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.

Wales take Triple Crown at Four Nations 2015

Victorious President and Skip Adrian Meikle with (l-r): The Meikle Trophy, the Kay Trophy & the Welsh Stone

Victorious President and Skip Adrian Meikle with (l-r): The Meikle Trophy, the Kay Trophy & the Welsh Stone

For the second time in three years, Wales have had a clean sweep at the Four Nations.  The squad lost just 2 matches over the course of the weekend, and will hold all three trophies until next season’s meeting, which will be hosted by Wales.

In brief:

Wales 30-22 England

Wales 32-25 Ireland,

Wales 32-14 Scotland

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Wales finish Europeans equalling 2013 record but no play-off place

Wales' Men's team for 2014-15 season. Pictured (l-r): Simon Pougher (alternate), Garry Coombs, Rhys Phillips, James Pougher (vice-skip), Adrian Meikle (skip)

Wales’ Men’s team for 2014-15 season.
Pictured (l-r): Simon Pougher (alternate), Garry Coombs, Rhys Phillips, James Pougher (vice-skip), Adrian Meikle (skip)

Wales’ men’s curling team finished the round-robin stage of the European Curling Championships with 4 wins and 3 losses, equalling their performance from 12 months ago in Stavanger.

The men had the potential to go further, after keeping pace with Belgium, Hungary and Austria at bay until the half-time break in all their matches, but in each case their opponents opened up a significant lead during the second half of the match.

Watch highlights of Wales’ games at Monthey on the
Welsh Curling YouTube Channel.

The performance is certainly nothing to be ashamed of Continue reading

Four Nations 2014 – final results

The trophies up for grabs at the Four Nations

The trophies up for grabs at the Four Nations

In brief:

Wales 28-34 England,

Wales 38-26 Ireland,

Wales 32-22 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 sizeable deficit to overcome. We were 8 shots behind England after the two Mixed matches, and there was a mixed response to it during the early session. The Ladies did well, despite a slow start, by taking an 11-5 victory.  The men, of whom I was a team member, also started by trading 1-shot ends, but mid-way through the game the character changed.

Two men in red jacket and white shirt exchanging handshake as right hand one holds small trophy

Adrian Meikle (l) hands over the Kay Trophy to Tommy Campbell (r) for England’s 6-shot victory

England, helped by impressive shot-making by skip Tommy Campbell, took a 4 and it was difficult to mount a comeback. Despite best efforts, the men lost 9-5, giving the Kay Trophy to England by a 6-shot margin.

In the second session, Wales faced Ireland and we already held a 5-shot lead after the first day’s play.

Adrian Meikle (l) is presented with the Meikle Trophy for Wales' victory over Ireland.

Adrian Meikle (l) is presented with the Meikle Trophy for Wales’ victory over Ireland.

Both Wales teams initially struggled, with the men falling 5-1 behind at one stage, and the ladies had to recover from arrears of 3-1, which together wiped out our advantage. As the matches progressed, the pendulum swung back the other way, and good play led to Laura Beever’s team taking victory 12-8, despite a comeback by the Irish in the final end.  Adrian Meikle’s team also took victory 8-6, mainly due to their own play, but also as their opposition’s final stone took a pick-up and failed to reach the centre of the house.  It meant Wales retained the Meikle Trophy by a 38-27 margin.

Adrian Meikle presented with the Welsh Stone for victory over Scotland

Adrian Meikle presented with the Welsh Stone for victory over Scotland

Finally came the men’s and ladies’ matches against Scotland. A big-scoring end for the Scottish ladies meant an otherwise tight game was narrowly lost, and the men suffered a similar fate on the only inconsistent ice we had all weekend.

Overall, everyone enjoyed the weekend, and we returned having lost just one of the three trophies won last year. Next year’s competition is likely to be at a similar time at a rink in southern England, organised by the ECA.

Some photos courtesy of Bill Gray, Irish Curling Association.

Wales Crowned Champions at C-Division

Wales' 5 victorious curlers at ECC-C 2013

Wales’ victorious Men’s team at the European Curling Championships (C-Group). L-R: Rhys Phillips, Garry Coombs, Andrew Tanner, James Pougher, Adrian Meikle. Photo: Dara Gravara-Stojanovic

Wales’ men’s curling team secured promotion back to the B-Division of the European Curling Championships this week after they lost just one match in Denmark.

The team, assembled through the new national selection process in the Spring, were formally representing Wales for the first time at Tårnby Curling Club.

The team started on day one (Tuesday) with a convincing win over Serbia, then suffered their only defeat, 10-12 to Slovenia. On day 2 of the competition, a very tight match against Iceland ended in victory 8-2, and they followed that up with a more conclusive win, 10-2 over Belarus. On the third day came a close 7-9 victory over Ireland, which went down to the final end, and that evening they beat Luxembourg 7-1.

Day 4 began with a clash of the (C-Group) Titans. Both Wales and Romania had lost just one match ahead of their game on Friday morning – their last in the Round Robin stage. Romania and Wales kept pace with each other all through the game, and after 7 Ends they were level on 7-7. With 2 Ends remaining, Romania took 1 against Wales’ last-stone advantage and left Wales needing 2 for victory. End 9 was blanked, giving Wales the advantage going into the final End still 1 shot adrift. As the Skip Stones went down, and the house was set with Romania lying shot, a light knock, followed by a gentle draw, saw Adrian Meikle secure 2 points from the last End and with it a guaranteed place in the Gold Medal match.

Results elsewhere meant that the Gold Medal match was a replay of the final Round-Robin match, with Wales facing Romania once more on the same sheet of ice. The match started well for Wales, who held a 5-3 lead at the halfway (5 Ends) break. Romania eventually scored again in the 8th End but Wales were still 7-5 ahead, and after they took 1 in End 9 the teams shook and Wales won 8-5.

Victory means Wales were not only given the Gold medals for the C-Group competition, but are also promoted back into the B-Group. Romania were also promoted after beating Serbia in the Silver medal match.  The teams will return to international competition at the B-Group, contested at the same time as the main European Curling Championship, held on 23-30 November in Norway.

European Mixed Championships 2013 about to start

Photo of Andrew TannerOver the next week, I will be one of a team of four competing at the European Mixed Championships in Scotland.  We hope to bring you updates on our progress on the website and through our Welsh Curling facebook and twitter feeds.
For now however, here is the World Curling Federation’s preview of the tournament.
Wales’ team will be one of 25 Mixed gender teams from around Europe competing in the European Mixed Curling Championship 2013, which gets underway this Saturday (14 September) in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The championship will be held at Murrayfield Curling Rink and will run until Saturday 21 September when the Semi-finals will take place at 10:00 and gold and bronze medal games at 15:00. The Quarter-finals will be played at 19:00 on Friday 20 September.
This is the ninth edition of European Mixed Curling Championships and the first that will have the support of the World Curling Federation (WCF) following European Member Associations decision to dissolve the European Curling Federation.
The European Mixed Curling Championship invites each European Member Association to send one mixed team consisting of two male and two female curlers.
25 nations are represented in the event, which is split into three groups.
Group A: Belarus; Czech Republic; France; Germany; Hungary; Latvia; Poland; Romania and Scotland.
Group B: England; Estonia; Norway; Russia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Wales
Group C: Austria; Denmark; Finland; Ireland; Italy; Slovakia; Slovenia; Turkey
Each group will play a round-robin series, playing each opponent once. At the end of the round-robin series, and any necessary tie-breaker games, the teams ranked first and second qualify directly for the Quarter-finals, as well as the third ranked team with the best Draw Shot Challenge result. The other two third ranked teams will play a qualification game to decide the last team entered into the Quarter-finals.
Semi-finals will take place the following day to determine which two teams will play for the gold medals and which two will play for bronze.
Last year’s champions, Scotland, return to defend their title with a slightly different line-up. Eve Muirhead is unable to participate this year due to Olympic training commitments, therefore three-time Men’s World Curling Championship gold medallist (1999, 2006, 2009), Ewan MacDonald, takes over as skip. Replacing Muirhead as the second female on the Scottish team is Kay Adams, while the rest of the 2012 championship winning team remains intact.
The Irish team, skipped by Robin Gray, includes another world champion in their ranks in the form of 2012 World Senior Curling Championship gold medal winning skip, John-Jo Kenny.
Last year’s runners up, Sweden, return with a different line-up to the one that picked up the silver medals in 2012. Gustav Eskilsson skips a young Swedish team who will be looking to go one better this year.
Fellow Scandinavians, Finland, who won bronze last year, will also be looking to medal again as they are skipped by Tomi Rantamäki this time around.
Germany meanwhile return with Andy Kapp as skip. The two-time European Curling Championship gold medal winner (1992 & 1997) will be looking to improve upon Germany’s sixth place finish in 2012.
Winners of this championship in 2011, Switzerland, are another team who line up with a younger team this year, which will be skipped by Marc Pfister. 2008 European Mixed Curling Championship hosts, Austria, have also made changes to their line-up, which will see Sebastian Wunderer skip the team.
Slovakia skip, Pavol Pitonak, returns with a slightly different team this year as does Hungary skip György Nagy, Latvia skip Arnis Veidemanis and Russia skip Roman Kutuzov. Elsewhere, Ekaterina Kirillova takes over as skip of Belarus.
Amongst other notable athletes who will be participating at the European Mixed Curling Championship include Camilla Jensen, who won silver medals at the 2007 World Women’s Curling Championship and twice at this championship, along with fellow team-mate Søren Jensen.
Pia Trulsen, daughter of 2002 Olympic gold medallist Pål Trulsen, is included in the Norway line-up while Spain will be skipped by Sergio Vez following his experience playing in the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship earlier this year.
Other skips include: Miloš Hoferka (Czech Republic); Joel Ostrowski (Denmark); John Sharp (England); Erkki Lill (Estonia); Lionel Roux (France); Federica Apollonio (Italy); Hans Roger Tømmervold (Norway); Aneta Lipińska (Poland); Allen Coliban (Romania); Urban Zelinka (Slovenia); Oznur Polat (Turkey), while 2007 European Mixed Curling Championship gold medal winning skip Adrian Meikle returns to skip Wales at this event.

Wales take Triple Crown at Four Nations

Adrian Meikle receives the Welsh Stone (Big Bertha) for victory over Scotland

Adrian Meikle receives the Welsh Stone (Big Bertha) for victory over Scotland

It was a successful weekend for Wales at Ayr Ice Rink, with the squad coming home with a total of three trophies, the most they could achieve. The triple crown title is unusual but not unprecedented, with at least one other time in Four Nations history when Wales is known to have held that honour.

After day one, the sides were ahead against both Scotland and England – in the case of Scotland by a considerable amount. Even against Ireland it was very close, with Wales just a single point behind as they started day two. Continue reading

Wales relegated at the Europeans

Left-handed James Pougher, in a red Wales jacket, delivers a stone down the ice

James Pougher (pictured at Deeside). Photo © Stephen Lambourn

Wales’ only team at the 2012 European Curling Championships struggled.

With no women’s team entered, it was down to the men to fly the flag for Wales.  Their first match was a tight contest against Spain which brought a 1-shot win, but their remaining 6 matches went against them.  The competition ended with Wales bottom of the B-division table, meaning relegation to the C-division. Continue reading

Welsh Bonspiel – final

Thirds in the head

Third players in the head as Woolston (l) and Horton (far r) throw skip stones

The deciding match of the Welsh Bonspiel was set up between the teams skipped by Andrew Woolston and Ken Horton. Andrew’s team qualified from the Red section with a perfect win-loss record, and an impressive shot difference (+27). Ken took one peel from the Green section matches, going into the final with a 7-2 win over John Brown’s rink to give them a 1-end advantage over Graeme Adam.silver plate and 4 miniature wooden curling stonesThe final started with Ken Horton having last-stone advantage, but he was unable to make great use and the first end finished with the Horton rink taking just a single shot.

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Welsh Bonspiel – round 4

The final round in the group stages of the Welsh Bonspiel – played on Sunday morning – led to the teams skipped by Andrew Woolston and Ken Horton finished top of their sections.

Team Points Ends Shots +/- Team Points Ends Shots +/-
A Woolston 8 17 40 27 K Horton 7 18 29 14
A Carr 6 16 24 9 G Adam 7 17 29 12
M Yuille 5 16 28 9 C Martin 6 18 27 7
R Mackenzie 5 10 19 1 J Manson 4 16 32 8
H Stewart 4 17 32 16 A Meikle 4 15 24 -5
H Meikle 4 12 24 -12 J Brown 4 10 21 -6
A Robbins 4 11 22 -13 L Beever 2 16 24 -3
E Smith 2 13 20 -8 A Lyon 2 14 20 -10
P Bowyer 2 12 19 -8 N Murray 2 13 21 -14
K Preston 0 10 14 -20 J Carswell 2 13 20 -3

The results meant Carr and Adam would play-off for the J & M Trophy, and Martin and Yuille met in the match for the Stan Williams Trophy.

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