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.

Four Nations 2017 – final results

In brief:

Wales 30-29 England (Kay)
Ireland 40-21 Wales (Meikle)
Wales 36-15 Scotland (Big Bertha)

Wales’ curlers once again took two trophies from a successful – if occasionally very tense – weekend at the Four Nations.

Wales started day two of the 2017 Four Nations weekend knowing they were already favourites to win two out of their three possible trophies. A healthy overnight lead against both Scotland and England meant the Kay Trophy and the Welsh Stone were within their sights, but a 12-shot deficit to Ireland implied a spectacular effort would be needed for Wales to win the Meikle Trophy.

wales-englandThe day started with matches against England, with Andrew Tanner’s men on Sheet A against Tommy Campbell, while Laura Beever’s ladies faced Lesley Gregory on Sheet B. Initially it looked as though they might both be quite tight matches, but in the second half they started to tell different stories. Andrew Tanner’s team opened up a 5-point lead in the sixth end, having scored 2 shots with the hammer and then stealing two against it, but just after that the ladies conceded a score of 4 to put England’s team 11-5 ahead. In the end, it was a pressured final stone draw for Andrew Tanner, and the crowd thought it might have come up just short, but in the end had the final scores (a 9-4 win for the men and a 12-5 loss for the ladies) meant Wales had a single shot advantage and so retain the Kay Trophy.

In the middle session, Wales knew they had a bit of a mountain to climb. Ireland led by 12 shots overnight, although their men’s skip JohnJo Kenny had (just as Wales’ Adrian Meikle did) sustained injury and therefore did not play today. Chris Wells led the Wales men to a 11-5 win by playing consistently and shutting down most of the opportunites Ireland had to score. However, the ladies struggled and lost 16-3 and so Ireland won overall, by 40 shots to 21, and retain the Meikle Trophy.

wales-final-end2The battle for the Big Bertha (Welsh) Stone was already set well in Wales’ favour, as they led Scotland 18-6 overnight. Despite Scotland winning quite a few ends, it was Wales who in both the ladies’ and the men’s matches who took the large scores. A pressured draw into a very congested Sheet A house meant Andrew Tanner’s team took 3 to lead 7-4 after 6 ends, while on Sheet B Wales took a score of 4 to lead by the same score. The ladies built on that to steal two in the seventh, while the men contained Scotland to a single shot, meaning by the time the eighth end started the trophy’s fate was almost mathematically certain, as Wales led by 7 shots in the two matches and 15 shots overall. The men finished their match with a fairly simple takeout for one, which gave them an 8-5 victory, while the women had to wait for Scottish skip Jan Howard to play her last stone into the house where Wales lay shot. The takeout overcurled and hit the guard, giving the Wales ladies a 10-4 win and confirming overall victory for Wales 36-15.

ladies-hi5There was one other trophy be decided on the final session, in the contest between England and Ireland. This one had seen the advantage swing both ways and as the two matches went into their final ends there was barely a shot between the nations overall. In the end, it came down to a measure on Sheet C, but it was finally confirmed that Ireland had taken a single shot in both match and won the trophy by one shot overall.

Next year’s competition is expected to be held 19-21 January 2018 at the ice rink in Stranraer, organised by the Irish Curling Association.

Other results

Ireland 31 – 21 Scotland (Marshal Milennium)
Ireland 27 – 26 England (Turnbull)
England 77-39 Scotland (men – Tom Ballantyne)
England 12-15 Scotland (women – Connie Miller)

Four Nations 2017 Day One

sat-1200-2In brief:

Wales 16-13 England,

Wales 7-19 Ireland,

Wales 18-6 Scotland,

The first day of this year’s Four Nations saw Wales take a small lead in their contest against England for the Kay Trophy, and build a significant lead in the battle for the Big Bertha stone against Scotland. However, there will be a significant challenge ahead for Wales if they want to regain the Hugh Meikle Trophy from Ireland, as they trail by 12 shots. Once again, it was the only day of the weekend where all Wales’ matches were of Mixed teams, although this was not true for the other nations at Greenacres. Continue reading

Four Nations 2017 preview

The Four Nations begins on Saturday at Greenacres curling club in Renfrewshire.  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 Scotland’s turn to host the tournament, and in a change of venue, we will once again return to Greenacres (which as well as hosting the Four Nations in 2016, also hosts the annual Welsh Bonspiel).

There are three matches on each day, with the first taking place at 9am. For Wales, the days are split neatly, with Saturday being a day for Mixed matches, while Sunday sees matches between men’s teams and women’s teams.

Saturday 28th Sunday 29th
0900 1200 1500 0900 1130 1400
4th Adrian Meikle Andrew Tanner Chris Wells Andrew Tanner  Adrian Meikle Adrian Meikle
3rd Dawn Watson Emily Sandwith Laura Beever Richard Pougher  Rhys Phillips Richard Pougher
2nd David Peek Garry Coombs Rhys Phillips Garry Coombs  David Peek Garry Coombs
1st Rachel McCann Delyth Glyn Jones Mike Thackray Alistair Reid  Chris Wells Mike Thackray
England Ireland Scotland England Ireland Scotland
4th Chris Wells Richard Pougher Adrian Meikle Laura Beever Dawn Watson Dawn Watson
3rd Laura Beever Heather Russell Dawn Watson Heather Russell Heather Russell Laura Beever
2nd Rhys Phillips Alistair Reid David Peek Rachel McCann Emily Sandwith Emilty Sandwith 
1st Alistair Reid Mike Thackray Blair Hughes Delyth Glyn Jones Rachel McCann Delyth Glyn Jones

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

Big day for Wales in Mixed Doubles

Adrian Meikle (l) and Dawn Watson (r).

Adrian Meikle (l) and Dawn Watson (r).

Today is a day that could well decide Wales’ fate at this year’s World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships. After a great start to the event, marred only by losing their first match by 1 shot, Wales sit joint third in their Group table, and play two matches today against teams that have a good pedigree in this format of the game.

Wales have been agonisingly close to the perfect record so far at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships. The pairing of Dawn Watson and Adrian Meikle faced a first match against Brazil, who have competed at the World Mixed Doubles since 2014. It was a very close match, and after eight ends of engaging play the scores were level at seven shots all. Unfortunately, the way the match had gone meant it was Brazil who had the hammer advantage in the Extra End, and they took a single shot to beat Wales 8-7.

Dawn and Adrian were up against curling débutantes Qatar in their second match, and it seems the newcomers still have a lot to learn about this discipline. Wales completely overpowered Qatar, as their only real mistake was allowing Qatar to steal 1 in the very first end. After that, Wales were totally dominant, and took victory by a 13-2 scoreline.

That leaves Wales joint third (with Scotland) in the Group F table. They next face the Czech Republic, at 13:30 BST (14:30 local time), and then take on Scotland this evening (20:00 BST, 21:00 local time). With Adrian’s aim being to reach the play-off stages, meaning a final table position of 1 or 2 is required, they could certainly use at least one victory today.

TV Coverage of the World Mixed Doubles Curling championships is available on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel. More information is available on the World Mixed Doubles championship website.

Four Nations 2016 – final results

In brief:

Wales 34-21 England,

Wales 24-29 Ireland,

Wales 27-18 Scotland

Wales’ curlers returned down the M6 with two trophies to their name after a successful weekend at the Four Nations.

Day Two (Sunday) started with Wales picking up against England with a small lead in hand. We were 6 shots ahead of England after the two Mixed matches, and there was a good response to it during the morning session today. The Ladies had a closely-fought match, but secured victory by 6 shots to 5, while the men had a much more conclusive win over England, beating John Brown’s team 14-6.

In the second session, Wales faced Ireland and we held just a 1-shot lead after the first day’s play.

The men started well, stealing a point from the first 2 ends, but Ireland managed to control the game after that; a chief example was that despite a superb double-takeout from James Pougher, Ireland still managed to draw to the centre of the house with almost pinpoint accuracy. The ladies did not have a great game, mainly due to the quality of their opposition, and the result was pretty well sealed when Ireland took a score of 4 in the sixth end to go 9-3 ahead – but Wales did recover somewhat with a 2 in the last end to finish with a loss of 11-5. James Pougher’s team could only manage a 5-5 draw, making the final score for the Meikle Trophy a 29-24 victory to Ireland.

Finally came the men’s and ladies’ matches against Scotland. The overall scores from the first day were level. The men had an easier game than the women, as the Wales men had pulled forward to lead 10-3 after 6 ends, while the women struggled to reduce their arrears to 2-6 behind at the same point. After a tightly-controlled sixth and seventh ends, the men took victory by 15 shots to 3, while the women took  2 shots in the final end to reduce their arrears to 7-4, meaning Wales took victory and the Big Bertha stone by 9 shots.

In the other competitions, England’s men secured the Tom Ballantyne Trophy by 63 shots to 47- although the trophy itself was not at the event! Scotland’s ladies fared better, beating England 20-9 for the Connie Miller Trophy. Ireland also managed victory over Scotland, taking the Marshall Millennium Trophy by a 33-27 overall score, and topped that off with victory over England by 33 shots to 22 in order to take the Turnbull Cup. It means Ireland are triple-crown champions, the title which Wales took only last year.

We return back home having retained two of the three trophies won last year. Next year’s competition is expected to be around 12 months later at Ayr in south-west Scotland, organised by the RCCC.

Photos of the event will follow.

Four Nations 2016 Day One

In brief:

Wales 15-9 England,

Wales 8-8 Scotland,

Wales 14-13 Ireland,

The first day of this year’s Four Nations saw Wales take a significant lead in their contest against England for the Kay Trophy, and in the battle against Ireland for the Meikle Trophy there is a very small lead for Wales, leaving that contest wide open. Against Scotland there were two very close matches, and the scores after day one were exactly level. It was the only day of the weekend where all Wales’ matches were of Mixed teams, although this was not true for the other nations at Greenacres. Continue reading