margins, can you summarise how you saw the games and the weekend?
JJK -We expected it to be a tough weekend and were not disappointed. The first game was really over after 2 ends when we went 6 up but that possibly worked well for Pete’s team as they then had 5 ends of good stress free practice. Game 2, we felt in control and were 3 up but David Whyte had a horrendous pick in end 6 which opened the door for them and they jumped through it to get a 3 back and then my last stone in 7 picks to gift them a two…that was a sore one!  In game 3 they just outplayed us throughout and that left us drowning our sorrows in the last chance saloon. An early team meeting on Sunday and a change of strategy and tactics gave us good focus and despite living dangerously with this aggressive game we did enough to get through the last 2 games…just!  Fair play to Pete, Peter, David and Tom though, they played a really strong weekend. Ultimately with 5 games of such intensity in a relatively short period, especially in seniors, our ability to rotate our front end with the 5 man squad was a big factor, possibly the determining one.
LK – How did the squad format work for you?
JJK – I think we are all comfortable with it. We all get on well together, even in defeat, and we recognize that the recruitment of Neil (Fyfe) strengthens our squad. David Hume wasn’t called into action this weekend but
took a full part in everything, including keeping the rest of us organised, booking meal times and organising the game drinks and nutrition (bananas and jelly beans!). That really typifies the spirit in the squad.
LK – How does it feel to win your first Irish seniors title?
JJK – It’s great. It is a bit strange to have been World Champions before winning our own Championship but while nothing will ever beat that afternoon in Copenhagen, this came mighty close. Before stepping onto the ice for the final game I reminded the guys how lucky we all are to be participating in a national championship and we should really enjoy these moments. You never know if you will experience it again. Sometimes you just lose sight of the bigger picture and a big part of our team has always been trying to enjoy the moment. I think we managed that for the 5th game and it paid decent dividends.
LK – And preparation between now and April?
JJK – Nothing planned, I think we need to savour this and maybe have a wee celebration event when my alcohol fast is over. Eventually there will be practice..lots of it!!

Mens senior playdowns, Dumfries – game 5


JOHNJO Kenny, Bill Gray, David Whyte, Tony Tierney, Neil Fyfe along with coach David Hume are the 2014 Irish mens senior champions after winning the five-game challenge against Peter Wilson, PJ Wilson, David Smith and Tom Roche three games to two.

In the deciding rubber, David Whyte lead and Neil Fyfe played second stones in the five-man Kenny squad. The teams swapped ones before, at the third end, JJ was forced to take his one after good play from the Wilson quartet. The fourth was blanked, but only after Kenny had to play a beezer to take the momentum away from Wilson. Pete’s team looked good for a two but a hit and roll directly in line with Wilson second shot back eight from JJ changed things. Wilson was left with a tricky hack weight hit to try and punt the shot past his own stone and lie two but he got it too square and clipped his own stone on the way past, rolling it out. JJ hit and stuck, Pete then hit and rolled out.

There were lots of stones in play in the fifth. For the skips’ stones, JJ elected to guard his shot on the back eight, Pete tried to come through a port to lie shot but caught a front stone, JJ drew second shot down the other side. Pete’s tap back attempt on the Kenny stone didn’t draw enough, giving up two. 4-1 to Kenny.

In the sixth end, crucial stones played down the left side of the sheet  all seemed to draw too much. Bill tried to guard, so did JJ, and both left the door wide open. But PJ’s hit on the Kenny shot at nine o’ clock on the four foot also drew off the target. Pete, at a lighter weight, only succeeded in knocking Kenny in for two. JJ ‘s second guard did the trick leaving Pete with a very difficult draw through a small gap. it has to be perfect weight and line but was a shade heavy and when it wrecked on a front stone, the Wilson challenge was extinguished for 2014 as the teams shook hands with the score 6-1 to Kenny. That team will now represent Ireland at the World Seniors back at the Ice Bowl in Dumfries from April 23-30.


Kenny   1 0 1 0 2 3 x x    7
Wilson   0 1 0 0 0 x x     1

Mens senior playdowns, Dumfries – game 4


Didn’t I say it would be a photo finish…….
The Kenny team evened things up at two games all with a 4-2 win at Dumfries Ice Bowl this morning.
The form pendulum swung back towards Kenny’s team today, Whyte was sitting this game out and Fyfe playing second stones. JJ missed a free draw for a two in the fourth end when he was short and in the fifth Kenny was again lying two when PJ played a cracking first stone to knock the hidden Kenny shot stone off the four foot. There was still the chance to lie two and put pressure on Wilson but Gray’s hit jammed the Wilson counter straight back onto their own shot. JJ had a good freeze attempt and Wilson’s first shot to tap his stone up was a fraction too heavy leaving Kenny lying shot. JJ guarded out front but the door was open for the hit for a three, but Wilson was surprisingly wide away and Kenny breathed a sigh of relief and stole the one.
In the sixth end the Wilson team built up their stones at the front of the house and attempts by Kenny to get a shot hidden on the button failed. PJ had a hit to lie three but it drew too much leaving Kenny again lying one. JJ went for the freeze to lie two but it drew across the face of his own stone leaving an angle for a double take out and a big end for Wilson but Pete seemed to play control instead of strike and his shooter drew too much and just nicked the first of the Kenny stones leaving JJ lying shot once again. Another steal and a 4-1 lead for Kenny.
In the seventh Pete had a great draw to the top four for shot with his first stone, JJ guarded the draw on that side, prepared to give up the one. Pete had to draw to just touch the edge of the four foot on the other side of the sheet for his two but was too light. 4-2.
Kenny tried to run Wilson out of stones in the last end. When it got to skips’ stones the Wilson crew had one stone a yard short of the house and Pete almost played a perfect shot to tuck right in behind it but just nicked the guard and rolled into the house in the open leaving JJ a simple hit for the game.
Gosh, it’s getting exciting now……
Great coverage from the staff at Dumfries Ice Bowl with both the webcam and commentary. Just about as good as being there.


Wilson     0 1 0 0 0 0 1 x  2
Kenny     1 0 0 1 1 1 0 x   4

Mens seniors playdown, Dumfries – game 3


Seniors-Playdowns-2013-Dumfries-2THE defending champions put their foot on the accelerator in this game winning in good style while the Kenny contingent, with Fyfe back in at lead, wilted.

The game will be rembembered for a bizarre incident at the start of the seventh end when the right-hand hack at the away end became unstable. Ice technicians tried without success to remedy the problem so, after a lengthy debate, all the stones in play had to be positioned at the other end and that end and the last end were both played going in the same direction. Has that ever happened before? There’s a question for all you curling anoraks out there.

The next game is 9am tomorrow morning. If the Wilson rink win they are throught to the world championships in Dumfries in April, if they lose, it goes to a 2pm decider.


Kenny  0 0 1 0 0 0 0 x  1
Wilson 1 0 0 0 2 1 1 x  5

Mens senior playdowns, Dumfries – game 2


Seniors-Playdowns-2013-Dumfries-6IT was a closer affair this time with the Wilson rink winning 9-5 after eight ends.

Kenny, with Tony Tierney in at lead, took a 5-2 lead after scoring two in the fifth, but an ugly end for them at the next saw Wilson pouce and take a big three to even the scores at 5 all.

The seventh end saw Wilson team take a two shot lead after the Kenny crew had a succession of ropey shots. Kenny had last stone and with Wilson lying shot, but open, in the top four foot, JJ ignored the chance of taking a one, electing instead to hit his own stone, frozen on top of the Wilson second shot at 11 o’ clock on the twelve foot. If he removed the Wilson stone he would go into the last end one down with hammer. That was the plan. But as we can’t see on the webcam link, we can only assume the stone must have picked up as it was last seen heading fo the adjacent sheet.

In the last end, JJ was left with a difficult triple to get his two and take this match to an extra end but it didn’t work out and Wilson took a two for the 9-5 win.

One game all.

So….. to use the terminology of the only sport I know hee-haw about; this is a grand national not a 2,000 guineas and we could well be heading for a photo finish tomorrow afternoon.


10 am
Kenny 0 2 1 0 2 0 0 0    5
Wilson1 0 0 1 0 3 2 2    9

Mens senior playdowns

DumfriesIceBowl-PeckyThe Irish senior mens playdowns take place this weekend at the Dumfries Ice Bowl.

There are two teams entered. The defending champions are skipped again by Peter Wilson with PJ Wilson, David Smith (new to the team this year) and Tom Roche.

The other team are the familiar line-up of Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray, David Whyte, Tony Tierney and David Hume with new ‘sixth man’ Neil Fyfe.

They will play the best of five and the game times are:

  • 6pm Friday 10th January,
  • 10am and 3pm Saturday 11th January
  • 9am and 2pm Sunday 12th January

(if as a best of five it is not decided before then.)

DumfriesIceBowl-CurlingLiveThe games will be webcast and you can access them via this link.