Welsh Championships cancelled

Due to the poor weather conditions and uncertainty about whether the road to Dumfries will continue to be passable, organisers of the Welsh Championships have made the decision to cancel the competition.

The annual Kershaw Cup between The First Province of Wales and Preston Curling Club was also cancelled yesterday, because the venue – Lockerbie Ice Rink – had been forced to close due to the snow and ice.

This does not affect the plans for TryCurling at Deeside which are currently expected to go ahead as planned on Monday.

Four Nations 2018 – final results

In brief:

England 29-21 Wales (Kay)
Wales 31-29 Ireland (Meikle)
Scotland 34-22 Wales (Big Bertha)

Wales’ curlers could only manage one trophy from this season’s Four Nations weekend – but it was the one they had targeted, and it was fought hard.

Wales started day two of the 2018 Four Nations weekend knowing it was going to be tough to beat Scotland. They trailed by 14-shots against Scotland, whereas against England the margin was closer at 7 shots. Wales had a slender 3-shot lead against Ireland after their Mixed matches on Friday evening, when Adrian Meikle and James Pougher had mixed individual results against Johnjo Kenny and Corolyn Hibberd respectively – losing 4-7 and winning 11-5 respectively.

The Men’s team (under Adrian) faced Ireland’s John Wilson on Sunday morning, and it was a very close match. With scores back and forth, the match eventually ended with Ireland winning 8-6, taking Wales’ lead to just 1. A couple of sheets away at the same time, Dawn Watson’s women’s trailed Marie O’Kane by a couple of shots going into the final end. There were lots of Welsh red stones in the house, but Ireland could potentially retain the trophy with a well-executed final stone. However, the shot was a little heavy, and Dawn won the final end to take a 10-9 win, making for a 31-29 win overall.

It was the first trophy that Wales could secure, and the most sought-after, given Ireland had beaten all three of the other nations the previous 2 years. Victory for Wales also gave confirmation that Ireland could not win the Grand Slam for a third year running – as they led both England and Scotland at that stage, with both those contests still to finish.

4nations2018-stranrar-draw-7-1The late-morning session saw Wales play Mixed matches against Scotland, and while it was mathematically possible for Wales to turn the standings around, Scotland’s 23-9 lead was impressive. In the circumstances, both Andrews Robbins’ and James Pougher’s teams performed well and were the result dependent on that session alone, Wales would have won the trophy – but the 6-7 loss and 7-4 victory were not enough to catch up and Scotland therefore win Big Bertha (the Welsh Stone) for the first time in several years. This session also saw a number of players who were carrying (or the case of the author, picked up) injuries – which perhaps made the performance all the more commendable.

The final session was against England, and the Kay Trophy was more than mathematically reachable – given in Wales’ first matches with England there had been more than a little luck in the English favour. However, while both men and ladies played were both competitive matches, a 6-6 draw between Adrian Meikle and Tommy Campbell, together with a 6-5 loss by Laura Beever against Val Saville, meant the arrears marginally increased and England won the title 29-21.

 

Next year’s competition will be hosted by the English Curling Association. The ECA hope that it will be possible to hold the contests at the new ice rink at Barton Grange (near Preston), but should the rink project there be delayed, it will take place back at Stranraer. It is expected to be held 18-20 January 2019 (TBC)

Other results

Ireland 28-30 Scotland (Marshal Milennium)
England 35-32 Ireland (Turnbull)
England 40-37 Scotland (men – Tom Ballantyne)
Scotland 27-6 England (women – Connie Miller)

Four Nations – weather warning

Given a number of vehicles got stuck in the snow on the M74 between Carlisle and Glasgow last night, please bear in mind the weather conditions when travelling to Stranraer for the Four Nations this weekend.

A yellow warning for snow and ice was issued by the Met Office for Thursday and Friday, covering all of the A75 route from Carlisle to Stranraer.

It follows the more serious weather on Wednesday night – which led to an Amber warning – and left multiple lorries jackknifed across the route overnight due to the thick snow cover.

Please keep up to date with the forecast and prepare for the journey as appropriate.

Police Scotland and Traffic Scotland also issued the following on Wednesday evening (the “do not travel” warning expired on Thursday morning):

Police Scotland are advising that conditions for travel in the Dumfries and Galloway areas may be hazardous and EXTRA CAUTION should be exercised.

If you are travelling you should ensure you and your vehicle are adequately prepared for the conditions making sure you have sufficient fuel and supplies such as warm clothing, food and water in the event you are delayed for several hours. Charge your mobile phone and plan your route as well as alternative routes.

Listen to media broadcasts especially local radio and Traffic Scotland Radio or visit www.trafficscotland.org . For public transport information visit www.travelinescotland.com

 

Four Nations 2018 preview

The Four Nations begins on Friday at Stranraer Ice Rink in Dumfries & Galloway.  The Four Nations meeting is a chance for Wales to compete against Scotland, England and Ireland for a series of trophies.  There is usually a mixture of men’s, ladies’ and mixed teams.

This time, it’s Ireland’s turn to host the tournament, and it will be held at the Stranraer Ice Rink (inside the North West Castle Hotel).

There are six matches across the weekend, with the first taking place on Friday evening.

We will keep you up to date with how our teams get on throughout the weekend.

Season schedule for 2017/18.

The first draft of the season schedule for the new 2017 – 18 season has been uploaded ready for start of play on the 11th September.

This being an Olympic season I have tried to plan a schedule that will allow us to maximise on try curling opportunities after Spring half term in February.  Current expectation is that we will have 5 teams playing at 6pm and 8 teams playing at 8pm.  This means that there will only be 2 matches played at 6pm with the 5th team having a bye each week.  On this basis it will still require 10 weeks to complete a double round robin, which we will follow with a 2 week Christmas competition.  Please approach the bye team if you require a sub.

After Christmas the plan will be for a short (single round robin) spring league which will finish at half term allowing us to assess the situation with try curling requests after the Olympics has finished.

There will be no byes for the 8pm session this year, any 6pm players that are available to sub at 8pm please make yourselves known.  The plan for 8pm is to play a single round robin (taking 7 weeks) followed by a cup (3 weeks).  We will have a one week Christmas competition at 8pm but the final week of the Autumn session will be used to start the Spring league early in order that we can also finish the 8pm league just after spring half term to accomodate try curling if required.

Schedule as at 31st August 2017.

Teams can be found here.

Pricing information for this season can be found here.