The 2024 Four Nations was a successful outing for the Irish Curling Association as they won two of the three trophies they contested, beating Scotland and England, but lost to Wales by a single shot in a tight tussle for the triple crown.
This year’s event was held at the Flower Bowl near Preston, England and a small band of Irish players travelled up, down and across the Atlantic for the chance to represent the association. Things started well for the Irish with two contests against Wales on Friday night. Dale Sinclair skipped the women to a handsome win, with Kyle Paradis doing enough to give Ireland the tie in a loss to the Welsh men. The highlight of the contest was a memorable double to score 2 in the 8th end and send Ireland into Sunday with a 2-shot lead.
Saturday morning was the reverse for the team as Kyle Paradis skipped his men to a big win over England, and Dale Sinclair kept it close in a narrow loss to England that came down to the last shot. Things got better and better for the team with Ross Barr leading the men to a huge win over the Scots and Bernie Gillet lost in the final end to give Ireland the lead in all 3 trophies overnight.
A wonderful dinner and some memorable (if less than wonderful) dancing followed, with the President leading by example as ever with his full dancing arsenal on show.
On Sunday, 6 mixed games would decide the fate of the trophies and the first set of games were against Wales. A strong win for Wales against Kyle Paradis left Ross Barr with it all to do. He did manage to win, but the Welsh knew they had done enough and peeled out the final shot of the game to win the contest overall and retain The Meikle Trophy. A topsy-turvy second set of games against England saw Kyle Paradis take an early lead, only to draw his game and Eoin McCrossan was down 6-2 before coming back to win 7-6. Thanks to the previous day’s results, The Turnbull Trophy was secured for another season. Finally, the Scottish games. Ireland had a 9-shot lead from Saturday and they needed every single one as Scotland had levelled the contest after 4 ends. Ross Barr, pulled a few shots back to limit the damage but the comeback kid of the day, Eoin McCrossan, skipped his team for a 5-0 deficit to win 7-5. The Marshall Millenium Trophy was once again Ireland’s.
The final results were:
Marshall Millennium Trophy: Ireland 31 – 27 Scotland
The Turnbull Trophy: Ireland 33 – 25 England
The Meikle Trophy: Ireland 30 – 31 Wales
Next year’s four nations will be hosted by Wales, once again at the Flower Bowl from 24th-26th of January 2025.