Ireland relegated to B Division

Germany will meet Norway and Scotland will battle Switzerland in the first round of men's playoffs at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2008.

All but Germany finished with Wednesday night wins to complete the round-robin portion of the championships, which will send the top seven teams to the 2009 Ford World Men's Championships in Canada next April.

Ireland will reflect on some positive performances against some of the best sides in World Curling. However their inexperience at this level resulted in some crucial errors at critical moments, which were punished severely by the strength of oppposition. The fact they went into the tournament without two key players also had an affect in their final position in the group.

They, like their Irish counterparts in Men's Hockey will now need to requalify for Division A through the European B Championships next time out. However unlike their hockey counterparts this team do not recieve any Government funding; their preparation has been funded by the Olympic Council of Ireland/ IOC Olympic Solidarity.

Match report:

IRELAND, one of the youngest curling nations in Europe, were given a sound beating by Scotland, one of the oldest, in the last round robin game at the European Championships in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden on Wenesday night.

Peter J Wilson and his team were completely out gunned in all departments by David Murdoch's reigning European champions.

The writing was on the wall from the first end when the Irish got themselves into difficulties and ended up losing a five.

They scored a one with a good draw from skip Wilson in the next end but had no answer to the Scots boys unrelenting power and accuracy in the third when they lost another five. It was just a case of playing on until the sixth end had finished, when they could put end the torture and shake hands.

The Irish team finished bottom of the 'A' Divison men with only one win from their nine games. This means they will be relegated for the Championships in 2010 in Aberdeen.

The team overall had a disappointing time with the 'luck of the Irish' deserting them on many occasions. Many shots were only a centimetre or so from brilliance but, at this level, pin-point accuracy is not just expected but demanded.

Ireland 2 Scotland 12






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