Last Saturday was a terrific day for the ICA with not just one by two teams contesting the finals of the Greenacres European Senior Invitation Curling Championships.
Let’s take it one by one……
In the men’s championships, Team Gray (Peter Wilson, Robin Gray, PJ Wilson and Tony Tierney) successfully defended their European Seniors title, despite losing Robin with a back problem that saw him carted off to A&E at one point. Before he hobbled off the ice, the original team lost their first game to Karl Grossman, Switzerland 5-6; beat Anders Westerberg, Sweden 11-5 and Frank Kerkvliet from The Netherlands, 12-5. At this point in the competition, Ross Barr was drafted into the team to replace Robin, and they never really missed a beat, going on to beat Keith Prentice, Scotland 7-6; Timo Peisa, Finland 14-7; Johnjo’s other Irish team in the quarter final 10-2; Werner Attinger, Switzerland 6-3 in the semi final, and Anders Westerberg 7-5 in a high drama, extra end encounter in the final.
Peter said afterwards: “It was a great result for us as we had no practice together beforehand and we had to change the team after Robin picked up his injury. Ross Barr came into the team for the remaining five games and we didn’t lose a game with him in the team. Tony Tierney was a fabulous lead and PJ played some very important shots at the right time. We beat a lot of good teams throughout the week, including Johnjo’s team. In that game there was only really a couple of shots of a difference in the game. They have had the chance to play together a lot more than we do but I’m really looking forward to the ICA senior playdowns against them in January.”
Tony pointed out that the winning team were saying farewell to Robin Gray after his long association with all of them at international level. The Irish ‘band of brothers’ posed for one last photo before Robin turns his attention towards forming a Scottish Senior team. However, he will remain a valued ICA player for other competitions. On behalf of all the members of the ICA, past and present, I extend a big thank you to Robin for his dedication over the last ten years to the cause of Irish curling.
The tale of Marie’s team, the abridged version, will be on the web tomorrow and we’ll also hopefully hear JJ’s take on his teams performance.