Team Russell are mixed champions

Niamh, Craig, Ailsa and James are the new Irish mixed champions

James Russell with his team of Ailsa Anderson, Craig Whyte and Niamh Begley won the Irish Mixed Championship at Dumfries at the weekend and win the right to represent Ireland at the World Mixed Curling Championships in October.

The champions were put on the back foot on the Saturday, losing their first game to Team Gray (Bill Gray, Louise Kerr, David Whyte and Nina Clancy) 6-3 but recovered to beat Team Kenny (Johnjo Kenny, Jan Ward, Ross Barr and Jacqui Davidson) 9-6 in their second game.

The finalists – Bill, James, Louise, Ailsa, David, Criag, Nina and Niamh

As Team Gray beat Team Kenny 6-3 in the round-robin, Team Kenny were eliminated and the two remaining teams fought out a best of three on the Sunday, with the round-robin game counting as game 1. After a very close and tense game in the morning , which Team Russell won 5-4, it went down to a decider for the title and Team Russell outplayed Team Gray in the last game 9-3, taking a five in the sixth, when Team Gray conceded.

It was a double celebration for the winning third player Ailsa Anderson who got engaged last month. Congratulations to the winners, and double congratulations to Ailsa!

Thanks go to John and Eleanor Burns who acted as umpire and timer respectively during the weekend.

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