Day two in Ostersund – women win two in one day

With the Italian team

The Irish senior women had a busy day here in Östersund starting at 8am this morning against Italy, a game they won 7-6.

With the New Zealand team

Then it was back on the ice 12 hours later for their second game of the day against New Zealand. The Kiwi ladies managed to steal the shot over a succession of ends but thankfully the momentum swung back in Ireland’s favour with a four at the seventh end to level the scores at 5 all.

In the last end the Irish managed to get two draws into the four foot behind a wall of stones and the New Zealand skip couldn’t get near them. Ireland therefore took their second win of the day the win 7-5.

Closing bonspiel winners

James, David, Margarita and Bill with their prizes.

Congratulations to James Russell, Bill Gray, Margarita Sweeney-Baird and David Hume who won the ICA closing bonspiel at Greenacres today.

Six rinks were on the ice with many members staying on for the annual general meeting in Gateside Hall and the meal in the pub afterwards.

Results:

Johnjo Kenny 7 Andrew Gilmore 6; James Russell 10 Arran Cameron 8; Marie O’Kane 5 John Furey 5.

Stranraer weekend won by skip Wilson number 3

The winner of the high road

Another enjoyable ICA Stranraer Weekend at the North West Castle Hotel and Ice Rink complex ended with a win for Team Wilson, but it wasn’t PJ or Peter skipping his team to the top spot this year, but John Wilson, PJ’s son.

It was a changing of the guard moment when John, ably supported by Katie Stevenson and Lyndsay Spence from Lockerbie, and his old Stranraer Academy school mate Andrew Chambers, swept through their four games undefeated, taking the Granite Trophy with a comprehensive victory over Johnjo Kenny, Gillian, Russell,  John Burns and Russet Fullarton in the 1v2 high road final round on Sunday afternoon.

High road runners-up

The runners-up in the high road and winners of the Ailsa Craig painting by Jane Paterson were the team of David Whyte, Kara Compton, John Ferguson and Frances Whyte, who finished on the same points as PJ Wilson’s team, but just squeaked second place by one end with 17 ends scored.

Low road winners

The low road winners of the Irish Oak low road trophy were Billy Johnston, Kate Adams, Gordon Adams and Elspeth Johnston and the low road runners-up, taking home the Basil Gray Memorial Trophy  were Stuart Wilson, Elaine Turnbull, Tommy Campbell and Anne Wilson.

Low road runners-up

A raffle at the Saturday night reception in the North West Castle Hotel raised £270 for ICA funds.

The ICA also welcomed Canadian curler Matt, currently based in Dublin, and hope he comes back to play with us on a regular basis.

Kinross winners

A most enjoyable spring bonspiel was held on Sunday at Kinross.

President David presenting the trophy to winners Frances, Gillian, Niamh and James

The event was won by the rink of  James Russell, Frances Whyte, Gillian Russell and Niamh Begley, who were presented with the perpetual trophy and prizes by ICA President David Whyte.

The Association was delighted to welcome three potential new members – Maria O’Neill, David McHale and Niamh, one of the winners.

4N afters

Someone out there won a bottle of ‘Echo Falls’ summer fruits fusion wine in a silver bottle bag last Saturday night in the raffle. It ended up in my carrier bag down in the function room at the NWC. Does anyone remember winning it?

If it’s not claimed it will go into the Irish Weekend raffle next month.

And a new boy band was formed the same night. They are hoping to get a summer season gig at Bantry…….if Eoin gets his world tour over in time.

Masters champions 2018

The green tinged Masters champs with RCCC President Jim Cullen

PJ Wilson, David Whyte, David Hume from the ICA plus Jim Stirling were crowned the Masters champions at Greenacres last weekend. After taking eight points from the five game round-robin, including a last end victory over former Scottish champion skip Kenny Horton, the team won their semi-final after only five ends. A three in the first end in the final was a good start to an eventual 7-5 victory over Jim Stevenson, Robin Aitken, Jim Taylor and Douglas Rodger.

The proud skip said afterwards: “My team were just brilliant. I wasn’t too bad either.”

Wasn’t that a party……

The first Four Nations to be held at Stranraer Ice Rink, hosted by the ICA, turned into an epic, on and off the ice.

Session 1 was held on the Friday night, with sessions 2, 3 and 4 on the Saturday. The busiest day was the Sunday with curling starting at 9am and, with three sessions to get through, the seventh and last session finished around 4pm.

Margaret Pottie presents the Marshall Millennium to Louise

Ireland’s highlight was defending the Marshall Millennium against Scotland with an eight-shot advantage 28 to 20.

Louise presents the Meikle Trophy to Adrian Meikle

The Meikle Trophy against Wales was lost this year 29 to 31 after a spirited show from the Welsh rinks, in particular ladies skip Dawn Watson who held her nerve to remove Marie O’Kane’s shot stone at the last end to secure the victory. The Welsh ladies are few on the ground and play multiple games at every 4N, and throughly deserved their hard-fought victory.

Louise presents the Turnbull Trophy to Tommy Campbell

The Turnbull Trophy was lost to England by 32 shots to 35. This was despite a win from the first family team to represent Ireland internationally when four Fureys took to the ice for the mixed game on the Sunday. John and Christine with a green-clad Nathan and Erin sporting shocking pink, won by one shot to do their bit for their country.

The 4N game and Glittertree-winning Fureys!
Ari, John, Erin, Nathan and Christine

They also picked up the ICA Glittertree for 2017!

Off the ice, the Saturday evening gala dinner and dance turned into a most memorable evening for a variety of reasons. The drinks reception raffle raised £314 for association funds. The staff of the North West Castle served up a specially-created Four Nations menu with Scottish themed starters, potato and Welsh leek soup, brisket of beef with a Guinness jus or chicken fillet in Irish whiskey sauce for the  mains and England bringing up the rear with bread and butter pudding or Bakewell tart.

After speeches from myself for the Irish, Margaret Pottie for the Scots, Adrian Meikle for the Welsh and Tommy Campbell for the English, the highlight of the evening was the the appearance of 16 Irish dancers from the Trim the Velvet troupe, who came over from Belfast for a special ‘4N at the NWC’ entertainment. After half an hour of mesmerising toe-tapping and high kicks, John Munro’s excellent disco rounded off a special night.

We really thought nothing could ever surprise us again, after all the many incidents we have witnessed over the years involving Irish curlers, but…….late in the evening….and after a few liquid refreshments………Eoin took to the floor and morphed into Michael Flatley. As he Riverdanced across the dancefloor, the Trim the Velvet girls lined up behind him and created something magical downstairs in the Castle ballroom. The roar of approval at the end from the party people left nearly blew the windows out. Eoin McCrossan – Four Nations legend with bar.

Thanks goes to all the ICA members who made the trip to the deepest south-west, despite difficult conditions on the roads over the weekend; to Gail Munro, Stranraer Ice Rink manager and all the staff of the North West Castle who worked their socks off all weekend to ensure that everyone in the hotel for the Four Nations had the best time possible.

Over to the English Curling Association for 2019, who hope to host the event at a new ice rink in Preston………anybody know any Morris dancers in the north west?

Here’s the results, thanks again to Adrian:

Results-4 Nations-Jan 2018

 

Mixed Doubles playdowns 2017

The new MD Irish champions

Eoin McCrossan and Jen Ward are the new Irish mixed doubles champions havng won both games played in a ‘best of three’ against Alan Mitchell and Margarita Sweeney-Baird.The scores were 10-3 and 7-6. The games were played at Dumfries Ice Bowl. Eoin and Jen will now represent Ireland at the World Mixed Doubles Championships in Òstersund, Sweden in April. Well done to both teams.

Autumn bonspiel

Andrew, Steve and son, Eoin and David

ICA members took part in the autumn bonspiel at Braehead last Sunday with the prizes going to, Andrew Gilmore, Eoin McCrossan and  Steve Callan. They were presented with their prizes by President David Whyte. With 12 players, four teams played with three players.

Le tout ensemble at Braehead on Sunday – photographer James Russell

Thanks to all who made the effort to support the event.

Senior European Invitation champions at Greenacres

Johnjo gives the team a pep talk. photographer Andrew Mitchell

Ireland men Johnjo Kenny, David Whyte, Neil Fyfe and David Hume won the European Senior Invitation at Greenacres Ice Rink this afternoon beating Scotland’s Ian Drysdale in the final  6-5.

The winners! picture courtesy of Greenacres Ice Rink

Congratulations to the team on an excellent performance against first class opposition.