Irish MD duo tackle double Olympic champion

Neil and Alison Fyfe were playing in the  Dutch Masters CCT Mixed Doubles competition in Zoetermeer last weekend.

Neil reports: “In our first game we were drawn against the Swedish pairing of double Olympic champion and multiple times world champion Annette Norberg and her partner Vincent Stenberg. They had the advantage of having already played a game earlier in the day. We played badly and were well beaten 10-2. The ice was quite tricky – but lightening fast after being slow for the first few shots. We both struggled to find draw weight throughout the game – which was not good. There was no practice before the game – apart from one practice draw for Alison who was nominated to do the LSD for that game.

“In our second game we played Judith and Lee McCleary from Scotland (what a lovely couple they are). They have played here a couple of times before and got the hang of the ice before we did and sailed into a 7-0 lead after the second end. We played a bit better after that taking a 2 in the third and after restricting our opponents to a 1 in 4th then took a 1 in the 5th – but conceded after the sixth when the McCleary team took another two. They are a very strong pair and barely missed a shot between them.

“On Saturday morning Team Fyfe played against a local team of Jaap van Dorp (who skips the Dutch men’s team) who was playing with his Hungarian partner Vera Kalocsai.
Although team Fyfe yet again failed to gain last stone advantage, they managed to restrict their opponents to a 1 in the first end but lost another single shot in the second before scoring a three in the third. Team Fyfe managed to find better form this game – and the game was very close the score was 6-6 going into the last end with the Irish team having last stone advantage. Alison and Neil played a near perfect end and Alison made a good draw with her last to secure Ireland’s first win!

” In the last game of the round robin stage Team Fyfe played the Polish team of Adela Walczak and Kasper Knebloch. The Irish pair started off well taking a three in the first end. The Polish pair played well and after 6 ends had reduced the deficit to two shots. Neil and Alison elected to play their power play in the seventh – however this went disastrously wrong with poor shots from both players and the Polish pair took a three. In the final end Alison had the choice of playing a difficult draw to the 4 foot to draw the game – or playing an equally difficult skinny double to take a two and win the game. The latter option was selected and successfully played. A second (but messy) win for Team Fyfe!

“The Scottish team topped the table with four wins and the Irish, Swedish and Dutch teams were in joint second place with two wins and two defeats. Due to having the worst draw shot challenge Team Ireland unfortunately were eliminated because of this.
“It was a hard way to be knocked out due to not having any practice before the games (apart from one shot prior to the DSC).

“The Dutch organisers and volunteers did an excellent job and the competition was very enjoyable.”

On Sunday Alison and Neil took a trip into Amsterdam to do some sightseeing before returning to watch the final in the afternoon.

Alison in Amsterdam

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