Saturday, 11 January 2020

Team Davie's Season to Date

Curling, like any sport is full of highs and lows.  You don't really appreciate the highs until you have had your share of the lows; learning to win competitions sometimes means suffering the slings and arrows of the odd defeat.  When that defeat happens with your country's name on your back, it makes it all the more difficult to bear, but these four youngsters, two of whom we are proud to call clubmates, need to remember one very important thing: they got there by dint of their own achievements and their earlier success; they earned the right to represent their country and that is a great honour - no matter what then happens.

Anyhow, their coach, Andrew Barr shares his thoughts with us below.

Team Davie with Kirsty and Emma Barr began pre season training in early August with weekly technical and team sessions.

This season the girl’s have chosen to play more challenging tournaments to help develop their skills and hopefully become more confident and better equipped to compete at World Championships.

First tournament was in early September where they flew to Zurich to play an EJCT (European Junior Curling Tour) event in St Gallen, were they missed out on the final with a last stone defeat in the Semi Final but went on to win 3rd/4th playoff.

A fortnight later Braehead was the venue for the first Scottish Curling Tour event of the season which saw Team Davie win 2 out of 3 section games, including an excellent victory (with sibling rivalry) over Cameron McNay’s team which had Gavin Barr playing lead stones. The girls suffered a heavy defeat to the English Men’s Champions in the High Road Quarter Finals.

Second weekend in October, the girls competed in the first Scottish Junior Slam event to be held at Murrayfield. A consistent weekend although never really finding top form, lead to a tournament win after extra ends in both semi and final. Currie and Balerno member Robin Copland presided over the prize giving. (Photo below).

Team Davie win the U.21 Competition at Murrayfield
from left: Emma Barr (lead), Anna Skuse (second), Kirsty Barr (third) and Lisa Davie (skip) 

At the end of October the team were invited by Scottish Curling to compete against Beth Farmer’s World Junior B Champions 2019 in a best of 5 games format in Dumfries. The winner of this mini tournament would represent Scotland at World Junior B in Finland in December.

The first game on Saturday was a slightly defensive affair with both teams determined to be the first to gain the advantage of getting that all important first win. With the teams tied 4 each after 7, Lisa had a hit to to win in the 8th but just rolled out, but she managed to draw the 8 foot in the extra for a win.

In game 2, Team Davie got off to a fast start forcing 1 in the first, end 2 was probably the most interesting end of the day for spectators with at least 8 stones in or biting the 4 foot, this lead to a big score of 4 for Team Davie who kept up the good play to steal single points in ends 3 and 4. Singles were exchanged in 5 and 6, and handshakes were offered. Team Davie 2 nil up! 

Team Davie made another strong start and lead by 5 shots after 3 ends. A strong fight back by Team Farmer brought the score to 6-5 playing 8 but when Beth’s last draw slipped out of shot position hand shakes were offered.

3 nil in the best of 5 was not a result anyone would have predicted, these two teams have played each other on numerous occasions with about a 50/50 win/loss record. Saturday was a busy day with little time to recover between games, so I guess the win in game 1 was hugely important, a tough day for Team Farmer but I think Team Davie were the most consistent throughout and thoroughly deserved to win.

Back to Braehead (EJCT) in early November as reigning champions, they faced Swiss (win), Hungarian (win), Scottish (loss) and Norwegian (win) teams and qualified for quarter finals only to lose to another Swiss team.

In late November the girls once again flew to Zurich to compete in the Thun EJCT, good performances in the section games against Czech (win), Swedish (loss), Swiss (2 wins) and Norwegian (loss) opponents earned them a place in the quarters finals against a Hungarian team which resulted in defeat.

Team Davie flew out to Finland in December as Team Scotland to play in The World Junior B Championships with Beth Farmer as 5th and accompanied by a physio, (James Cruikshank) a Team coach and National Coach (Andrew Barr & David Ramsay) . The objective, simple, medalling nations would be promoted to World A Juniors in February to be played in Krasnoyarsk in Russia. The venue, Kisakallio near Lohja about 40 minutes drive West of Helsinki was ideal, with meals and accommodation, walking distance from the ice rink which provided near perfect curling conditions.

Scotland were drawn in a tough group with with Denmark, Germany and Latvia. The Danish team representing their country in European A’s and the Latvian skip who had an outstanding tournament playing lead stones at European A , so pretty experienced. Both of these games were lost, and wins against Slovenia, Germany and Australia set up a final group game whereby the winner would qualify for the quarter finals. (NZ and Scotland  sitting 3rd and 4th respectively in DSC ranking overall). This was a tough game for the girls to lose, they all played well, both Skips playing some fantastic shots, the NZ skip drawing against 4 in end 3 and making a tricky hit to win the game in the 8th. So Scotland girls will be  missing out on World A Juniors this year, but congratulations to Japan, Latvia and Denmark for winning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals respectively and good luck in Russia.

Thanks for the report, coach Andrew.  Good luck to you and the team going forward into the second half of the season!

Lymphoy Trophy Round 2.1 Results and League Table

Presumably still smarting after the last two ends of his game against Niall Gunn last week, John Steven, who had Stuart Ronald, Mark Munro and Jill Gillard playing for him, racked up an impressive 16-2 win against Dave Munro, Katie Wood, Betty Gibb and Sheena Munro.  Looks to have one of those games for team Munro, losing a 2, 3, then another three in the first three ends.

Meanwhile, Niall, Kerry, Joe Barry and Ian Keron were 9-1 up against Shona Watt after five ends.  They went on to win 9-3.

Here is the results grid

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Dave Munro 8 4 3 2 16 2
Shona Watt 4 8 4 3 9 3
John Steven 16 2 5 3 14 3
Niall Gunn 9 3 4 14 3 5
Jenny Barr 6 6 4
Andrew Galloway 6 6 3
Brian Fleming 7 2 4
Susan Kesley 2 7 2

And now the league table

  Team Played Ends Shots u/(d) Shots scored Points
1 Niall Gunn 2 9 17 23 4
2 John Steven 2 8 3 19 2
3 Dave Munro 2 5 -10 10 2
4 Brian Fleming 1 4 5 7 2
5 Jenny Barr 1 4 0 6 1
6 Andrew Galloway 1 3 0 6 1
7 Shona Watt 2 7 -10 7 0
8 Susan Kesley 1 2 -5 2 0
Niall is looking ominously strong.  If his team manage to play most of their games, it is difficult to see past them.  Wow - that's an early prediction if ever I saw one!

Lymphoy Trophy Round 1 Results and League Table

Interesting first round, the most interesting game of which was the Niall Gunn v John Steven clash.  After six ends (and sometimes, when you think about it, games only have six ends!), the score was tied 3-3.  I was on the next sheet and both teams looked to be throwing bombs at each other - often asking the respective skips to come up with difficult last stones.  In the seventh end, Niall, Kerry Clark, Joe Barry and substitute Ian Keron scored a decisive 4 to take a 7-3 lead.  John had to throw caution to the wind in his last end and, as can sometimes happen in these situations, lost a big 7 to lose 14-3.  Who'd have thought?

In the meantime, Andrew Galloway was leading Jenny Barr by two shots with the last end to play.  What's more, he had the hammer!  The least said about how they contrived to lose a two against the head the better and the game ended in an honourable draw!

Brian managed an important win against Susan Kesley and Shone Watt, after a bright start, lost a 4 in the third end and never really recovered.  Dave Munro, Katie Wood, Betty Gibb and Sheena Munro walked away with the spoils.

Here's the results grid.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Dave Munro 8 4 3
Shona Watt 4 8 4
John Steven 3 14 3
Niall Gunn 14 3 5
Jenny Barr 6 6 4
Andrew Galloway 6 6 3
Brian Fleming 7 2 4
Susan Kesley 2 7 2
And here is the league table

Team Played Ends Shots u/(d) Shots scored Points
1 Niall Gunn 1 5 11 14 2
2 Brian Fleming 1 4 5 7 2
3 Dave Munro 1 3 4 8 2
4 Jenny Barr 1 4 0 6 1
5 Andrew Galloway 1 3 0 6 1
6 Shona Watt 1 4 -4 4 0
7 John Steven 1 3 -11 3 0
8 Susan Kesley 1 2 -5 2 0