Team Ireland get their international curling campaign off and running today with their first game at the World Mixed Curling Championships taking place in Aberdeen, Scotland. Ireland have fond memories of Curl Aberdeen achieving their best finish at the Championship’s last staging in 2019 reaching the playoff round for the first time. Two of that team make their return to wear the shamrock this time.
Who is Team Ireland?
This year, Ireland are represented by the 2022 Irish Mixed Champions – Team Wilson. They are: John Wilson (Skip), Alison Fyfe, Craig Whyte and Jen Ward. John and Craig were part of the successful 2019 Mixed team as well as the 2022 Men’s team who won the European C-Division gold medal in Lithuania in May. Alison and Jen have played together at several Europeans with Jen making her international debut at the first World Mixed Championship in 2015.
The team are itching to play having been denied the opportunity in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID restrictions and are ably supported by coach Johnjo Kenny – Ireland’s leading caps holder – and Gillian Russell. The team pictured above were successful as winners of the recent Kinross International Bonspiel.
Who are they playing?
Ireland are in group of 9 teams with games against Czech Republic, Sweden, Japan, Latvia, Norway, Nigeria, Ukraine and Chinese Taipei – details below.
The group stage runs from 15th-20th October with the playoffs following. The top 3 teams from each group will qualify for the playoffs. The group winners receive a bye to the quarter finals with the other qualifiers playing off to join them. Sweden and Norway will prove historically stern opposition for Ireland, but a second consecutive playoff place is not beyond the Irish foursome.
How can I keep up to date?
There are three ways to keep up to date with everything at the World Mixed. Firstly, immediate results will be posted after each game on our social media pages – join in the conversation and wish the team well.
Finally, and most excitingly – there is static camera footage available from each game on Recast. Recast is a streaming website where you can spend credits to watch games. Each game costs 50 credits to watch which is the equivalent of 50p – but can be earned by watching ads on the platform. You can find all the games at the World Mixed on The Curling Channel here https://the.recast.app/user/5pYk0
The 2022/23 season kicked off in style for the Irish Curling Association as members gathered at Greenacres Curling Rink for an Opening Bonspiel and Training Day. Members were first put through their paces by guest coaches Colin and Drew who helped members shake off any summer rust with drill stations across three sheets focussing on the line-up, working with a laser and sweeping.
This is the second season in succession that an opportunity to get comfortable on the ice has been offered to members and it was once again gratefully received. One member noted, “I’ve never received any formal coaching since I started using a stick to deliver – so that was really helpful”. Another hoped their good form would carry into the bonspiel “It’s not often I get a chance to just practice – when I’m in a game and a shot goes wrong I don’t have any chance to stop and work out why and work on it… Hopefully, this will mean the game later goes totally to plan!”
The opening bonspiel saw 6 teams keenly contest 3 games for early season bragging rights and prizes. The scores were as follows:
David Whyte 13–4 Bill Gray
Andrew Gilmore 7-3 Eoin McCrossan
John Gilmore 9-7 Ross Barr
Some memorable shots were made (and almost made!) by every team. In particular, we were joined by Jordan and Daniel as guests from Glasgow University Curling Club as well as Geraldine Murphy making her first outing to an ICA event.
After the games, President Eoin made the presentations to the winning teams – but that wasn’t all! Following the European Championships C-Division, there was one further presentation to be made. Member John Furey had made the trip out to support both teams in a coaching capacity but was unable to stay for the medal ceremony. Totally unknown to John, Eoin revealed the medal and was delighted to be able to present it. “You’ve really got me there” was all John could muster. Special thanks go to his wife Christine who made sure John was at the rink with no idea of why!
Our next event will take place at Greenacres once again with the Irish Fyfe Trophy Open Bonspiel being staged on 30th October.