More details and photos from the day to follow.
Congratulations to the winners!
Once every five years the Royal Caledonian Curling Club holds an Indoor Grand Match in ice rinks all across Scotland.
The Indoor Grand Match is a spin off event based on the traditional Grand Matches which are held on a frozen loch when temperatures and ice conditions permit.
Billed as the battle of North of Scotland versus South of Scotland this year’s event is set to feature over 2300 curlers competing in around 600 teams at 17 ice rinks across Scotland making it one of the biggest mass participation events in sport.
An imaginary line is drawn between the River Forth and River Clyde to decide the two sides and scores are compiled at the conclusion of all the games with the winner being the side with the most points.
The ICA will be represented by Bill Gray, David Whyte, Arran Cameron and Margarita Sweeney-Baird at Lockerbie Ice Rink at 10am, representing the North of Scotland against East Kilbride and Haremyres 3 from the South.
Ladies Team – 3pm – Ireland 7 Slovakia 6
The match first half was very tight with the first end blanked and then just exchanging singles.
Going into the second half, the Irish Ladies notched it up a gear and took a four in the fifth end. Unfortunately the Slovakians replied with a three in the 6th end and a further single in the seventh.
In the 8th end the Irish ladies scored a single to take the score to a peel and an extra end. However this left the Slovakians with the hammer and they took a single to win the match and the silver medal as well as promotion to the B division in November.
The Irish Ladies bring home the bronze medal and have shown great fighting spirit. Well done to Alison Fyfe (skip), Ailsa Anderson, Katie Kerr, Clare McCormick and Hazel Gormley-Leahy. Thanks also to coach Martin Sutherland.
Ladies team – 10am – Ireland 7 Belarus 5
This was the play-off between the third and forth ranked teams after a week of hard fought round robin games which ended in a spectacular tie-breaker with Spain to secure the fourth place.
Alison Fyfe’s team started very well taking a single against the hammer and collecting a further five points and conceding only two, going into the seventh end with a 6-2 score. Belarus fought back with a 3 in the seventh but Ireland had the hammer and took a single to win the match.
That guarantees them a bronze medal. One more game to go against Slovakia at 3pm for a chance of the silver medal and progression to the European Curling Championships B division in November.
Men’s Team – 10am – Ireland 3 France 5
A close, high quality match, saw Ireland eliminated in the European Curling 3 v 4 play-off game.
The Irish team had the better of the first half of the match to lead 3 – 1 at the fourth end break. However, soft ends by the Irish team in the fifth and sixth ends gave the French some hope.
Entering the eight end, the Irish required a two with the hammer. Ultimately the Irish had enough stones in the house but had to lift a double on the two French stones to take the match. The shot was played extremely well, but curled a centimetre too far leaving one French stone counting shot at the edge of the four foot.
The French win 5 – 3 taking them through to the silver medal game and a chance of promotion to the B division.
Ladies team – 8pm – Ireland 11 Spain 1
Having already played twice today, the Irish Ladies took to the ice again in a tie-breaking game against Spain to decide who gets the 4th place rankings and a chance to play-off for the medals tomorrow.
Alison Fyfe skipped her Irish team (Ailsa Anderson, Katie Kerr & Clare McCormick) to take a 3 in the first end with the hammer and a further 1 in the second against the hammer. They took a two more 3 shot ends and another single, only allowing the Spanish team a single shot in the third end.
Ireland play Belarus tomorrow at 10am and the winner will then play against the loser of the France v Slovakia game for a chance at silver medal and a promotion to the B division at Esbjerg, Denmark in November.
Men’s Team – 8pm – Ireland 10 Iceland 4
The Irish men tonight played their tenth and final round robin game against Iceland, knowing that a win would see them into the Saturday play-offs.
Knowing the strength of the Icelandic team’s draw, Ireland played a clean game from the get go, however a good draw by the Icelandic skip in end 1 against a 4 resulted in a jam with the Irish hammer, giving Iceland a 1. A strong second end with lots of stones in play gave Ireland a draw for the 3. A tight end in the 3rd forced the Icelandic skip to hit and stick for the 1 which he pulled off. The 4th end involved lots of exchanging of stones around the 4 foot before a strike presented itself for the Irish hammer to hit and stick for a 3.
After the break, the Irish had lots of stones in play, and the Icelandic skip was unable to hit and stick giving Ireland a steal of a 2. Iceland made some good freezes in the sixth end to set up a 2 for themselves, however in the seventh end Ireland executed a draw for a 2 to win the game.
In the same session France lost to Bulgaria and Slovenia beat Serbia, therefore Ireland play France in the 3 vs 4 play-offs tomorrow at 10am with the winner playing the loser of Slovenia vs Slovakia for the silver medal and a chance to progress to the B division.
Ladies Team – 8am – Ireland 4 Romania 12
Romanian team seem determined to take this game and managed to pull off several big ends to win the game.
Men’s Team – 12 noon – Ireland 4 Slovakia 2
A refreshed Irish men’s team awoke on Friday morning knowing that their fate was in their own hands in their bid to reach the playoff stage at this years European curling championships in Champéry. A solid performance gave them a 4-2 win which ended Slovakia’s undefeated run in the competition.
The Irish started well and forced their opposition to draw to the four foot to take one point. Following this, a missed hit in the second end gave up a steal of one. The third once again saw the Irish frustrated as a draw for two came up short and set the score at 2-1. The final end before the break was a better one from the Irish as they once again made their opposition face 2 with the hammer. A roll out meant the teams were all square after 4 ends.
With the Slovaks content to blank in the 5th end the Irish had one eye on home and forced their opposition to blank the 6th end too. Another penultimate end blank left the Irish clear in their intentions to muster a steal of one and take the game.
The final end began with guards in position and a missed tick from Slovakia. From here the Irish looked in charge thanks to missed double peels from their opposition. A hogged stone late in the end gave Slovakia a glimmer of hope but another missed double peel gave the Irish their chance to bury one right on the button. After a failed tap-back the Irish guarded as best they good and waited.
The Slovakians attempted a difficult double run-back to leave one red in the house but over-curled, missed the Irish shot stone and gave up a steal of 2 and the game.
The men now look forward to a final round robin game against Iceland at 8pm after which the play-off picture will be decided.
Ladies Team – 4pm – Ireland 9 France 4
The Irish Ladies ladies team matched the Irish Men in winning against the group leaders. France was dispatched with an impressive 9-4 score and the Ladies move straight to a tie-breaking game against Spain at 8pm for the 4th place.
Ladies Team – 12 noon – Ireland 3 Belarus 8
This looked like a close fought match from the scores as both teams had a score of 3 going into the seventh end but Belarus had the hammer and took a 5 to put an end to the game.
Tomorrows Ladies games are against Romania at 8am and France at 4pm.
Men’s Team – 4pm – Ireland 6 Luxembourg 2
The Irish men got their second win of a busy Thursday in Champéry against a seasoned Luxembourg outfit. Despite losing the hammer the Irish stole 2 in both the first and second ends by forcing the Luxembourgish skip into drawing for his final stone.
The third end left the Irish men with a bit of a conundrum for their last stone and a perfectly swept nose hit left the Luxembourgers with an even bigger quandary. A missed hit and roll attempt meant the Irish had successfully forced their one. A blank end followed to round out the first half after the Irish skip cleared a good freeze made by their opponents.
After the break the Irish found themselves in lots of trouble with the stochastic deliveries of the Luxembourgers being matched by the Irish. When the hammer came the Irish were lying 4 against but a good hit meant only a one was lost against the head.
During the 6th end the Irish again found themselves in trouble but hit their way to a blank end to start afresh in the penultimate end. Here a good split on staggered guards meant the Irish counted 2 in the 8 foot and then ran their opponents out of stones in the final end.
Men’s Team – 8pm – Ireland 1 Slovenia 8
A third win in three games proved beyond the Irish men tonight after a jaded performance against Slovenia. After several unsuccessful freeze attempts from both sides the Slovenians made a simple draw for two in the first end. In the second end the Irish missed a hit for a potential two points and gave up a steal of a single.
The third end saw the Irish left frustrated again when a draw came up short and Slovenia scored another 2 points. The conclusion of the first half saw the Irish skip successfully draw against 3 counters to the 8 foot to get Ireland on the board.
During the 4th end break a decision was made to play an all-out aggressive game in an attempt to try and steal ends and the game. A barely missed hit and roll meant the Slovenians had a draw for three which was missed and meant the Irish entered the 6th end 6 points down.
The 6th and final end started promising for the Irish but any momentum was halted with a great triple by the Slovenia second. After this, the Irish rolled out and gave up a one and accepted defeat and headed home to prepare for a crucial final day of the round robin stage.
The Irish men play undefeated Slovakia at 12pm and round it out with Iceland at 8pm and are still in contention for a playoff spot.
Mens Team – 8am – Ireland 8 Belarus 7
The Irish men’s team squeaked a win against Belarus this morning in the European C league.
Despite dominating the vast majority of the game, a soft three out of nowhere in the seventh gave the Belarusians a one shot lead going into the last.
So onto a nervy last end which developed badly for the Irish. At the last stone the Belarusians had one stone on the button with inline Irish stones two feet in front and one foot behind. Fortunately, a quarter of the Belarusian’s red stone was showing and that was all the Irish skip needed to pick the stone off the button and take the victory by one shot. Ireland win by 8-7.
Next Mens games are against Luxembourg at 4pm and Slovenia at 8pm today.
Ladies Team – 8am – Ireland 8 Croatia 3
Alison Fyfe skipped the Ladies team to their first victory of the European Curling Championships C division at Champéry. They dominated the first half and after taking a 4 in the sixth end and Croatia just getting a one in the seventh, they shook hands.
Mens Team – 12 noon – Ireland 4 Serbia 7
This afternoon the Irish men suffered their second defeat in succession at these European championships. Having lost the hammer they put the opposition under pressure and stole one after the opposition rolled out on a hit. Following this, the Serbians drew against two at the back of the house to score a one in the second end.
The third end is certainly one to forget for the team as several draws sent through, meant that the Serbians were lying 3 come the final shot of the end. Unfortunately another draw was sent through the back and Serbia stole 3. The fourth end started brightly but a jam on a hit for a potential 4 gave the Serbians another point to leave the Irish trailing 5-1 at half time
Following the break the Irish had a renewed sense of focus and the 5th end was blanked. In the 6th end the Irish converted a draw for 3 and were right back in the game. The Irish were firmly in control in the 7th and the Serbian fourth made a good, under pressure hit and roll to score a single and lead by 2 coming down the final end.
An exciting last end saw the Irish lie 4 before the Serbians final shot. Another excellent clutch draw by the Serbian fourth saw him freeze onto stones back tee and lie 1. The only option for the Irish was to attempt a tricky runback which unfortunately did not come off.
The Irish will rue what might have been after a slack first half. Nevertheless they have a 3-2 record at the halfway stage and look forward to three games against Belarus (8am), Luxembourg (4pm) and Slovenia (8pm) tomorrow.
The ladies played a good game against Spain and dispatched them in just 6 ends allowing them only one end.
Tomorrow the ladies play Belarus at noon.
Womens Team – 12 noon – Ireland 6 Slovenia 7
The Irish Ladies midday game did not go their way today, but they gave it their all and took Slovenia to an extra end.
Tomorrow, the Women’s team play Croatia at 8am and Spain at 4pm.
Mens Team – 8pm – Ireland 1 France 8
Ireland suffered their first defeat this evening in the European C division match against France. The game started badly for the Irish, losing a one against the hammer which under different circumstances could have been a lot higher. This was followed by the loss of two in the second at which point it became obvious that the Irish team were putting on a very ragged display.
Any promising stones held by the Irish during the game were negated by a good performance from the French skip and in truth the team are just happy to move onto the next match against Serbia tomorrow. Game to France 8-1.
Tomorrow the Men’s team get a bit of a quiet day and play Serbia at 12 noon.
Keep track of their progress on the ECCC live score page.