Irish Curlers record their first win

December 8, 2008

Their record to date stands at played 4, won 1, lost 3.The team of David Smith, Peter Wilson, Bill Gray, Neil Fyfe, and John Furey are attempting to keep their place in Europes Elite A division .

Ireland 6- 5 France

IRELAND’S men’s curling team got off to a winning start at the European Championships in Sweden today, after downing France 6-5 after an extra end.
Peter Wilson, Neil Fyfe, Bill Gray and John Furey all held their nerve in the first round game in Ornskoldsvik’s Swedbank Arena, after hauling themselves back into the game, after losing a two at the first end to the younger French team.
A major turning point came in the third end when experienced skip Wilson made a crucial angled raise to remove the opposition shot stone. The deflated French gave up a three at that end and were always chasing the game from that point.
A steal of one in the eight end put the Irish one up entering the nail biting last few ends. The French gambled on blanking the ninth, to retain last stone advantage in the tenth end. Wilson played a very tactical end and after placing his last stone on the centre line at the front of the house, the French skip had a tricky draw through a port to tie the game and take it to an extra end.
 With guards building up in front of the house, Wilson asked third player Fyfe to clear them away. This he did efficiently to leave the four foot open.
As the game came down to the wire, the French skip used all his skill and nerve to play a dead weight draw to the four foot behind cover with his first stone, but Wilson played an accurate raise to lie shot in the open, the French knew the game was lost and the skips then traded hits to give Ireland the one shot victory.

 Match 2

Ireland 5-10 Switzerland

THE Irish men’s curling team went down 10-5 to the experienced Swiss rink at the European curling championships in Sweden on Saturday night.

After losing a one at the first end, the team were on track for a big two count at the second end after skip Peter Wilson made a superb triple take out with his first stone, but his last shot drew to much and left the Swiss lying one for a 2 -0 lead. The Irish stuggled with the line on very swingy ice and lost a three at the next end, got one back in the fourth before giving up two at the fifth.

The Irish were glad to get the break, and after a pep talk from their Canadian coach, Ron Myers, they visibly relaxed in the sixth end and, after some accurate play, got a big three count to put them right back into the game.

Thry were matching the Swiss shot for shot over the next two ends, but a two in the ninth for the Swiss killed off the Irish challenge.

Match 3

Ireland 4 Spain 7

The Irish men’s curling team went into their third game in the European curling championships in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, on a won one, lost one record. They were the strong favourites to beat the young and inexperienced Spanish team but went down 7-4 after giving up a big four in the ninth end. Both teams had come up from the ‘B’ Division last yearbut the Irish had been in the top tier before whereas the Spanish looked riddled with stage fright in their previous games.

It was a messy game with mistakes coming from both sides. The ice and the stones seemed to give them trouble all through the match and they all struggled with their form.

It looked like they would grind out a workmanlike victory until getting into a mess in the ninth allowed the Spanish skip to play a raised take out for a heart breaking count of four.

The Irish ran out of stones in the last end before shaking hands.

Match 4

Ireland 4 Sweden 10

IRELAND’S men at the European curling championships in northern Sweden put in a great performance before going down to the host nation.

Peter Wilson, Neil Fyfe, Bill Gray and John Furey turned on the style for the Swedish telly who were covering the game live.

Good curling and sharp tactics saw the Irish boys hold their own against the much younger Swedish side up until the 7th end when the Swedes scored a three.

After getting one back in the ninth end the Irish fought hard to get stones hidden, but the Swedes kept clearing guards and had two stones in the house in prime positon. It looked as if it was going their way again as they were lying three when the Irish ran out of stones.

The team have up till now stuggled with the speed of the ice and the accuracy needed at this level. They were happier coming off the ice after this game having given a good account of themselves in this contest.

 

Remaining pool matches:

Ireland play Czech Republic and Germany: 8th December

Ireland play Norway:9th December

Ireland play Denmark and Scotland: 10th Decemnber

Matches can be viewed on Eurosport

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