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.