Wales face France in Europeans Opener

Adrian Meikle

Adrian Meikle (Skip)

The European Curling Championships are about to begin at Braehead, Scotland, and Wales are already there. The team, now an established setup, are looking to build on their result at the 2015 championships in Denmark, where they secured their place in the B-Division through a 7th-place group play-off.

For the 2016 competition, the team is largely the same as for the 2015 championships. Adrian Meikle returns to the line-up as Skip, as Jamie Fletcher takes the Coach’s position.

Five men in semi-profile wearing red and green outfits

Pictured (l-r): Simon Pougher (alternate), Garry Coombs (lead), Rhys Phillips (second), Jamie Fletcher (Coach), James Pougher (Third/vice-skip)

Jamie, who is currently unable to compete at international level due to injury, will also be providing some of the match reports for this website.

Alongside Jamie on our web team this year will be Laura Beever, who recently returned from representing Wales at the World Mixed Championships in Russia, and Martin Lloyd, who is a writer and has represented Wales at the annual Four Nations event.

 

Wales’ first match is against France, at 15:00 on Saturday afternoon. Live scores can be found on the 2016 European Curling Championships website. Sadly, while you can watch matches from the A-Division live on YouTube, none of the B-Division matches are due to be webcast.

However, with Braehead curling rink less than 200 miles away from Wales, it is expected that a large number of fans from Welsh curling will make the trip North at some stage of the next week. On behalf of all of them, and those who cannot make the journey for whatever reason, Good Luck, and Good Curling!

Wales team ready for World Mixed

#TeamWales at #wmxcc2016: Emily Sandwith, David Peek, Laura Beever & Andrew Tanner

#TeamWales at #wmxcc2016: Emily Sandwith, David Peek, Laura Beever & Andrew Tanner

The second World Mixed Curling Championships are about to begin in Kazan, Russia, and Wales are once again represented.

There is a mix of experience in the team, with Andrew Tanner stepping up to play as Skip and Laura Beever playing Third. New to the international curling stage are Second David Peek and Lead Emily Sandwith, although both have represented Wales at the annual Four Nations event.

The team landed in Kazan after a long journey yesterday (Thursday) and have today had a chance to try out the ice, which has been specially prepared for this competition. They have also taken to opportunity to explore the host city a little ahead of the Opening Ceremony this evening.

It is still unclear how many matches Wales will play at these championships. If Wales finish high enough in their group table, they will play in the knock-out stage, meaning more matches than the initial seven. However, one of the teams in Wales’ group have been delayed reaching the venue and it is possible that they may not make it in time for their first match of the tournament.

Wales’ first match is against Germany, at 08:00 (06:00 BST) on Saturday morning. Live scores can be found on the 2016 World Mixed Curling Championships website. There is also English-language live video coverage of the competition, although none of Wales’ group-stage matches are due to be featured.

Fresh plans for new ice: AGM 6th June

Revised plans for a dedicated curling facility in North Wales will be presented at the Welsh Curling Association’s Annual General Meeting this June. Both members and non-members are invited to the event, which is at St David’s Park Hotel on the evening of Monday 6th June.

Despite the disappointment of not being selected for the World Curling Federation’s Portable Curling Facility trial, the team behind Curling in Wales have not let the matter rest. Alternative funding has been identified for the scheme, which if fulfilled would bring a new ice rink just for Curling to the Queensferry area.

Curling at the existing Deeside Ice Rink has been established for more than 40 years, but suffera from two significant issues: limited availability, and difficulty converting the ice to a suitable standard for curling.

Due to the current rink also being used for skating and ice hockey, the number of people who can enjoy the sport is severely restricted. For those who wish to improve their skills, the available ice time and variable quality is a significant hinderance.

Currently, Wales has four hours of curling ice on Monday nights during the winter season – allowing a maximum of 96 players (64 in the last season due to poor ice on 2 of the sheets). In the weeks following the Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2014, more than 600 people came to try the sport for the first time. Sadly, some had to be turned away due the restricted availability, while for others Mondays are simply not practical for them. This has severely restricted the growth of the sport in Wales, and has also meant that the national teams have no choice but to travel to other parts of the UK and to Europe to play and practice.

For several years, a task force from the Welsh Curling Association has been exploring the possibilities and preparing plans for a new ice rink, which would be in a “temporary” building (designed to last an initial 10 years), enabling curling to take place on consistent ice and throughout the week. It is hoped the new facility would be ready before the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, and the likely influx of new interest in curling that is anticipated.

The latest version of the plans will be presented to both current and past members of the Association, and others who are interested, before the Annual General Meeting. If you have previously expressed interest in curling at Deeside but have not been able to come on a Monday, you may also wish to attend.

Non-members who wish to find out more are very welcome, but please contact the WCA Secretary with your contact details at least 24 hours before the event. In addition, all media enquiries should be directed to media@welshcurling.org.uk.

Wales at World Mixed Championships

Laura Beever (Lead), Andrew Tanner (Second), Dawn Watson (Third) & Adrian Meikle (Skip)

Laura Beever (Lead), Andrew Tanner (Second), Dawn Watson (Third) & Adrian Meikle (Skip)

Wales have been placed in Group B for the first ever World Mixed Curling Championships, which begin in 3 weeks in Bern, Switzerland.

Between 12 September and 17 September, Wales are due to face Germany, Australia, Norway, Israel, Finland, Canada, Spain and Latvia. If they do well enough to make it beyond the group stages, there will be extra matches to play on 18 and 19 September.

Wales previously competed at the European Mixed Curling Championships, which were held for the last time in September 2014, and won the title back in 2007.

You can follow the team’s progress on the tournament’s Live Scores page, and we will post updates on their progress online and on the Welsh Curling Facebook page.

Welsh Championships Day 2

The majority of matches in the Welsh Championships 2015 take place today (Saturday). With one round-robin match left for each team on Sunday, performance today matters.

  • After day one, three teams had the early advantage, but the second draw saw two of those three lose and produce a 4-way tie for second place. The day started well for James Pougher’s team who took a 9-1 victory over Andrew Robbins. Adrian Meikle’s side had less fortune in their second game, as Hugh Meikle came through a tight match with a 7-5 win. The third match of that session saw Jamie Fletcher’s team chalk up their first win of the competition, as they beat Laura Beever’s team 12-9 in another very tight match.

     

    Draw 3 saw James Pougher’s team maintain their winning record, as they beat beat the ladies 10-1. Two teams, led by Adrian Meikle and Jamie Fletcher/Andrew Tanner, were tied for second place, as Adrian beat Andrew Robbins’ team 8-4, while Hugh Meikle was the victim of a 9-4 win for the Fletcher/Tanner team.

  • On Sheet C, James Pougher’s team started well by improving their draw-shot score and have hammer advantage in the first end, though they only took a single shot in the first end. Despite having lost the hammer, they quickly took control of the match, stealing 2s and a 3 to lead8-0 at the half-way stage. Robbins’ team managed to restrict Pougher to just 1 in the 5th, and took a single shot in the 6th end, but by then the score was conclusive and they shook after 6 ends to give Pougher victory 9-1.

    On Sheet D, it was a family affair as father Hugh Meikle took on son Adrian Meikle, and it was a closely-fought match the whole way. Despite Hugh taking the lead in end 2 and never going behind after that, the match was quite close the whole way. The teams shook after 7 ends with the score 7-5 in favour of Hugh.

    Sheet E saw another close match between the ladies’ team of Laura Beever and the Fletcher/Tanner team. The men took the early advantage by stealing in the first end, but the women had the perfect response by taking 4 in the second end. The men pulled ahead by 2 shots in the 4th end, but it was level at 6-6 after the 5th end. Eventually it was the men who took the win after a mistake with the final draw for the ladies gave up 2.

    Full results

    TEAM END 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOTAL
    Pougher 1 2 2 3 1 0 X X 9
    Robbins 0 0 0 0 0 1 X X 6

     

    TEAM END 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOTAL
    A Meikle 1 0 2 0 0 1 1 X 5
    H Meikle 0 3 0 1 3 0 0 X 7

     

    TEAM END 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOTAL
    Fletcher 1 0 3 2 0 0 4 2 12
    Beever 0 4 0 0 2 3 0 0 9

    Standings

    Here are the standings after the second draw of the round-robin. Each team will play a further 2 matches on Saturday, with the last round-robin session on Sunday morning.

    TEAM WINS DRAWS LOSSES
    Pougher 2 0 0
    A Meikle 1 0 1
    Robbins 1 0 1
    Fletcher 1 0 1
    H Meikle 1 0 1
    Beever 0 0 2

    In the event of a tie at the end of the competition, the win-loss record between tied teams will decide the difference. If this is inconclusive, the average score in Draw Shot Challenge (discounting the largest) will break a 3-way tie.

  • On Sheet B, Adrian Meikle got the best result from the Draw Shot Challenge and took full advantage of the hammer in the first end, taking 3 shots straightaway. Robbins’ team took 2 in the second end, but after that never looked likely to catch Meikle, who went on to take the match 8-4.

    On Sheet C, Hugh Meikle was up against Jamie Fletcher and Andrew Tanner’s team. For the younger team it was a more convincing result than in their match earlier in the day. Fletcher’s team managed to steal in the first end, and despite a couple of twos Hugh’s team were always struggling to catch up, and after a few crucial missed takeouts they shook after 7 ends with Fletcher/Tanner 9-4 ahead.

    Sheet D was host to a comprehensive victory for James Pougher’s team, and the match was over after just 6 ends. Beever’s ladies had the hammer in the first end, but it was not until end 5 when they finally got on the scoreboard. The sixth end saw the men take a 4, and with it a win 10-1.

    Full results

    TEAM END 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOTAL
    A Meikle 3 0 2 2 0 1 0 X 8
    Robbins 0 2 0 0 1 0 1 X 4

     

    TEAM END 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOTAL
    H Meikle 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 X 4
    Fletcher 1 0 3 1 1 0 3 X 9

     

    TEAM END 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOTAL
    Beever 0 0 0 0 1 0 X X 1
    Pougher 2 1 2 1 0 4 X X 10

    Standings

    Here are the standings after the third draw of the round-robin. Each team will play a further match on Saturday, with the last round-robin session on Sunday morning.

    TEAM WINS DRAWS LOSSES
    Pougher 3 0 0
    A Meikle 2 0 1
    Fletcher 2 0 1
    Robbins 1 0 2
    H Meikle 1 0 2
    Beever 0 0 3

    In the event of a tie at the end of the competition, the win-loss record between tied teams will decide the difference. If this is inconclusive, the average score in Draw Shot Challenge (discounting the largest) will break a 3-way tie. The top 2 teams go through to the final.

  • A summary of Draw 4 matches will appear here after 19:00.

    Full results

    TEAM Sheet B END 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOTAL
    Beever
    H Meikle

     

    TEAM Sheet C END 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOTAL
    A Meikle
    Pougher

     

    TEAM Sheet D END 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOTAL
    Fletcher
    Robbins

    Standings

    Here are the standings after the fourth draw of the round-robin. Each team will play a further match on Sunday morning, and the top-ranked 2 teams will meet in a final on Sunday afternoon.

    In the event of a tie at the end of the competition, the win-loss record between tied teams will decide the difference. If this is inconclusive, the average score in Draw Shot Challenge (discounting the largest) will break a 3-way tie. The top 2 teams go through to the final.

Welsh Championships Day 1 round-up

Welsh Championships welcome signThe first session is now complete at the Welsh Championships 2015, and of the three matches, two were absolute nail-biters and saw changes of fortune in the closing stages.

At the end of the day, three teams have secured their all-important win, with teams Pougher, Robbins and A Meikle taking the early lead in the competition.

Summary

On Sheet F, Adrian Meikle’s team wasted their hammer advantage in the first end by giving away 1, but quickly took control of their match against Laura Beever’s by scoring 5 in the second end. The ladies’ team couldn’t turn the match around, and shook after 6 ends.

On Sheet E, Hugh Meikle and Andrew Robbins had a closely-fought match until around mid-way, with the lead switching hands 4 times throughout the game. However, it was the seventh end that proved crucial, as Andrew scored 3 to regain the lead and that momentum lasted into the final end.

Sheet D was host to a very close match between James Pougher’s team and the team entered by Jamie Fletcher (skipped by Andrew Tanner). Pougher, who is playing with the regular Welsh men’s team, struggled to control the match and Fletcher’s team took advantage to lead 6-2 after 6 ends. The match turned in the seventh end, when a cluster of guards left on the centre line allowed James Pougher to take 4 shots and level the match at 6-6. In the final end, despite Andrew Tanner throwing a perfect draw weight with his final stone the shot curled too far, giving Pougher the match.

Full results

Team End 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total
Pougher 0 1 0 1 0 0 4 2 8
Fletcher 0 0 3 0 1 2 0 0 6

 

TEAM END 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOTAL
Robbins 0 2 0 0 1 3 4 X 10
H Meikle 1 0 2 2 0 0 0 X 5

 

TEAM END 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOTAL
Beever 1 0 0 0 0 1 X X 2
A Meikle 0 5 3 2 1 0 X X 11

Standings

Here are the standings after the first draw of the round-robin. Each team will play a further 3 matches on Saturday, with the last round-robin session on Sunday morning.

TEAM Wins Draws Losses DSC* total
A Meikle 1 0 0 188.9
Robbins 1 0 0 227.0
Pougher 1 0 0 240.4
Fletcher 0 0 1 51.5
H Meikle 0 0 1 185.3
Beever 0 0 1 370.8

* – Draw Shot Challenge. Under the new WCF regulations, all teams must deliver 1 clockwise and 1 counter-clockwise draw shot before every match, which is then measured. During the course of the championships, all players from all teams must deliver at least one on each rotation. The combination of both measurements (in cm) is used to determine which team has last stone advantage in that match, and will be used to break any 3-way ties (after win-loss record between tied teams).

Welsh Championships 2015 begin

The annual Welsh Curling Championships get underway this evening in Dumfries, Scotland.

A record-breaking six teams have entered the competition this season, which was first contested between 4 teams in 2013. Entries this year include men’s, women’s, senior and mixed teams.

The competition takes place at Dumfries Ice Bowl, with the first games at 8pm tonight (Friday). After a full Round Robin, a final will take place on Sunday at noon.

European Mixed Championships Underway

Laura Beever (Lead), Andrew Tanner (Second), Dawn Watson (Third) & Adrian Meikle (Skip)

Laura Beever (Lead), Andrew Tanner (Second), Dawn Watson (Third) & Adrian Meikle (Skip)

The 2014 European Mixed Curling Championships have now begun at Tårnby, Denmark. Wales team, led by experienced Skip Adrian Meikle, are in Group C.

Between the start of the tournament (yesterday) and the end of the group stage (Thursday) they face Finland, Belarus, Estonia, Hungary and Spain.

The team didn’t fare too well in their opening match, a low-scoring affair which saw Finland beat Wales 5-1.

Today, our team face Belarus and Romania. You can follow the team’s progress on the tournament’s Live Scores page, and we will post updates on their progress online and on the Welsh Curling Facebook page.

Welsh National Championships 2014

The Welsh National Championships will take place in Dumfries on the weekend of 7th-9th March 2014. Teams will not be automatically be expected to represent Wales at European or World level if victorious – this will be determined via the Curling Performance Programme.

For more details about this event or the venue, please visit the event page for the Welsh Championships. Entry forms can also be found there to download.

National Curling Calendar

The new season is almost upon us!

The national squad for both Men’s and Mixed European competitions is well-established, but entries are still open until Tuesday 10th September only for Senior Men, Senior Ladies and Mixed Doubles entries.

Full details of the timings of these competitions, and the schedule of curling both at Deeside and elsewhere, please see the full Wales Curling Calendar 2013-14.