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.

Teams drawn for Bonspiel weekend in Stranraer

Last years winners: Peter, Karlyn, Louise (presenting), Frances and David

As we return to Stranraer – not long after the 4N – the draw for the first game  always has everyone on tenterhooks. The Secretary and the President conducted the the draw at other ends of the telephonic communicating device and to ensure absolute fairness, two adjudicators – Ellie and Fergus – were in attendance. (Labrador and Flat-coated Retriever respectively).
So here it is:

Saturday 9.00 am

PJ Wilson vs Kate Adams
Ian Donald vs John Gilmore
Tommy Campbell vs JJ Kenny
David Whyte vs Michael Sutherland

11am

John Brown vs John PJ Wilson
Drew Paton vs John Graham
Jim Cannon vs Bill Gray
Andy Robinson vs Arran Cameron.

Can we also ask that teams bring one raffle prize for the Grand Draw.
Many thanks and see you there.

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

 

Four Nations round up

The Curling Furey’s representing Ireland 4 Nations 2018

Another hugely successful 4 Nations drew to a close this afternoon with full report and results to follow. As far as Ireland were concerned, we lost our hold on the Meikle Trophy against Wales and the Turnbull Trophy against England – both narrowly – but retained the Marshall Millennium against Scotland. Thanks to all of the Irish participants and to all of the other Nations representatives who travelled to Stranraer.

Irish 4 Nations Draw

Looking forward to the annual 4 Nations curling this weekend in Stranraer.

Here are the Irish teams taking part:

Friday 19th January
Wales 8pm Mixed

Johnjo Kenny Carolyn Hibberd
Jen Ward Arran Cameron
Eoin McCrossan Frances Whyte
Gillian Russell Steve Callan

Saturday 20th January
England 9am Men and Women

Neil Fyfe Carolyn Hibberd
Craig Whyte Louise Kerr
Ross Barr Christina Graham
John Burns Clare McCormick

Scotland 3pm Mixed

Bill Gray Johnjo Kenny
Jen Ward Marie O’Kane
Ken Hutchison Ian Donald
Frances Donald Frances Whyte

Sunday 21st  January
Wales 9am Men and Women

Neil Fyfe Marie O’Kane
Craig Whyte Louise Kerr
Eoin McCrossan Christina Graham
John Burns Roberta Warwick

England 11.30am Mixed

John Furey John Wilson
Christine Furey Margarita Sweeney Baird
Nathan Furey Steve Callan
Erin Furey Trish Boult

Scotland 2.00 pm Men and Women

PJ Wilson Marie O’Kane
Arran Cameron Louise Kerr
Ross Barr Clare McCormick
Ian Donald Frances Donald

Irish Senior Men at Kinross

The Senior Men – Johnjo, Bill, Neil, David W and David H were competing in the Over 40’s competition in Kinross this weekend. Having come through the Schenkel unscathed with three wins from three, they then comfortably won their semi-final before falling at the last hurdle to the Musketeers.

Neil, Bill JJ and David

The final started close but was not the most exciting as the ice was very straight. As the game developed the latter ends became more interesting with more stones in play but just a couple of shots which didn’t quite come off was the difference between the teams. The men are pictured with their High Road runner up prize.

New mens champions head to Denmark for C League

Congratulations to John Wilson, James Russell, Craig Whyte, John Furey, Eoin McCrossan and coach Martin Sutherland who won the Irish mens championships at Dumfries today winning the first two games in a best of three challenge against Andrew Gilmore, David Hibberd,  Steve Callan and Tom Roche.

They will now represent Ireland in the European C League in Taarnby, Denmark, April 11 – 18.

Mens playdown for Irish championships

Two teams will play the best of three games over the weekend at Dumfries Ice Bowl.

John Wilson, James Russell, Craig Whyte, John Furey and Eoin McCrossan will play Andrew Gilmore, Ross Barr, Tom Roche and Steve Callan at 11am and 4pm tomorrow and, if needed, 10am on  Sunday

Last year’s Men’s Champions, Craig, Eoin, John, James and Arran

There will be a webstream link to follow the action at www.dibca.co.uk

Good luck to both teams. The winners will represent Ireland at the European C League in April.