Encouraging performance from Team Fyfe at Dumfries MDs

After winning their first game on Friday against China, as reported, Neil and Alison Fyfe then won 9-3 against a local team at the Dumfries International Mixed Doubles. In their third game they faced the former world silver medalists, Noreen and Noreen from Sweden, losing that one  7-4. Next game was another loss, 6-4, to the current world champions from Russia.

Neil in action…..

Neil said: “It was a close game. We were 5-4 down going into the last end and could have had them under pressure if we had made our last shot.”

The Irish duo then beat Latvia in their last round-robin game, ending up in joint second place with Sweden and China – but lost out on the draw shot challenge.

Well done Neil and Alison!

Team Gray heading to Switzerland after mixed playdowns

The team of Bill Gray, Jacqui Davidson, Ross Barr and Clare McCormick won the Irish Mixed Curling Championship after fighting off the challenge of James Russell, Ailsa Anderson, Craig Whyte and Katie Kerr over two days of competition at Greenacres Ice Rink.

With three teams entered, there was a round-robin on the Saturday, and after Team Kenny were eliminated with no wins, Team Gray and Team Russell played two more games on Sunday to  see who came out on top of a best-of-three challenge.

The mixed finalists – Team Gray and Tam Russell – at Greenacres

The last game came down to the last end where Team Russell needed a two to take it to an extra end. After some great curling from both sides, it was clear that Team Russell were first shot, but a measure was needed for the second shot, which went to Team Gray and clinched the title for them.

Results:

 

Game 1 Sat 10am Gray beat Kenny 5-2 RR

Game 2 Sat 3 pm Russell beat Kenny 10-3 RR

Game 3 Sat 6.30 pm Russell beat Gray 7-6 RR

Game 4 Sun 10 am Gray beat Russell 7-6 G2

Game 5 Sun 1.15 pm Gray beat Russell 6-5 G3

Championship medals presented

At yesterday’s closing bonspiel and AGM some Irish Curling Championships medals were presented by President Louise.

Firstly, Alan Mitchell received his medal for the Irish Men’s Championship 2016.

Then after the curling, Irish Mixed Doubles Champions 2016 – Neil and Alison Fyfe were presented with their medals.

And finally, the Irish Mens Champions for 2017, James Russell, John Furey, Arran Cameron, Eoin McCrossan and coach Martin Sutherland received their medals. (Craig Whyte was unable to attend).

Congratulations to them all.

Closing bonspiel winners

Louise, James, Jen and Eoin

The closing bonspiel of the 2016/2017 curling season for ICA members took place on Sunday 13th March at Hamilton.

The winners were the team of James Russell, Louise Kerr, Jen Ward and Eoin McCrossan.

Results: Johnjo Kenny 7, Bill Gray 10; James Russell 11, David Whyte 3; John Furey 6, Alison Fyfe 12.

Stranraer Weekend glory for Pete

Another excellent ICA Stranraer Weekend came to a fitting close yesterday afternoon with victory in the high road for Peter Wilson and his team of Karlyn Lyon, David Whyte and Frances Whyte, lifting the Mourne Granite Trophy, having won all their four games in the competition, which is run on the Shenkel system.

Peter, Karlyn, Louise (presenting), Frances and David

In the final game, Peter took on PJ Wilson and his rink of Louise Kerr, Cameron Stevenson and Anne Wilson, in a tremendous tussle that kept the spectators entertained right up to the last stone of the last end when Peter drew the button to out count PJ’s two shots, to win 7-5.

Alan, Ailsa, Louise (presenting), Trish and Billy

The high road runners-up, taking away the Jane Paterson Ailsa Craig painting, on three victories and a peeled game were Alison Fyfe, Alan Roe, Trish Boult and Billy Johnston.

Jenny, Bill, Louise (presenting), Walker and Alison

In the low road, the Oak Trophy, presented by Jim and Jean Winning, was won by Bill Gray, Jenny Bain, Walter Scott and Alison Scott.

The low road runners-up were Andy Robinson, Rosemary Griffiths, Alan Griffiths and Rhona Robinson – they received the Basil Gray Memorial Trophy.

Andy, Rhona, Louise (presenting), Rosemary and Alan

The consolation prizes went to Ian Donald, Carolyn Hibberd, Steve Callan and Frances Donald.

Ian, Louise (presenting), Frances and Carolyn. Steve had gone home!

The ‘international’ flavour of the weekend was boosted by not only Peter Wilson travelling from Ireland and Michael Sutherland and Fiona Turnbull from England, but both Billy Johnston and Katie Kerr flying in from the United States to join in the fun! See you all again next year!

Spring Bonspiel at Kinross

A most enjoyable ICA Spring Bonspiel took place at Kinross Ice Rink on Sunday.

The winning team were Arran, Jen, Helen and John

The winners were the team of Arran Cameron, Jen Ward, Helen Pirnie and John McConnell who were  seven shots up on their opposition. Congratulations to them!

Results: Johnjo Kenny 8 Marie O’Kane 5; Arran Cameron 11 John Fury 4; Carolyn Hibberd 7 Craig Whyte 3.

Fyfes on tour – part 3

The latest from Neil:

Game 4 – “This game was against the Slovakian pair of Daniela Matuliva and Ladislav Derzsi. Unfortunately, yet again, we did not play nearly as well as we can, and the Slovaks were all over us. Three key shots of the game spring to mind; the last stone of the fifth end when we looked as though we had a good chance of stealing a one or two, Derzsi played a lovely angled-raise on one of his corner guards and pumped it right into the four foot to take a one; My last shot (playing the middle three stones) of the seventh end was a guard and we were lying shot with a counter in the four foot and were hoping to steal as there were loads of short stones. Unfortunately the guard was quite a bit short and although it covered the outer two-thirds of the Slovakian stone,that stone could be raised in for shot. We failed to realised that and we should have swept it another couple of feet to get another two or three inches of draw to cover more of the inside of the Slovakian short stone and finally,  the shot after the last one I described,. The Slovaks played a lovely weighted raise, coming right round our guard and raising one of their stones onto our shot stone which disappeared out the back of the house. We couldn’t get into the house wit hour last and the Slovaks drew another in to take a four and leave the score at 9-4 to them. Game over.”

Game 5 – “A win at last! In this game we played the French-speaking brother and sister Swiss duo Fabrice and Celine Apotheloz. We played a lot better in this game and put the Swiss duo under pressure by taking a four in the fifth end to take a 7-4 lead. The Swiss team elected to take their power play in the sixth and closed the gap a bit by taking a two. We elected to take our power play in the seventh end- and played a near perfect end to take a three. The Swiss conceded and Ireland won 10-5!”

Judith Chalmers bit – “On the Sunday after watching some of the knock-out stages we had a wander round Aarau – which is quite a pretty wee Swiss town. We then decided totravel into Basel so that we could explore there a bit too. I was looking forward to reminicing about my first international experience curling for Ireland – the European mens championship ‘A’ league in December 2016. Unfortunately, it poured with rain and being a Sunday in February, nothing was open! We were a bit disappointed about that.”

Curling again – “Not the best tournament for Team Fyfe – but all good experience before the forthcoming World Championships in Lethbridge. Next up is the CCT Dumfries International towards the end of March.”

Fyfes continue their Swiss tour

Neil reports:

Game 2 – “Our second game on Friday was against the 2016 Swiss national champions. Boy, they were REALLY good!
They played almost perfectly and although we managed to score in every end where we had last stone we were 6-4 down after six ends. At this point the Swiss pair elected to take their power play which they played perfectly – taking a 4 thanks to a couple of loose shots from us. Game over.”

Game 3 – “An early start for us on Saturday morning with a game at 0800hrs (0700hrs UK time) against the Russian pair of Sergey Glukhov and Anastasia Moskaleva.
Again we failed to play to our full potential and although the score was 4-4 after 5 ends we could easily have been ahead by 2 or 3 shots had we managed to play the latter half of a couple of ends a bit better. The Russians took control of the game in the 6th end by taking a 4 in their power play and we failed to respond to this in the 7th by only managing to take a 1.
In the last end the Russians ran us out of stones and the final score was Russia 8 Ireland 5.”

Team spirit shines through

It was team spirit that won the ICA players their second consecutive triple crown in the Four Nations at Greenaces. Every player that stepped on the ice to curl for Ireland made a contribution to the final WIN-WIN-WIN posted up on the screens around the ice rink. Some games were close, some games were not so close, both for and against the Irish, but everyone hung in there and made every effort to get as many shots counting as they could.

The Saturday games saw Ireland men and woman lose to Scotland in two very close games.Then two mixed teams got the better of Wales in the second session. The third session saw two more mixed teams face the English. One narrow win and one defeat left us seven shots adrift in that contest and four behind Scotland, but 14 up on Wales at the end of play.

After the Saturday night dinner and dancing….and some alcoholic refreshments for a few of us……… it was the ungodly hour of 9 o’ clock on Sunday morning when we returned to  battle.

It was the mixed teams that surged Ireland ahead of Scotland for the Marshall Millennium Trophy with two wins taking us ten shots clear at 31-21.

Then the men and women faced the Welsh through in the ice box on E and F. The men struggled but fought hard to the last stone while the ladies had a big win to make sure that Ireland retained the Meikle Trophy 40-21.

As is often the case, the tussle with England for the Turnbull Trophy was epic. Ireland were seven shots behind when David Whyte and his team of lead Nathan Furey, second Eoin McCrossan and third Arran Cameron faced John Brown’s England in the men’s game on C while Alison Fyfe skipped Clare McCormick, Jen Ward and Louise Kerr against Judith Dixon’s English ladies team on D. The men got a good start with a five but the women got a **** start, losing a three. However, the ladies ground it out end after end, with Alison saving the day at the sixth end with a magnificent tap up round a guard to save Ireland losing a shed-load of shots. With the men creeping up the scoreboard, Ireland were getting close to the magic total of eight shots up over both games.

The last end was pure drama. Peels with last stone, the women played a beezer of an end, Jen made a cracker to peel two guards with one stone, and the main aim to keep the front clear for our super-skip was achieved, with the added bonus of Irish stones peppering the house. With her last stone, English skip Judith made an under pressure draw  to lie shot in the back four foot.

Alison then elected to play a hack weight tap back on the English shot. She glided out of the hack and as her stone made it’s way down towards the bar end we knew it needed to swing…..it was hanging out…..then, at last, it stared to draw, but would it finish in time? It sailed into the house and clipped the edge of another Irish stone, rolling gently off it, ending up just touching the button as first shot,  giving the Irish girlies a hard-fought 6-5 win.

The measure to decide the winner on the Turnbull Trophy.

All heads then swung round to sheet C…… the men’s game next door….. where a  measure had been called for to see who was first shot in their last end. Time seemed to stand still as the measure spun slowly round……..phew, it was Ireland’s. Relief and joy for Ireland but agony for England. Our men had won 10-3,  seven up,  snatching the Turnbull Trophy back out of England’s grasp at the death by one shot –  27 to 26..

What a blast the Four Nations is. Roll on January 2018 when Ireland will host it at Stranraer Ice Rink from the 19th to the 21st.  This will be a first for Stranraer and, according to John Brown, who knows these things, the first time a Four Nations has been held at a four-sheeter rink.

On a personal note as the current ICA President,  I am immensely proud of what our small band of curlers achieved at the weekend. You are all stars! But, no resting on laurels teammates…..the triple triple is our next target. Go away and prepare yourselves for 4N2018.