Curling at the Olympics; Curling in Ireland

We have been receiving a considerable number of enquires from people wanting to try curling, as a result of the excellent coverage of curling at the Olympics.

As an Association, we are hugely frustrated that we can’t offer any opportunities in Ireland at the moment due to the lack of any facilities. We have, over the last 15 years, tried along with the Irish Ice Hockey Association and the Irish Skating Association of Ireland, to get a viable ice rink up and running but to no avail. We are still trying!!

We hope to be able to offer some come and try sessions next Christmas but we realise that this doesn’t appease demand at the moment.

Stranraer Ice Rink, in Scotland, is offering come and try sessions (this is the closest ice rink and the cheapest to get to) and you would be made most welcome. Click Try Curling link below.

In the meantime, please also add your name to the Petition for Ice for Ireland and also have a look and like the Ice for Ireland Facebook page and keep watching the curling!! Here’s a link curling on the Olympic website.

If there are any more developments we will keep you posted. Please do not hesitate to contact us or like us on Facebook.

Teams drawn for Bonspiel weekend in Stranraer

Last years winners: Peter, Karlyn, Louise (presenting), Frances and David

As we return to Stranraer – not long after the 4N – the draw for the first game  always has everyone on tenterhooks. The Secretary and the President conducted the the draw at other ends of the telephonic communicating device and to ensure absolute fairness, two adjudicators – Ellie and Fergus – were in attendance. (Labrador and Flat-coated Retriever respectively).
So here it is:

Saturday 9.00 am

PJ Wilson vs Kate Adams
Ian Donald vs John Gilmore
Tommy Campbell vs JJ Kenny
David Whyte vs Michael Sutherland

11am

John Brown vs John PJ Wilson
Drew Paton vs John Graham
Jim Cannon vs Bill Gray
Andy Robinson vs Arran Cameron.

Can we also ask that teams bring one raffle prize for the Grand Draw.
Many thanks and see you there.

Four Nations round up

The Curling Furey’s representing Ireland 4 Nations 2018

Another hugely successful 4 Nations drew to a close this afternoon with full report and results to follow. As far as Ireland were concerned, we lost our hold on the Meikle Trophy against Wales and the Turnbull Trophy against England – both narrowly – but retained the Marshall Millennium against Scotland. Thanks to all of the Irish participants and to all of the other Nations representatives who travelled to Stranraer.

Irish Senior Men at Kinross

The Senior Men – Johnjo, Bill, Neil, David W and David H were competing in the Over 40’s competition in Kinross this weekend. Having come through the Schenkel unscathed with three wins from three, they then comfortably won their semi-final before falling at the last hurdle to the Musketeers.

Neil, Bill JJ and David

The final started close but was not the most exciting as the ice was very straight. As the game developed the latter ends became more interesting with more stones in play but just a couple of shots which didn’t quite come off was the difference between the teams. The men are pictured with their High Road runner up prize.

ICA continues winning streak in world’s oldest international fixture.

Last week at Greenacres, two rinks representing the ICA overcame their Ardrossan Castle counterparts by an aggregate score of 17-9. Neil Fyfe’s rink triumphed 10-3 while Andrew Gilmore – currently back on shore at college – had a much tighter game squeezing home 7-6. We noted that the ICA talisman – Erin Furey – was to be booked for this year but unfortunately she had to rely on her senior colleagues to seal the deal without her! Fear not- there is a surprise coming in the New Year. Watch this space!!

We are hugely appreciative that Ardrossan Castle continue to contest this fixture – first played as far back as 1861 when the prize was a RCCC medal struck for the Belfast Curling Club. The teams now contest the beautiful wooden trophy fashioned by Ardrossan curler Donnie Sheddon for the fixture.

We look forward to continuing this historic association next year.

Day 7 update from the Big Cheese

Day 7 Update from Ross Barr

The final session of the round robin stage saw Team Ireland come head to head with Team Spain. Both teams were on four wins and sitting joint third. Knowing that the winner of this match would qualify for the knock out stages provided an extra degree of interest. Spain secured a two shot advantage in the second end after blanking the first. Chasing the game from that point Team Ireland set up a number of promising ends but they were continually thwarted by the accuracy of the Spanish play.

A disappointing end to what was generally a successful and very enjoyable tournament for Alan, Jacqui, Ross, Clare and coach Alison. Team Ireland offer thanks to all those who have provided encouragement and support throughout the competition.

Day 6 in Champery

Alan ‘Skippy’ Mitchell on the blog:

Met with another beautiful day in the Swiss Alps we had the full day to prepare for our 6th game and enjoy the superb weather with temperatures exceeding the nicest of Belfast summer days.

Our opponents today were the young South Korean team who had 5 wins to their name – looking resplendent in their bright yellow team uniforms they exuded confidence from the moment they stepped on the ice. It was soon obvious they had trained to a very high standard and were positioning stones to the nearest mm.

Some great 1st end play by Ireland was sadly the highlight of the game and the incessant pressure applied by the Koreans took its toll. We can take comfort that without doubt these young players will be stars of the future.

Our team walk back from the rink witnessed another glorious sunset which lifted team spirits and soon brought our trip back into perspective.

Day 5 update from Champery

Ross Barr writes:
Our 8 am game against Kazakhstan got off a solid start with four players in both teams for the first two ends.  The Kazakhstan lead was then banished to the coaches bench where she remained for the rest of the game, as usual.  A lead of 6 – 2 was established by mid game break. Hands were shaken during the eighth end when the score line read 7 – 3.Team Ireland then retired to review stone placement and sweeping tactics on the patio.

The team decided nutrition needs should be met by a visit to the local Cailler chocolate and Gruyere cheese factory in preparation for the game against Korea.

Day 4 Update

From Ross Barr:

Nothing like keeping things exciting for our dedicated coach!

Coach in the frame!!

Having decided that our tactics for the Luxembourg game was to avoid having guards, we managed to play the first two ends continually setting up guards and letting Luxembourg draw around them. Realising this was not in our game plan, we began to play the intended tactics from end three onwards and we held our own, which resulted in s good win for Team Ireland! An early morning game tomorrow against Kazakhstan – it will be interesting to see if the full opposing team can make it through the whole game with four players.

Day 2 chat from Champery

A win for Pure Genius!!

Another exciting day for Team Ireland! An early rise for our game against Scotland. Started off well, but unfortunately out-played by a very strong team. Sociable drinks after helped us to lift our spirits after a tough game. Team Ireland were psyched for the afternoon match. Coming up against Silver Olympic medalist Trine Qvist and well experienced coach and seniors player Mikael Qvist. We knew it was an important game for us. After a good first end we struggled with our weight, leaving us 5-1 down at half time. Regrouping after the break we came back strong and were 6-5 up without the hammer going in to the last end. A tense final end, with a well placed stone nestled on the button allowed us to gain a final point in the eighth end! Our day ended with a night excursion up the gonolda with bubbles and snacks; a perfect way to toast our second win of the competition.