Down memory lane

Twenty years have passed since the 2000 World Senior Championships in Braehead, Glasgow so let’s look back in time…..

Ireland’s senior men 2000 – Jim, Basil Gordon and Joe

Ireland were represented in the men’s competition by Jim Winning, Basil Gray, Gordon McIntyre and Joe Murray.

‘Mousemaster’ McCrossan reports on virtual victory

Well done to Eoin McCrossan who blasted all-comers off the laptop during the ICA’s first-ever bank holiday virtual bonspiel. And congratulations also to all those who took part, making it a resounding success.

The finalists – champion Eoin and runner-up Arran

Eoin was crowned the inaugural ICA Virtual Bonspiel Champion after a series of excellent playoff performances, and a final victory against Arran Cameron, to cap off an enjoyable weekend of online curling action. Starting with a field of 24 including ICA members, supporters and hangers-on, a triple knockout was played across the weekend to whittle the field down to the eight quarter-finalists.

Now it’s all over, the ‘Mousemaster’ himself has compiled his report from the frontline: “Leading the way were the undefeated pair of Iain Wallace and John Wilson who qualified through the ‘A’ road with convincing wins. The B-road saw Arran Cameron and Maggie Wilson through as they sent the losing A-road finalists into more of a tailspin giving them their second loss on the bounce. Finally, that left the C-road, where it was do or die, kill or be killed and everyone was scrapping for their lives.

“I saw off Fiona Spain 3-1 with some canny steals and Jason Medhurst recovered to see of David Whyte 5-2. JJ Kenny was edged out by old friend Andy Penker meaning that Gillian Russell held the household bragging rights as she downed Frances Whyte to seal the last place in the playoffs.

Gardening can wait for the Big Man

“Big scores with hammer were the name of the game in the playoffs as one big end proved telling across the games. John Wilson kept his run going with a fine win over Andy Penker and Arran Cameron stole the last to seal a nervy win over Gillian Russell. “I was set fair against Maggie Wilson until an inspired two in the third end jolted the game, meaning I had to draw the side of the button to seal the 5-3 win. Completing the semi-finals was Jason Medhurst who upset the second seed Iain Wallace 6-2 to give Wallace his first loss of the championship.

Gillian enjoying getting back into a virtual competition

“The first semi-final saw a rematch from earlier in the event when I had an opportunity to gain revenge over Medhurst. Our A-road match had ended 5-1 to Medhurst, but I was not to be denied this time round. A strong start with hammer saw me off to 4-0 lead and two more steals with Medhurst going all out meant an unassailable lead – final score 6-1.

“The second saw Cameron shine and Wilson falter. Cameron started with hammer and a missed hit for four resulted in only a score of three but still swung the game in his favour. Stealing the next two ends saw a similar lead and the final beckon. Wilson managed to remind the crowd of his abilities with an excellent runback to finish and score two points and finish the game 5-2.

“Another chance at retribution then for me – having downed my A-road conqueror in the semi-finals, I had the chance to do the same to my B-road nemesis, Arran, in the grand final. The last tie between us had ended 4-1 to Cameron and he would hope the repeat the same. A blitz of a first end saw all out attack as we both put on a show for the fans. Those watching were gripped. Some excellent craft and touch saw the bar raised shot by shot. After a great chip takeout, the dust settled and I managed to score four in the first end to lay a big marker down. Cameron came firing back throwing the virtual kitchen sink at me but with his last draw of the second end agonisingly not curling enough a single was scored and the end looked nigh. I scored another two points in third and the celebrations could almost begin. A final end of throw-throughs, 360 degree spinning slides and showboating runbacks completed the match with Cameron drawing for a single point and offering congratulations with the final score 6-2.”

You can review the complete draw and linescores from the event here.

What a weekend that was, fun and drama with some curling thrown in. Now, do the virtual world championships beckon…??

Remembering Claire

Claire Darragh’s family have asked her friends to remember her this morning at 9am.

Claire will be cremated at that time but, due to the current circumstances, there are restrictions on the number of mourners permitted.

As a mark of respect and a celebration of her life, Claire’s sister would like to ask all her friends and family to pause a moment at 9am and remember Claire and talk about their memories of her.

One of Claire favourite songs was ‘Dignity’ by Deacon Blue which will be played as she is cremated.

Claire’s sister has thanked Claire’s friends for the many kind thoughts she has received over the past week.

In memory of Claire Darragh

It is with great sadness we record the death of one of Ireland’s former international curlers, Claire Darragh.

Claire

Claire represented Ireland at the European Mixed Championships in 2011 in Tarnby, Denmark, playing seven games for her country.

After moving to Scotland from Northern Ireland to further her career, Claire took up curling and joined the Irish Curling Association. She was a familiar face at our bonspiels and also represented the ICA in the annual Four Nations competition.

Claire will be remembered by us all for her cheery disposition, her sense of humour and her steadfast support of Irish curling and Irish teams.

Our heartfelt sympathies go out to her family and friends at this sad time.

Irish Mixed Champions 2020

Congratulations to John Wilson, Alison Fyfe, Craig Whyte and Jen Ward who won the Irish Mixed playdowns at the Dumfries Ice Bowl earlier today.

In the second game against Bill Gray’s team they were always in control, running the opposition out of stones in the last end to win 6-3.

Hopefully, the current coronavirus crisis will have passed by October and they will get the chance to represent Ireland at the world mixed championships. Both senior teams heard yesterday they would not be going to British Columbia next month for the world seniors.

A huge thanks goes to John and Eleanor Burns who spent the weekend helping as umpire and time clock operator. It was very much appreciated by all the players.

Mixed playdowns at Dumfries

Three teams are currently in Dumfries competing for the right to represent Ireland in the world mixed later in the year.

Team Gray (Bill, Marie O’Kane, David Whyte and Louise Kerr) lost 8-2 this morning to Team Wilson (John, Alison Fyfe, Craig Whyte and Jen Ward).

In the afternoon session, Team Gray beat Team Cameron (Arran, Jackie Davidson, Steve Callan and Niamh Begley Luke 7-2.

In the evening session, Team Wilson beat Team Cameron 9-4.

In the light of the current coronavirus situation, advice was given by the chief umpire, John Burns, that all players should bump elbows instead of shake hands. All were happy to do this at the start and end of each game.

Tomorrow morning Team Wilson will face Team Gray again and if Wilson wins they are the Mixed Champs but if Team Gray win it will go a decider.

Irish ladies at HB Finals

Four members of the ICA were in Aberdeen playing for their ice rinks in the Henderson Bishop Finals 2020.

Ailsa Anderson played with Aberdeen 1; Christina Graham with Braehead; Christine Furey with Greenacres and Louise Kerr with Stranraer.

Ailsa got to the low road semis and Louise got to the high road semis.

The pals got together for a quick selfie at the Saturday night dinner.

Another Wilson wins the Stranraer Weekend

Robyn Munro, Anne Wilson, Stuart Wilson, Tommy Campbell, Bill Gray, ICA secretary and Gail Munro from McMillan Hotels

Stuart Wilson and his team of Gillian King, Tommy Campbell and Anne Wilson won a very enjoyable Stranraer Weekend and now will head to the Dalrymple Cup Final Weekend next month. The team collected the Granite Trophy, McMillan Hotel vouchers and a case of Magners cider, courtesy of the sponsors. New Scottish junior champion Robyn Munro filled in for Gillian King in the final game.

Richard Stevenson, PJ Wilson, Anne Wilson, Louise Kerr and Bill Gray, ICA secretary

The High Road runners-up, receiving the Jane Paterson Ailsa Craig painting, were PJ Wilson, Louise Kerr, Richard Stevenson and Anne Wilson. They also received an invite to the final weekend.

Drew Paton, Trish Boult, Johnny Logan, Margaret Logan and Bill Gray, ICA secretary

The Low Road winners, receiving the Irish Oak Trophy, were Drew Paton, Trish Boult, Johnny Logan and Margaret Logan.

Denise Lawler, Jason Medhurst, Kyle Paradis and Bill Gray, ICA secretary (missing from the line up is Carolyn Hibberd)

The Low Road runners-up, receiving the Basil Gray Trophy, were Kyle Paradis, Carolyn Hibberd, Jason Medhurst and Denise Lawler.

Colin Wilkinson, Sue Wilkinson, Billy Johnstone, Barbara Kitchin and Bill Gray, ICA secretary

The consolation prizes went to Billy Johnston, Sue Wilkinson, Barbara Kitchen and Colin Wilkinson.

Thanks go to former ICA President Fiona Turnbull for presenting the prizes and thanks to all who contributed to the grand ICA raffle – £300 was raised for association funds.