WMCC – game 6


Niamh, John and Craig on the ice – photo credit WCF.

Team Ireland cruised into the last 16 of the World Mixed Curling Championships this afternoon after brushing aside the challenge of Luxembourg in six ends.

The team, John Wilson, Ailsa Anderson, Craig Whyte, Niamh Begley Luke and coach Dave Hibberd, qualify along with Scotland from Group D. The two teams will play each other tomorrow evening at 8pm.

In today’s game, Ireland were rarely put under any pressure and roared away to a 10-2 victory with the luxury of a comfortable lead from the first end.

They will now wait to see who their opposition will be on Friday. Also qualified for the knock-out stages are, so far, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark and Canada.

Irish skip John Wilson – photo credit WCF

Congratulations from all the ICA family to the Irish team who have been in terrific form this week. Keep it up!

WMCC – game 5


Ireland suffered their first defeat at the World Mixed in Aberdeen this morning, going down to a very efficient Turkish team.

A wonderful angled double take-out by Irish skip John Wilson in the seventh end kept Irish hopes alive going into the last end just one shot down, but Turkey secured the victory taking their one and with it a 5-3 victory.

Niamh in action against Japan – photo credit WCF

The Irish looked in a lot of trouble in the sixth end, with the Turkish skip, Dilsat Yildiz, having a reasonably straight forward hit to lie four, but she managed to spring the Irish stone onto the Turkish shot stone, leaving Ireland lying one. John Wilson coolly drew for a two to get Ireland right back into things.

The team will now have to move on from this, regroup and get back to winning ways against Luxembourg at 4pm tomorrow.

Team Ireland share a joke during Monday’s game v Japan-
photo credit WCF

Come on Ireland!

WMCC – game 4


Ireland’s mixed team played their best game yet to take down the Japan mixed team, one of their main rivals in the group.

The team last night against Chinese Taipai

The team of John Wilson, Ailsa Anderson, Craig Whyte and Niamh Begley Luke lost a one then took a two with the hammer in the second. The tird end was blanked by the Japanese who played the advantage in the fourth end with a deuce.

The fifth end is turning out to be the crucial end in all the Irish games do far and it was happy team at the end of this one having taken a four. The team then pressed their advantage home sealing in the next two ends before the opposition offered handshakes at the end of the 7th end.

Niamh and Craig guide John’s stone in – photo credit WCF

The team are joint to top the group table with Scotland. Tomorrow morning at 8am they face Turkey.

Keep it up Ireland !

WMCC – game 3


Another excellent show from the Irish Mixed Champions to record their third win in the World Championships against Chinese Taipai.

Ireland’s Ailsa Anderson at the World Mixed Curling Championship – photo credit WCF

After singles were exchanged, a three in the third gave them a buffer. A steal of one in the fourth put Ireland 5-1 up and although CT scored singles in the next three ends, the Irish took one in the last end to secure the victory.

Ireland’s next game is against Japan at noon tomorrow.

Good luck team!

WMCC – game 2

Ireland 7 Italy 6

World Mixed Curling Championship 2019, Aberdeen, Scotland – photo credit WCF

A steady and confident display from Team Ireland gave them their second victory of the day against Italy at the World Mixed Championships at Curl Aberdeen.

Except for the loss of a four in the fifth end this time, the team played well to keep ahead of the opposition and protected their shot stone in the last end to secure the win.

Good luck to John, Ailsa, Craig, Niamh and coach David tomorrow when they face Chinese Taipei at 4pm.

WMCC – game 1


Team Ireland – World Mixed Curling Championship 2019, Aberdeen, Scotland – photo credit WCF

A great start at the world mixed for Team Ireland winning 8-5 against the Slovenian mixed champs.

Ireland were caught cold going three down after two ends but after slipping three shots behind after four, a count of four in the fifth end swung the momentum their way.

In the last end, when Slovenia had pegged Ireland back to a one shot lead, a raise on a line of guard stones saw them pop the shot in behind cover and with backing. With an extra end looming, up stepped Irish skip John Wilson to nail a marvellous angled-raise on an Irish stone to winkle the Slovenian shot out of the rings and leave Ireland lying two and the game.

Well done John, Ailsa, Craig, Niamh and coach Dave! Ireland now play Italy tonight at 8.30pm.

Ireland mixed team take on the world in Aberdeen

Ireland’s mixed team are in Aberdeen ahead of the start of the World Mixed Championships tomorrow morning.

The team are now skipped by 34-year-old John Wilson who replaced original skip James Russell who has moved to the USA. John has already represented Ireland at the World Mixed Doubles Championships in Stavanger, Norway in April this year.

The World Mixed competition, now is in it’s fifth year, will see 40 nations competing for the gold medal and every strong curling nation is present.  Team Ireland are John, Ailsa Anderson, Craig Whyte, Irish debutante Niamh Begley Luke and 30-year-old coach David Hibberd. They will be going head to head with, Slovenia, Italy, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Turkey, Luxembourg and the home nation Scotland in their group.

Team Ireland recently played in the Kinross International Friendly Bonspiel and got off to an excellent start winning their first two games convincingly however they were stopped in the semi-final by a very experienced Welsh team who are also in the ‘Granite City’ for the world mixed.

The world mixed championship will be an altogether different test with a huge amount of talent and experience in a lot of the teams.  Ireland will be playing the Italian team led by Denise Pimpini, who has competed in the world mixed twice before and the Scottish quartet skipped by Luke Carson, who achieved a bronze medal representing Great Britain earlier this year at the World University Games

Other notable players present at the championships will be the defending champions, Canada, skipped by Colin Kurtz, as well as Olympians Andy Kapp (Germany), Manuela Siegrist (Switzerland), Jenny Perret (Switzerland) and Martin Rios (Switzerland). There are too many world champions and medalists to mention them all!

Meet the Team:

The Irish – Ailsa, Craig, Niamh and John

Lead:  Niamh Begley Luke, aged 25, will be representing Ireland for the first time in Aberdeen and has been heard to say that she is over the moon to be representing Ireland as she has “never represented anyone at anything!” 

Second:  Thirty-year-old Craig Whyte is now one of the most experience “youngsters” of the ICA having represented Ireland at five European C League and a European B League Championship.

Third:  Ailsa Anderson has racked up 33 caps for Ireland at five WCF competitions and is the only surviving member of last year’s team that travelled to Kelowna in Canada to play in the World Mixed. Thirty-year-old Ailsa, who hails from Aberdeen, couldn’t be happier to represent Ireland in her home ice rink.

Skip: For John Wilson this will be the first of three WCF competitions that he will be competing in this season (the World Mixed, the Mixed Doubles Qualifiers and the European C League) and he hopes that this will be an exciting season for the Irish Curling Association.

You can find the team’s schedule here: https://worldcurling.org/events/wmxcc2019/?page=schedule

Carolyn and Co open with a win

President David welcomed everyone to Greenacres Ice Rink for the first ICA bonspiel of the season including Donncha Ó Conmhuí making the trip from Dublin via the Scottish Curling Adult Camp in Stranraer and Kerrianne Cox who were both along for their first bonspiel.


Bill Gray, Frances Whyte, Nina Clancy, Donncha Ó Conmhuí 5-6 Neil Fyfe, Eoin McCrossan, Clare McCormick, Frances Donald

Neil got off to a strong start with a 4 in the second end but was pegged back towards the end of the game but Bill could only manufacture a steal of 1 in the last end meaning Neil won by one point.

David Whyte, Christine Furey, Gillian Russell, Tricia Boult 4-8 Carolyn Hibbard, Andrew Gilmore, John Reidy, Kerrianne Cox

The winners with President David (left)

David began strongly with three points in the second end in a tight first half. Momentum swung in the 4th end with a big score of 4 points that carried Carolyn and team all the way to winning the bonspiel.

Marie O’Kane, Ian Donald, Gillian Drury, Dave McHale 5-5 Arran Cameron, Nathan Furey, Steve Callan, Maria O’Neill

The tightest game on the ice swung back and forth. Marie edged out to a 4-2 lead after three ends but was pegged back by two singles. Arran scored 1 with hammer in the last end to make sure of the peel.

David thanked everyone for coming, looked forward to the next events on the calendar including The Irish Open in November and presented Carolyn’s team with prizes and the perpetual trophy.

Welcome to the new curling season

Members of the Irish Curling Association will start season 2019/2020 this Sunday at Greenacres Ice Rink with the opening bonspiel.

The teams are:

Bill Gray/Johnjo KennyVSNeil Fyfe
Frances Whyte Eoin McCrossan
Nina Clancy Clare McCormick
Donncha O’Conmhui Frances Donald
David WhyteVSCarolyn Hibberd
Andrew Gilmore John Furey
Gillian Russell John Reidy
Tricia Boult Kerrianne  (Dave McHale’s Fiancé)
Marie O’KaneVSArran Cameron
Ian Donald Nathan Furey
Gilly Drury Steve Callan
Dave McHale Maria O’Neill

Good luck and good curling to everyone!

President David welcomes the new season

Irish Curling Association President David Whyte is looking forward to the 2019/2020 curling season starting.

Read his letter to all ICA members here:

“This is my third epistle to you all which is one more than would be normally expected. I am delighted to continue in the hot seat especially as we have had an interesting couple of years creating a ‘Development Plan’ for the association and hosting ‘Come and Try’ events in Dublin in January with hopefully more developments ahead. However, I would ask you all to think about supporting the association through involvement on the committee and in particular for someone to be interested in taking up the role of president going forward. From my experience it’s good to work with a great group of fellow committee members in leading the ICA in the years ahead. Anyway, enough of the advert for now …….”

“You will have seen from Bill’s emails that the fixtures are all in place with one change for the mixed playdowns which have had to move back a week from 8 to 15 March. We start off in Greenacres at the beginning of October, stay there for the fifth Irish Championships in November, move to Stirling in December, Kinross in February, followed very shortly by the Irish weekend in Stranraer and it will be the final bonspiel in March before you know it. Please try to make as many of the events as you can – they are great fun and a chance to catch up with members you might not come across on the ice otherwise.”

“It is the turn of the Welsh to host the Four Nations in January and they have chosen to return to the Flower Bowl in Preston. That turned out to be a great venue when hosted by the English last time round and for those who couldn’t make it then I would wholly recommend getting the chance to curl with flowers and stones under the ice and plants and colours all over the wall – a great experience.”

“The success of previous ‘Training and Development’ days at the start of the season to give potential new members a Come and Try while helping the rest of us fine tune our skills has encouraged us to think about staging further ones, supported by DAP funding and details will be circulated once the information is available.”

“The closing date for all playdowns is fast approaching on 30 August so if you want to try for the opportunity of representing Ireland on the World or European stage something which is truly special and a great honour get those entries in to Bill. For such a small Association we manage to punch above our weight on a number of occasions not just in these WCF events but in Scottish based competitions as well as overseas summer and winter bonspiels where we carry the flag. The playdowns will continue to be at Dumfries where we are well looked after and John Burns continues to officiate as umpire whenever possible. To allow these to replicate the actual tournament as closely as possible we aim to use time-clocks and I would encourage anyone who is interested to assist in running these. No previous experience is necessary and you also get to see some great games.”

“As referred to earlier we took the opportunity to promote curling in Dublin in January as part of the key objective in our ‘Development Plan’ and the committee is having a session shortly to review progress against the targets we set in that document. That will inevitably cover how we follow up on what was a great success. Our new member Jason Medhurst who drove down to Dublin to experience the occasion having only just moved to Belfast has made contacts in Northern Ireland interested in developing our sport and we are following up on that with Jason to see where that leads us.”

Briefly wearing my treasurer’s hat we have retained the subscription at £22 for a full member and £11 for an associate or junior member.

“These are due by 30th September with a fall back position of the 6th October at the first bonspiel.”

“I look forward to seeing you on the ice very soon and if I can assist anyone with any matter please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at any point in the season.””