WSCC Daily Blog – Day 6

Thu 19th April 2012 – Day 6

Irish Mens Seniors team, sponsored by Albert Bartlett, make it to quarter finals of World Senior Curling Championships.

It has been a long day for Irish curling fans at the World Senior Curling Championships here in Copenhagen and as fellow blogger John brown would blog – where to begin…..

9:00am – MEN – IRELAND 6 LATVIA 5

After an extra end the Irish men’s seniors team, Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray, David Whyte and Tony Tierney, sponsored by Albert Bartlett, finally, finally, got the better of a Latvian team that matched them shot for shot.

After an exchange of singles in the first half, Ireland finally pulled ahead with a two in the seventh end when the Latvian skip just failed with an angled raise, leaving Johnjo to draw for a two. Trying to peel every opposition stone in the last end went awry when the Irish skip took too much ice, played peel weight and went sailing past the stone sitting at twelve o’clock outside the rings. The Latvians drew the shot onto the back four foot and Johnjo missed his run-back double leaving the Latvian skip an easy draw for his two and the extra end with the scores tied at 5-5.

For the fans in the stands, this was torture. The team were nervous and there were some shaky shots. But, to cut a long story short, the Latvian skip drew to eight foot behind cover with his last stone. The Irish skip, Johnjo Kenny showed he had the four foot in his back pocket by drawing for the one shot needed for the win.

12:30 – WOMEN – IRELAND 4 SCOTLAND 9

The Irish Ladies team got themselves into the driving seat in their game against Scotland by stealing a one against the head in the fifth end to lead 4-3. but, a tactical error in the sixth end opened the door for Scottish skip Barbara Watt to score a three and take the wind out of the Irish sails. A second three followed at the next end and that was the end of what had been a compelling game of curling. The Irish ladies all realised where it went wrong and in the words of coach Gordon McIntyre: ‘That will never happen again. It has been a learning curve for the ladies who played really well.’

4:00pm – MEN – IRELAND 5 FINLAND 4

Ireland and Finland were tied at six wins each in their group, so it was inevitable that the head to head would go down to an extra end before the Irish team – Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray, David Whyte and Tony Tierney came out the winner and the team with the bragging rights.

Ireland held a 2-0  lead going into the fourth end when the Finns took a one. The Finns took one against the head in the fifth end but the sixth was a nightmare with Johnjo Kenny knocking the opposition in for shot instead of freezing to their stone. 3-4.

There were more hairy moments in the seventh end but most of the supporters, enduring baltic conditions in the two sheet annex, could breath a sigh of relief after Johnjo drew for a two and a one shot lead. In the last end everything was looking rosy, Ireland had two counters in behind cover and kept guarding. A Finnish stone was then raised into the four foot and it was debatable who was shot. Johnjo commented: ‘I’m quite sure we’re shot but I haven’t got my glasses on.’

The head was then opened up and Johnjo played a great hit and flop at hack weight for shot in behind cover. The Finnish skip had a raise to lie two and take the game but at strike weight he jammed it and only got one. Extra end. Again.

The end started in memorable style with Irish lead Tony Tierney playing his third tick shot of the World Championships. He is now known in Tårnby as ‘Tick, Tick, Tick Tony’. This was a godsend for the Irish boys who wanted to top their section and when the Finns skip failed to draw the shot when Ireland were lying two it was game over.

In the draw for the quarter final on Friday night the two teams meet again – would you believe it!

7:30pm – WOMEN – IRELAND 7 FINLAND 4

The Irish women went out on a high tonight after winning their final game here at the World Seniors by downing Finland. With former three time world champion, Norwegian curler Eigil Ramsfjell, an interested observer on the benches alongside the rink – he was hoping to update his tactics – the ladies played a steady game throughout. A very ropey seventh end could have seen Ireland lose a five, but thankfully the Finnish Ladies skip could not nail her last take out.

The supporters club upstairs were amazed and thrilled with the way skip Marie called the last end and after lead Christina Graham put her stone though Louise and Gill peeled everything red in sight.

Eigil was clapping every shot by this time and the Finns joined in the party by pumping one of their own shots through and gifting the game to the Irish. The ladies finish on a respectable three win three loss record.

WSCC Daily Blog – Day 5

Wed 18th April 2012 – Day 5

Both teams would like to thank everyone for the e-mail messages of support that they have been receiving.

MEN – IRELAND 8 SLOVAKIA 3

On ice that was tricky and frosty, the Irish Men’s Seniors team, sponsored by Albert Bartlett, kept their unbeaten record here in the World Senior Curling Championships in Denmark with a comfortable 8 – 3 victory against Slovakia.

After losing one against the head in the third end, the Irish team, led by Johnjo Kenny, played a really solid end to get three and then stole a two to cruise into a fairly comfortable 6-2 lead. So comfortable in fact that lead Tony Tierney, who was feeling a twinge in a thigh muscle stepped off the ice to let fifth man David Hume back into the heat of battle at the seventh end. David took his lead duties very seriously when throwing his stone through the back as requested to put pressure onto the Slovakians to score. The opposition did get back on the board with a one but they knew their time was up and decided to call it a day. The Irish still look good for a quarter-final berth on Friday but, as skip Jojnjo Kenny warned, they will concentrate on tomorrow’s game against Latvia first and foremost.

WOMEN – IRELAND 5 DENMARK 3

The Irish Women’s team, sponsored by Albert Bartlett, got back to back victories here at the World Senior Curling Championships when out-playing the home nation at the Tårnby curling rink during the lunchtime session.

The team curled a good solid game throughout what was, on paper, a fairly evenly matched challenge, and they seem to have taken on board the advise of coach Gordon McIntyre to up anti in both tactics and shot-making.

Singles were exchanged throughout most of the game and the ladies had the same problems as the men, playing at the same time on outside sheets with ice and/or stones. The women found a handful of stones suddenly losing or turning their handles on tricky ice.

They got a much needed piece of luck in the sixth end when the Danish skip played for a tap up on her own stone. Unfortunately for her, that shot was never going to come off at hack weight and Ireland stole a one. Another steal at the seventh meant that the Irish girls just had to follow the basic tactics rule book – throw lead stone through the back and peel the guards after that to keep the head clear. When the Danish skip hit and rolled out with her first stone she indicated that she wanted to shake hands.

Coach Gordon McIntyre said: ‘The team all played well today and I was delighted with their performance. They are on a won two lost two record and just have to keep up today’s level of play for their games tomorrow against Scotland and Finland.”

WSCC Daily Blog – Day 4

Tue 17th April 2012 – Day 4

WOMEN – IRELAND 6 RUSSIA 4

The Irish ladies recorded their first win here at the World Senior Curling championships when defeating the Russian ladies. They made steady progress through what was not exactly a game for curling connoisseurs.

The team played some good shots and the win will give them confidence for their game tomorrow against Denmark.

MEN – IRELAND 5 SWITZERLAND 3

Ireland’s men’s team got to four played four won after an extra end win against Switzerland tonight in the annex on very,very fast ice at the Tårnby Curling rink. The team played steadily to go into the last end with last stone after blanking the seventh. Skip Johnjo Kenny was then left with the draw to the four foot for the win but was too heavy. The extra end was memorable for another of lead Tony Tierney’s exquisite tick shots and for the draw to the four foot by third Bill Gray which put the pressure fully onto the Swiss skip. He tried to freeze the shot but came up short and Johnjo drew for two.

The Swiss skip, after much discussion with his team, tried the angled raise but it was off target and the boys in green roll on. In their section Finland have the same record of four wins but if the Irish beat Slovakia and Latvia in the next two rounds the game against Finland should not be a crucial game.

Bill Gray, the ICA President and third said: ‘The most pleasing aspect of this game was that when we were under pressure we played some really solid shots which ultimately made the difference between winning and losing.’

WSCC Daily Blog – Day 3

Mon 16th April 2012 – Day 3

MEN – IRELAND 8 ENGLAND 6

Ireland’s men played their least convincing game here at the World Senior Curling Championships in Tårnby this afternoon against England. Although a good win in the end, skip Johnjo Kenny was not firing all cylinders this time. But curling is a team game and steady play from Tony Tierney, David Whyte and Bill Gray set up a big four at the third end after the men went 3 – 0 down to a clearly pumped up English quartet. A steal of one in the fourth took them into a two shot lead but England hit back with a two in the fifth.

The sixth saw a cracker from David Whyte set up the steal of three that took Ireland into a comfort zone. The seventh was basically the English drawing and the Irish hitting for most of the end with Michael Sutherland hitting the four foot for the single.

In the last end, Irish lead Tony Tierney had his moment of glory when he played the most terrific ten-out-of-ten tick shot. We were all still talking about that when Michael Sutherland’s last gasp attempt for a tap back on the Irish shot stone to lie two and put the pressure back on Ireland clipped a guard and it was game over.

WOMEN – IRELAND 2 CANADA 11

The Irish women’s team were annihilated by the might of the Canadian Senior ladies in their second game here in Copenhagen at the World Senior Curling Championships.

Up against 11-time Scott Tournament of Hearts veterans, the ladies got a lesson in everything to do with curling – from tactics through to shot play, sweeping and communication. You name it – they did it way, way better. The highlight was a rogue stone from the next sheet flying over onto the guard the Canadian skip was trying to draw round. She was mid-slide when this happened so perhaps it put her off but she was heavy, leaving Irish skip Marie O’Kane plenty room to draw the button.

A severe dressing down from coach Gordon McIntyre at half time improved things and the teams swapped singles but it was all over a long time before the last stone was played by Marie to take a one at the end of the sixth end making the scoreline 11-2 to Canada.

MEN – IRELAND 7 USA 3

Ireland’s men recorded their second victory here in Tårnby this morning when beating the USA 7-3 in seven ends in the second round in their group at the World Senior Curling Championships. Skip Johnjo Kenny continues in a rich vein of form making shot after shot.

Two up after the first end, Johnjo faced three USA counters in the second. Two at ten o’ clock on one side and one a two o’ clock on the other. In a game changing moment he doubled the two on the left hand side before rolling right across the rink to freeze on top of the third shot. The shell shocked USA skip had to draw the button for one.

All the Irish team were playing well, inspired by their skip. Bill Gray came in at third today and David Hume dropped to the bench.
In the sixth end the USA were in a good position to get a two, but the big man snuffed out all hope of them raising their own front stone to the button behind cover by half checking it, leaving the skip nothing but the draw for the one.

It the seventh, Bill got a nick of a guard he was peeling, the stone sped into the house and cleared two stones there before rolling out leaving the USA men to scratch their heads in bewilderment. It was plain sailing after that and when the USA skip’s last stone caught the guard when attempting to follow Johnjo’s first stone in behind cover, the Irish curling legend drew for his two and it was handshake time.

The men now face England at 4pm. Ireland men have played two and won two, the English are on one and one. The Irish ladies play Canada this evening.

If you want to send a message of support, or otherwise,  to the teams our e-mail address’s are –
irl_m@wscc2012.com
irl_w@wscc2012.com

WSCC Daily Blog – Day 2

Sun 15th April 2012 – Day 2

MEN – IRELAND 7 RUSSIA 5

Ice cool Irish skip Johnjo Kenny had the crowd on their feet today with a stunning last stone to get a two and record a win for the Irish Mens Seniors team at the World Senior Curling Championships here in Denmark.

The team played a steady game through the first four ends sealed with a game changing three in the fourth. But, as often happens, two costly missed take outs in the fifth end meant they gave up a three after the half time break.

Suddenly, the Russians got a sniff of victory and came onto their game, peeling with the Irish by  the end of the sixth at five all. In the seventh, a good hit and roll out by Johnjo meant the Irish kept last stone in the eighth and last end. And boy did they need it. Johnjo’s first attempted guard drew to lie on the top of a  Russian stone outside the rings leaving an angle for a perfect plant onto the Irish shot stone for the Russain skip, which he made to lie shot. Johnjo then opted to raise one of his own stones from outside the rings onto the Russian shot buried behind cover on the button and he made it perfectly to score a deuce and record the win.

WOMEN – IRELAND 4 USA 8

The loss of four shots in the first end put the Irish ladies team on the back foot right at the start of their first game this afternoon here at the World Seniors in the Tårnby curling rink in Copenhagen.  On very fast ice the girls struggled to get draw weight but skip Marie O’Kane kept the team in the hunt with a series of good shots. The Irish won four ends, one more that their opposition, but it was just unfortunate the Americans had the knack of scoring more shots when they had the hammer.

WSCC Daily Blog – Day 1

Sat 14th April 2012 – Day 1

The Irish Senior Curling teams arrived in Copenhagen yesterday and are settled into the Dan Hotel with the exception of coach Gordon who has more sense than stay with the likes of us. The men arrived by courtesy shuttle bus in the evening but the ladies, who got in a few hours earlier, had to push their luggage and broom bags on airport trolleys half a mile to the hotel. No brownie points for the organising committee who had no one there to greet us when we came off our flight. Airport security chased skip Marie down the street and threatened her with a 4,000 kroner fine for nicking airport property but the other three hoofed it, leaving her to talk her way out of jail. Again.

We walked to the rink today for practice and found the ice keen and swingy. There are five sheets in the main rink with two in a separate unit, similar to Greenacres. Boys on the ice just now then it’s the opening party this evening.

Competition gets underway tomorrow.