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.
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.
Peter Wilson and the team overcame a gutsy Italian side this morning in Lethbridge to record a 6-2 win in 7 ends.
The front end union of Bill and David hard at work; photo courtesy of WCF
The scores were tight all the way to the 6th end when Peter played a great run back double to pick out the Italian counter to score 4. This pretty much sealed the game and handshakes were offered after a stolen single in the 7th. Next up Israel at 4.30pm Lethbridge time when the boys try to finish day 4 with a 4-0 record.
First game result:
Team Gray BT Team Kenny 5-2.
Report to follow.
Last years winners skipped by Robin Gray
It’s not long now till we embark on our annual pilgrimage to Stranraer for our Irish International Bonspiel weekend. Once again, PJD Wilson and Louise Kerr are in charge and we are pleased to announce that the draw for the 4 game Schenkel format has been made, verified by an independent panel (if you believe that you’ll believe anything) and ready to publish. As you can see we are still one team short but we will undoubtedly fill the gap. If however, you have a team ready and waiting, let PJ know.
Saturday 9am and 1 pm:
|Craig Whyte v Tommy Campbell
|John Graham v Peter JD Wilson
|Jim Cullen v John Gilmore
|Arran Cameron v A N Other
Saturday 11am and 3pm:
|Michael Sutherland v Bill Gray
|John Wilson v Bill Byers
|Ian Donald v Johnjo Kenny
|Peter Wilson v Andy Robinson
The Winners: Martin, Clare, James and Ian
We held our Xmas Bonspiel at Hamilton on Thursday with four teams contesting the perpetual trophy and also prizes organised by Craig Whyte.
We struggled a little for teams but in the end, due to late fill ins by Ruth Burns (daughter of John) and also David and Jonathon Imlah from Brisbane, we went ahead with a full complement.
David (left) and Jonathon Imlah
The winners (both games were very close) were James Russell, Martin Sutherland, Ian Donald and Clare McCormick. Thanks to all but especially to the Imlah’s for coming all the way from Brisbane just to play in the Bonspiel (!!)
Ireland gained some success at the recent European B League championships in Braehead when ICA member, Alan Mitchell, won a tremendous B league silver medal as coach to the successful Slovakian Men’s team. Not only did the team of Jakub Polák, David Misun, Patrick Kapralik & Juraj Gallo win the silver medal but gained promotion to the European A league for 2017. Congratulations, guys!
In our last game, Team Ireland stepped up to the plate against a Slovakian team that needed a victory to progress. Right from the start, we were a totally different proposition than we had been in some of our previous games-perhaps because we were able to relax with the pressure off. Having said that, we desperately wanted to win to finish on a positive note. The Barr family provided us with the hammer courtesy of a great LSD from Jacqui and off we went. We were able to control the game pretty much all the way through with the exception of the 6th end. In that end a couple of takeouts that didn’t quite work out left the Slovakians with a draw for 3 which they would never have made had it not been for their exceptional sweeping which was a feature throughout the game. It just shows what can be achieved on ice this quick with dynamic sweeping. That three left us 4-3 down after 6. A well played end in the 7th allowed Bill to draw for 2 to go one ahead
The last end played out in our favour as the Slovakians failed to clear a couple of guards and with a stone on the 4ft, the skipper was able to play a top 12 biter to force the draw which just slipped deep and the win was secure. A good end to what I think we all agreed was a frustrating campaign in that a 3-3 record would have been a satisfactory result rather than 2-4.
All in all it has been a great experience for the team to be involved in a World Competition and we have had a lot of fun as well as enjoying the serious business of the curling. We have been privileged to represent Ireland and I’m sure all look forward to the opportunity at some pint in the future. Many thanks to all for your messages of support. They were much appreciated.
The coffin lid was finally nailed down on Team Ireland’s qualification hopes today in the match against Finland. It was tacked down after a disappointing LSD which effectively scuppered our hopes. In the match itself, it was the skips turn to catch the weight disease early on but a near freeze in the first lying four against with his last caused the Finnish skip to go safety first and a score of 2 resulted. We played much better at times during this game but the loss of a big 3 in the 4th put us on the back foot again and against a very accurate striking team as the Finns were, we just couldn’t keep enough stones in play to force either a multiple score or a steal. We have one more game tomorrow at 8am (the joys) against Slovakia so it’s off to late practice tonight and then up and at them tomorrow. There is a little extra spice in this in that Slovakia and England’s relative hopes rest on the result. Win for us and England go through; lose and the Slovakians get the nod over England and Finland they think. Anyway despite all of that we will be going all out to finish on a high.