Team Kubeška win the Edinburgh International Curling Championship

Congratulations to Karel Kubeška, Jiří Candra, Martin Jurík and Lukáš Klíma, winners of the 2016 Edinburgh International Championship.

Team Kubeška, winners of the Edinburgh International

Team Kubeška, winners of the Edinburgh International

This was a commanding performance where they just got better and better as the competition progressed through the latter rounds of the round-robin and knock-out stages of the competition.
Derrick Sloan, Gregor Cannon, Alasdair Schreiber, Bobby Lammie and Bruce Moust with the Berne Bear

Derrick Sloan, Gregor Cannon, Alasdair Schreiber, Bobby Lammie and Bruce Moust with the Berne Bear

In the final, having withstood some real first end pressure from Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Alasdair Schreiber and Derrick Sloan to get away with losing a single shot against the head, they came roaring back in the very next end with a big four that seemed to come out of nowhere. From then on it was an uphill struggle for the home team, especially when, in an end that they looked to have under control – the fourth, a missed guard from Bobby, hitherto a towering presence in the team, then a short attempt at a draw from Bruce left the door open for Jiří Candra to make the simplest of draws for a big three and a commanding 7-2 lead going into the second half of the game.

In truth, there was no way back for team Mouat who having conceded another single in the fifth end, conceded the game.

So, Karel and company become only the fourth overseas team to win the famous old World’s Trophy, following in the illustrious footsteps of Eigil Ramsfjell, Ulrik Schmidt, Andy Kapp and Aku Kauste.

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Mouat v Kubeška in the Final

It’s never nice sitting in the gallery watching – especially if you made the knock-out stages of a big competition, so commiserations to Teams Hardie and the hitherto undefeated Rasmus Stjerne, both of whom lost out at the semi-final stage of the Edinburgh International. Congratulations to teams Mouat and Kubeška who march onto the final.

The Karel Kubeška team from the Czech Republic, Jiří Candra (fourth) Lukáš Klíma (third),  Martin Jurík (second) and Karel himself (lead and skip)

The Karel Kubeška team from the Czech Republic, Jiří Candra (fourth) Lukáš Klíma (third), Martin Jurík (second) and Karel himself (lead and skip)

Karel Kubeška, with Jiří Candra throwing last stones, and team mates Martin Jurík and Lukáš Klíma are the surprise package in the tournament and that’s not just me saying that; they had booked themselves on an early morning flight home on Sunday, thinking that they would never get as far as the quarter-finals. They then booked a private car to take them to Glasgow airport leaving at 2.00pm, thinking that they would never beat Stjerne in the semi-final. Well, they are here for the duration now and who knows what is going to happen in the final?

Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Alasdair Schreiber and Derrick Sloan

Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Alasdair Schreiber and Derrick Sloan

If they are to win the competition they will have to play well though because they will come up against local boy, Bruce Mouat and his team. Bruce is a member of the Murrayfield ice technicians’ team to boot so should know the ice pretty well too! They had an efficient win against Scottish rivals team Hardie. In the semi-final, their line-up was Bruce at skip, Bobby Lammie at third, Alasdair Schreiber and Gregor Cannon. Coach Alan Hannah tells me that the final line-up will be Bruce at skip, Bobby Lammie at third, Alasdair Schreiber at second and Derrick Sloan at lead.

The two finalist teams at the Edinburgh International Championship

The two finalist teams at the Edinburgh International Championship

The final starts at 2.30pm UK time and you can follow the linescores on the website.

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Quarter-final Reports and Semi-final Line up

So Sunday morning dawned bright and cold in the capital; not quite frosty but thinking about it. Three Scottish teams were left in the competition, teams Hardie, Mouat and Bryce and five overseas teams, the undefeated Rasmus Stjerne (Denmark), perennial Edinburgh visitor, David Šik (Czech Republic), Yannick Schwaller (Switzerland), Alexander Baumann (Germany) and perhaps the surprise package of the tournament so far, Section C’s winner, Karel Kubeška.

The Karel Kubeška team from the Czech Republic, Jiří Candra (fourth) Lukáš Klíma (third),  Martin Jurík (second) and Karel himself (lead and skip)

The Karel Kubeška team from the Czech Republic, Jiří Candra (fourth) Lukáš Klíma (third), Martin Jurík (second) and Karel himself (lead and skip)

The Kubeška v Baumann game was tight, tight, tight with the scores tied at 3-3 after five ends. Come the last two stones of the eighth end, with Kubeška leading 5-3, Alex Baumann was sitting two stones at a slight angle behind a short guard. Karel Kubeška called for the out-turn freeze with Jiří Candra’s last stone; played to perfection! Good for the Baumann team though; they saw an outwick opportunity on a long corner guard to take that stone out and win the game with a last end score of three. Sadly for them, their played stone just over-curled leaving team Kubeška with another steal for a 6-3 win.

Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Alasdair Schreiber and Gregor Cannon

Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Alasdair Schreiber and Gregor Cannon

In the David Šik v Bruce Mouat game, the score was tied 3-3 going into the last end, the Šik team having blanked end seven. With an open house to draw to, David put his draw through the back, leaving Bruce, Bobby Lammie, Alasdair Schreiber and Derrick Sloan to count their blessings and proceed to the semi-finals.

Troels Harry, Mikkel Poulsen, Johnny Frederiksen and Rasmus Stjerne

Troels Harry, Mikkel Poulsen, Johnny Frederiksen and Rasmus Stjerne

Rasmus Stjerne continues as the only undefeated team in the competition with a good win over Cammy Bryce. The Stjerne foursome were 5-4 up with the hammer playing the eighth end and managed to score one for a 6-4 win.

Duncan Menzies,, Blair Fraser, Dave Reid and Grant Hardie

Duncan Menzies,, Blair Fraser, Dave Reid and Grant Hardie

Finally, Grant Hardie, Duncan Menzies, Blair Fraser and David Reid had a good win against Yannick Schwaller. A two at end seven took them into a 4-2 advantage and a stolen two in the last put the icing on the cake and made the game look a lot less close than it actually was.

So here are the semi-final match-ups –
Rasmus Stjerne plays Karel Kubeška on sheet four
Bruce Mouat plays Grant Hardie in an all-Scottish semi-final on sheet two. Bruce’s team is rotating, so Gregor Cannon comes back into the team and Derrick Sloan drops out.

More later.

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Quarter-finals

We’re getting down towards the business end of this year’s Edinburgh International Curling Championship with eight qualifying places up for grabs from three sections. The top two from each of the sections qualify by right and there are two further quarter-final places for the top two third-placed finishers. The criteria used to separate the third-placed finishers was first, points scored, then the averaged total of the last stone draws.

img_8564-mouatimg_8629-baumannIn section A, both Bruce Mouat (Scotland) and Alexander Baumann (Germany) ended up on four points. Bruce qualifies in first place because of his round-robin win against Alexander. In third place on three points is Tomi Rantamäki’s Finnish team. Alan MacDougall (England) also finished on three points, but lost his game to Tomi and therefore finishes fourth in the league table. Tomi’s averaged total of the last stone draws was 70.325.

img_8746-rasmus-stjerneimg_8080-schwallerIn section B, Rasjmus Stjerne (Denmark) has had a stellar weekend so far winning all five of his matches, including a tight 7-6 win over Yannick Schwaller (Switzerland). That was Yannick’s only loss, so he finishes in second spot. Long term supporter of the competition, David Šik (Czech Republic) finished his round-robin on three wins and his averaged total of the last stone draws was 47.15, thus guaranteeing him a quarter-final berth.img_8758-sik

Section C was the tightest section with only former competition winner Aku Kauste (Finland) definitely out of the running playing the last round of the round-robin. Grant Hardie (Scotland) took a three-point total into his game against local rival, Cameron Bryce, who had two wins to his name. Bryce controlled and won that game, looking as if he had leapfrogged Grant in the league table. But hold that thought, because Karel Kubeška (Czech Republic) beat Felix Attinger to join Hardie and Bryce on three points and Martin Grønbech lost to the previously winless Aku Kauste. So, when the dust settled, it turned out that the three teams, Kubeška, Hardie and Bryce had all beaten each other and could not be separated that way. It had to go to the averaged draw shots and Kubeška qualified in first place (11.85), Hardie in second (27.05) and Bryce in third (42.77).

SO the qualifiers were Mouat and Baumann from section A, Stjerne and Schwaller from B and Kubeška and Hardie from C. David Šik and Cammy Bryce both edged out Tomi Rantamäki to snatch the top two third-place qualifier spots.

So, more dust and here are the quarter-finals!
Stjerne v Bryce
Mouat v Šik
Kubeška v Baumann
Hardie v Schwaller.

Let battle commence!

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Clash of the World Junior Champions

World Junior Champion Skips, Alan MacDougall (1991) and Bruce Mouat (2016)

World Junior Champion Skips, Alan MacDougall (1991) and Bruce Mouat (2016)

Alan MacDougall and his English team are welcome visitors to the competition this year. Curling historians will remember that, in a previous life, Alan was the World Junior Curling Champion playing for Scotland with team mates James Dryburgh, Fraser McGregor and Colin Beckett in Glasgow in 1991. If you dig even deeper in your memory banks, you will recall that he had a perfect 11-0 record in that far-off championship, eventually beating Canada in a tight final by a score of 5-4. Fantastic achievement!

Well, today, Alan with his English team mates, Andrew Reed, Andrew Woolston, Tom Jaeggi and Ben Fowler found themselves pitted against the current world champion skip, Bruce Mouat with two of his World Junior Champion team playing – Bobby Lammie and Gregor Cannon. The fourth player in the team is Derrick Sloan. Alan came out on top in this game with a strong finishing run that saw him steal two 2s in the last two ends.

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Swinging Ice at Murrayfield

The first session is well underway and the ice is quick and swinging! Talking to Scott Henderson, who is making the ice this weekend, he has the plant turned up to within an inch of its life and he’s serviced the stones. Result? Five foot draws all over the rink, ice running at just over 3 seconds tee to hog and 48 happy curlers!

More later.

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Teams Start Arriving for the Edinburgh International Curling Championship

Teams from all over Europe are now arriving in Edinburgh to compete in the Edinburgh International Curling Championships. Sections A and B have their first round games on Friday morning at 08.30 and section C takes to the ice at 11.00.

In section A, Bruce Mouat, the reigning World Junior Champion plays Poland’s Borys Jasiecki, Alex Baumann plays Scotland’s Ally Fraser and Finland’s Tomi Rantamäki takes on England’s former World Junior Champion skip (when he played for Scotland!) Alan MacDougall. In Section B, Rasmus Stjerne plays David Šik, Yannick Schwaller plays three-time World Champion Ewan MacDonald and Norway’s Magnus Ramsfjell plays Wales’ Adrian Meikle. At 11.00 in section C, previous competition winner Aku Kauste from Finland takes on the Czech Republic’s Karel Kubeška (coached by Brad Askew who will be very welcome back here at Murrayfield), Denmark’s Martin Grønbech plays Cammy Bryce and Felix Attinger plays Dumfries skip Grant Hardie and his team.

The sections are played in round-robin format with each team guaranteed five games over Saturday and Sunday. Subsequent session times (24-hour clock in brackets) are 2.00pm (14.00), 4.20pm (16.20) and 7.25pm (19.25) on Friday.

Apologies to Section C – they have a brutal start time of 8.00am on Saturday morning, Subsequent session times are 10.20am, 1.20pm (13.20), 3.40pm (15.40) and 6.45pm (18.45).

The knock-out sessions all take place on Sunday with the quarter-finals at 8.30, the semis at 11.30 and the final at 2.30pm (14.30).

We are all looking forward to the competition.

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EICC Seniors – Winners

Your Winners for 2015

Ladies Winners – Team Adams

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Mens Winners – Team Prentice

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Team Smith Wins 2015 EICC!

Quarter Final Round up

It was Murray Combe who was first to falter, and took an early bath after going 7-0 down to Kauste  of Finland – was Kauste on to retain the title for a second year?
Team Smith who finished second in their group stage took on Team Brewster, who qualified top of their group with 5-0.  After a quiet first few ends, it was Smith who took the lead with a single in the 3rd, followed by a three in the 5th.  It was the 6th end before Team Brewster put a single on the board, but a two in the 7th put pay to any chance of a come back and the game was over.
Van Dorp and MacLeod had a very cagey game with singles being traded throughout the game.  Peels going down the last, Van Dorp had hammer, and capitalised making a single to win the game.
Team MacDonald with David Edwards at the helm, came out the group stages top of their group, with only a single loss.  In the early morning quarters, Team MacDonald were looking good and seen off Attinger 6-1 after 5 ends, singles were traded for the next two ends before the Attinger shook hands.

Semi Final Round up

In the Semi-Final Kauste played Smith, while Van Dorp played MacDonald.

In the Kauste vs Smith game, singles were traded in the first two ends.  But the turning point came in the 3rd end, where Smith racked up a score of four to go 5-1 ahead, though Kauste came back in the 4th with a two, the 5th blanked, a further score of two in the 6th and Smith hitting for home in the 7th the game was all but over.  Kauste threw everything inch perfect, but Smith answered every question and the game was over after the 7th end.

Meanwhile in the MacDonald vs Van Drop game, MacDonald were looking good, 2-0 after the 4th, Van Dorp fought back scoring a 3 in the 5th bringing them right back into the game.  MacDonald took singles in the next two ends, eeking out a single shot lead going down the last.  Van Dorp with hammer needed a mistake from MacDonald to make his two.  It came in the form of a missed guard removal which resulted in all three MacDonald stones being removed from the head leaving the door wide open for Van Dorp and he capitalised taking a two in the final end, to win 5-4.

Final Round-Up

2015_Winners_On Ice2_webAnd so it came down the final two, Team Smith(right top) vs Team Van Dorp (right bottom).  It was a tight game for the first few ends, Van Dorp was first to get a single on the board, but Smith responded with a two.  This repeated in the 3rd and 4th ends, though Van Dorp took a two in the 5th.  However, Team smith extended their lead after two slack shots from Van Dorp left an open draw fo2015_Runners-Up On Ice_webr a three in the 6th putting Smith 7-4 ahead.  Van Dorp made a valiant attempt to come back gaining a single in the 7th, but were unable to gain any further loosing a single in the 8th making the final score 8-5 to Team Smith.  Making them 2015 Edinburgh International Curling Championship winners!

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Pictures from the final

 

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© Billy Munro
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© Gav Young

Runners-up – Team Sik

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2014 Edinburgh International Curling Championship Winners, Team Kauste.

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