Louise: Now that the dust has settled I must firstly apologise to all blog readers for the lack of input during the worlds in Dumfries. Firstly, my playing partner banned me from doing any blogs about the men’s games in the hope I would concentrate on the mixed doubles. However, time just seemed to run away from us every day. Mind you, the majority of the people who read the blog were there anyway! so they know what happened.
John: In all fairness, the mens senior team consisted of 5 + coach. I was thinking that they had more than enough people to blog for themselves.
Lousie: On the ice, the mixed doubles was the usual mix of elation, devastation, drama, trauma, thrills and spills. We went into the competition very short of MD practice and that combined with taking time to adapt to the ice conditions resulted in a disappointing performance overall.
John: I’m trying to recall the trauma episode but I don’t think I actually hit Louise at any point in time. With a little distance I can now say that we were slow to adapt to the ice conditions but for the most part we were competitive.
Taking the games one by one:
Thursday 24th April 2014 3:45pm: CHINA
Louise: We were more than holding our own until one bad end when we lost a four.
John: I think we had them really worried until the four, I’ve never seen such obvious relief from an opposition team until that happened.
Friday 25th April 2014 2:30pm: FRANCE
Louise: we played out of our skins in the last four ends especially and were so close to the winning shot at the extra end.
John: I though I’d nailed the final draw…to pull an inch too far at the end was sickening.
Sat 26th April 2014 8am: GERMANY
Lousie: Neither John nor I can remember playing any good stones in this one but the Germans were worse!
John: Easily our worse performance of the competition. I think we encouraged the Germans though as I believe they went on to win their next match.
Sat 26th April 2014 5:45pm: NORWAY
Lousie: They were a class act and we tipped them to get a medal. Afterwards they told us that the legendary Norwegian coach Ole Ingvaldsen came out of retirement to help them as they were arguing so much with each other.
John: Far and away the best team in our group. And they ended up with nothing…like us.
Sunday 27th April 2014 2:30pm: USA
Lousie: Grannied in this one. I struggled to get the weight with my first stone and we kept losing ones. There is a difference playing on competition ice to ice rink ice. As I said at one point, it’s like curling on polished velvet. The stones sound different and react differently on hits. John was fighting hard looking for us to score a big end – rightly so – but I just would have been happy just to get on the scoreboard!
Our coach, PJ Wilson, was getting to the end of his tether by this time. Christine Cannon and Isobel Hannen from the Scottish ladies team came through from the seniors hall to support us and sat beside Pete on the bench. Looking at the distressed coach with his head in his hands, Issy chided: “Peter! Come on! Positive body language at all times!”
John: It’s possible to win a game in MD by only winning a couple of ends, but the USA were basically out drawing us every time.
Sun 27th April 2014 9pm: SPAIN
Louise: We went down 10-5 to the eventual bronze medallists after playing a much better game. But we really pi**ed them off by making them run us out of stones in the last end. They just could not get rid of the one they needed for the win….they were bemused, we were amused. But as JF says “you play the game to the rules of the governing body.”
John: By now we were starting to understand that it really was two and a half feet for a hit and we managed some nice run-backs in this game which we hadn’t managed to do all tournament. In the final end the Spanish kept looking at us as if to say why haven’t you conceded. I was more like why can’t you hit an easy double. And the stones needed to be returned to the home end anyway.
Mon 28th April 2014 5:45pm: NEW ZEALAND
Louise: That was a great game. Kenny Thomson and Waverley Taylor were just two of the nicest people we met. Kenny, as many will know, is originally from Uplawmoor. In fact, there were more people playing with Uplawmoor roots than the entire Chinese delegation. The Kiwis’ gave us a pounding for the first few ends but all of a sudden we got our shooting boots on and a series of good hits, especially John’s last double left us lying five! We stole at the next end, then lost a one but got a two at the 7th. We played a good last end and left Waverely with a hit for the one which she made and it was another extra end. They got the important shot on top of our stone on the button. Eventually we ran out of stones trying to dislodge it but we went down with Irish pride intact in that game.
John: Easily our best game of the competition. We took our tentative hitting game from the Spanish match and went hell for leather. The five was probably the high point of our tournament as we both made some great shots to make it happen. Lousie has forgotten that she basically had a hit for three that would have almost sealed the match for us but she only got the double. I also had a shot for the game, a tricky raise on an outlying rock but missed. So we had our chances. If we had played like this in the rest of the tournament the end result would have been far different.
Is it me to play or you?
Louise: Did you realise our combined ages totalled 100 while the Scottish pair’s combined ages is something like 38?
Louise & John: Many thanks to everyone who send cards and texts with good wishes and words of encouragement. They are very much appreciated.