Mixed – day 1

Bill, Margarita, Ross and Jacqui

Bill, Margarita, Ross and Jacqui

There were two games in the Irish mixed championships last night. The 5pm game went to the team of Bill Gray, Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Ross Barr and Jacqui Barr 6-5 over Johnjo Kenny, Louise Kerr, David Whyte and Jen Ward.

Johnjo, Louise, David and Jen

Johnjo, Louise, David and Jen

At 8.30pm James Russell, Alison Fyfe, Craig Whyte and Ailsa Anderson stole two in the last end to get the better of Johnjo and Co. 7-5.

That means the two winning teams now face each other today in a best of three decider.

Robin and the big guns win Stranraer weekend

 

Jim Cannon, Robin Gray, ICA President Louise Kerr, Christine Cannon and Jenni Cannon

Jim Cannon, Robin Gray, ICA President Louise Kerr, Christine Cannon and Jenni Cannon

The Irish Curling Association Stranraer weekend was won in style by a rink skipped by Robin Gray with three members of the Cannon family from Wigtown – Christine, Jim and Jenni.

This new team in our favourite weekend remained undefeated throughout the four rounds of the Shenkel system competition to claim the top prize of the granite stone trophy and £25 vouchers for McMillan Hotels.

Murray mcWilliam, Margaret MacAuley, Lauren Morgan, Louise Kerr, Peter Wilson

Murray mcWilliam, Margaret MacAuley, Lauren Morgan, Louise Kerr, Peter Wilson

The runners-up in the high road also featured Stranraer players Peter Wilson, Lauren Morgan and Murray McWilliam joined by Margaret MacAuley, who, with three wins and one defeat won the Ailsa Craig painting, Tipperary crystal wine glasses and boxes of wine.

Ross Barr, Michael Sutherland, Alison Barr, Louise Kerr, Fiona Turnbull

Ross Barr, Michael Sutherland, Alison Barr, Louise Kerr, Fiona Turnbull

In the low road the winners were, same as last year, Michael Sutherland, Fiona Turnbull, Ross Barr and Alison Barr, winning Irish whiskey and Irish cream liqueur.

John Gilmore, Andrew Gilmore, Louise Kerr, Diane Gilmore. Missing is Roberta Warwick

John Gilmore, Andrew Gilmore, Louise Kerr, Diane Gilmore. Missing is Roberta Warwick

The runners-up in the low road were the local team of Andrew Gilmore, Roberta Warwick, John Gilmore and Diane Gilmore winning cans of Guinness and Irish chocolate liqueur.

WP_20160221_002The consolation prize went to the rink of Andy Robinson, Rosemary Griffiths, Alan Griffiths and Rona Griffiths. With any luck Tayto bosses will see the picture and all the free publicity they are getting and decide to sponor the ICA!

The grand raffle on the Saturday evening drinks reception raised £329.10 for ICA funds. Many thanks to all who gave prizes and bought raffle tickets.

 

Four Nations results

Marshall Millennium from RCCC President Billy Howat

Marshall Millennium from RCCC President Billy Howat

Meikle Trophy from Adrian Meikle

Meikle Trophy from WCA President Adrian Meikle

Turnbull Trophy from ECA President Tommy Campbell

Turnbull Trophy from ECA President Tommy Campbell

Many thanks to John Brown from the English Curling Association for sending a comprehensive spreadsheet of the scores from the Four Nations weekend.

Marshall Millennium  – Ireland 33 Scotland 27

Alisa Anderson 5 Liz Paul 9; Johnjo Kenny 11 Malcolm McAskill 2; Bill Gray 10 Gordon Gilchrist 10; David Whyte 7 Robert Corbett 6

 

Meiklle Trophy – Ireland 29 Wales 24

David Whyte 3 Adrian Meikle 8; Alison Fyfe  10 Richard Pougher 6; Alison Fyfe 11 Laura Beever 5; Tony Tierney 5 James Pougher 5.

Turnbull Trophy – Ireland 33 England 22

Louise Kerr 9 Michael Sutherland 8; Carolyn Hibberd 3 Tommy Campbell 8; Johnjo Kenny 11 Andrew Reed 4; Carolyn Hibberd 10 Jean Robinson 2.

 

Senior teams get their prizes

Hugh Stewart kindly sent through the photographs he took at the closing dinner of the Greenacres EISCC recently.

EISCC winners - Peter Wilson, Ross Barr, Robin Gray and Tony Tierney (missing form the photo is PJ Wilson)

EISCC winners – Peter Wilson, Ross Barr, Robin Gray and Tony Tierney (missing from the photo is PJ Wilson)

EISCC runner-up - Marie O'Kane, Louise Kerr, Christina Graham and Margarita Sweeney-Baird

EISCC runner-up – Marie O’Kane, Louise Kerr, Christina Graham and Margarita Sweeney-Baird

The Irish men’s team won their event and the Irish ladies were the runners-up in their competition.

Ladies’ day at Greenacres

The Irish senior ladies team entered the Greenacres Invitation specifically to have some fun, and in the case of Marie, Christina and myself, enjoy playing together for the first time since 2013. Margarita Sweeney-Baird kindly made up the four and we had a team.

The journey to the final was a charmed ride on occasions, but we also put in some solid performances, particularly in the semi-final.

It was an ominous start, getting soundly beaten by Kay Gibb’s Scotland team 9-5. But  in the evening game we got the better of Gunilla Edlund’s Swedes 7-4. That team had only three players as the fourth was suffering from a heart problem. That’s the seniors for you.

Next day we played the lovely English ladies, skipped by Judith Dixon and won 9-3. It was an early start on Friday morning through the back against former winners, Susan Limena’s Swiss team. We really used up all our get out of jail cards in this one. Susan had a fairly straightforward tap back for a seven at one end but played heavy and we only lost a two. Three down going into the last end we looked good for a two to lose the game by just the one shot. The Swiss skip, who had hardly missed anything all game, had a simple take out for the win but inexplicably hoofed it down the rink like an Exocet. It just clipped the side of our stone, moving it five inches nearer the door and Marie calmly drew for a three. We were as shell-shocked as they were afterwards. That left us at the top of the group, a situation so rare Marie was taking a  photo  of the score-sheet to show to husband Gerry.

Marie EISCCWe then met last year’s winners, Marie Henriksson’s team from Sweden, in the last group game, and we won again! 8-7 this time. Although Johnjo was, once more, drained of all colour after watching our antics in the last end. Nuff said. We won and were now in the semis.

When Marie and I got back to Bridge of Weir that night, Gerry had the champers on ice and having packed my case and said my farewells that morning I had to unpack it all again.

M&CSaturday morning’s semi-final against Switzerland’s Karin Felder was memorable indeed. We  got ahead of them by four shots, but one missed guard when we were lying two in the sixth saw them hit for one and then they stole a two in the seventh. My last stone in the eighth was an attempt to hit their shot out on the straight side of the sheet but it never drew and inch and just nicked their stone, rolling it into the four foot. The Swiss skip tried to guard it but again, on the straight hand, her attempt did not cover their shot. If we peeled the game, they went to the final as they had more ends than us.  So, skip Marie’s last stone at the last end for a place in  the final was a hit though a 18 inch port. Straight side of the sheet at strike weight. We never had any doubt that she would nail it and as it sailed though the hole to its target I heard a huge cheer go up from behind the glass!

The boys were in the final and now so were we.

Jackie, Christine, Issy and Janet gave us a pasting in the final after we struggled with draw weight. And whereas with some of the other teams, the odd miss was not always punished, against that class of curler it was. But what a thrill to be there playing the final and what a day for Irish curling.

So, having packed up and said a second farewell to poor bemused Gerry, it was Groundhog Day as I rolled back up the drive in Bridge of Weir and unloaded my case again. More champagne for the Irish girlies, thanks to Gerry, before heading to the dinner. Poor Marie then had to raid her wardrobe to find me something to wear  as the dressiest thing I had with me was my pyjamas.

Skip Marie said afterwards: “A very enjoyable competition to play in: very well hosted by Greenacres. Our senior team enjoyed getting back  on the ice together although we did miss our 4th member Gillian Drury : Margarita kindly agreed to make up our four. We did not get the opportunity to get together for some play beforehand however we settled in early to steady play. The girls pulling out good shots at the right time. After an exiting semifinal we were delighted to have reached the final, which was won deservedly by our opposition Team Cannon skipped by Jackie Lockhart. We would hope to return again next year.”

 

Fyfe Trophy medallists

A hugely enjoyable day at Braehead on Saturday with 32 ICA members battling it out for the Fyfe Trophy, presented by the Fyfe family to the ICA in memory of John and Isobel Fyfe.

The format of the this brand new competition was two sections of four teams each playing a three game, three end, round-robin in the morning. After a break for lunch, the top two in each section played the high road semi-finals and the bottom two in each section played the low road semi-finals. After those four end games, the final for the Fyfe Trophy was between Bill Gray’s team and Johnjo Kenny’s foursome. The losing high road semi finalists, Neil Fyfe and David Whyte’s teams, played for bronze.

High road gold - Bill, Ross, Isla and Margarita

High road gold – Bill, Ross, Isla and Margarita

Bill won the big one and David squeaked past Neil after and extra mini-end when each player played one stone.

In the low road battle for the medals, John Furey’s last end supershot  to get a three for the peel against Alistair Fyfe saw that game go into a mini extra end decider with the Furey team, including nine-year-old Erin Furey at lead, emerging victorious.

High road silver - Johnjo, Alison, Frances, Steve

High road silver – Johnjo, Alison, Frances, Steve

President Louise handed out the medals and Alistair Fyfe did the honours for the Fyfe family by presenting the handsome trophy to Bill and his team of Ross Barr, Margarita Sweeney-Baird and Isla Kinnear. Bill spoke eloquently about the fantastic contribution John, but particulary Isobel, had made over the years to the cause of Irish curling and he was honoured to be the first winning skip.

High road bronze - Bob, Charlotte, Anne and David

High road bronze – Bob, Charlotte, Anne and David

Four members of the Fyfe family took to the ice  – Alistair, Neil, Anne and Alison.

Low road winners - John B, David, Erin and John F.

Low road winners – John B, David, Erin and John F.

Opening bonspiel at Hamilton

Six rinks of curlers from the Irish Curling Association turned out at Lanarkshire Ice Rink yesterday afternoon for the opening bonspiel of the 2015 / 2016 season.

Le tout ensemble

Le tout ensemble

The resounding winners were David Whyte’s team of Carolyn Hibberd, Charlotte Tierney and Bob Sherrard.  

David, Bob, Carolyn and Charlotte with the spoils of the day

David, Bob, Carolyn and Charlotte with the spoils of the day

Congratulations to the winners and especially Bob, making a winning competition debut with the ICA.

The association also welcomed yet another new member to the fold in Lesley Barrett.

Thanks go to secretary Bill for organising the bonspiel and the top team were duly presented with bottles of wine and the perpetual curling stone trophy by the President.

Scores: David Whyte 11 Alison Fyfe 1; Neil Fyfe 4 James Russell 3; David Smith 10 John Furey 7.

WSCC – game 1

WSCC2015-LiveScoreIreland 9 Kazakhstan 1

Viktor Kim (Fourth, Skip) Almaz Saidvakassov (Third, Vice-Skip) Roman Kazimirchik (Second) Nikolay Zhorov (Lead) Iskander Farizov (Alternate)

Viktor Kim (Fourth, Skip) Almaz Saidvakassov (Third, Vice-Skip) Roman Kazimirchik (Second) Nikolay Zhorov (Lead) Iskander Farizov (Alternate)

Solid starting performance from Bill and the boys. Four at the first then singles in the second, fourth and fifth put the game in the bag. Kazakhstan got a one in the sixth but a two for Ireland in the seventh end saw handshakes offered by the opposition. Well done men!

Next Game is against Latvia on Sunday at 12 noon local time.