April 21, 2012
Ireland’s men created history today when they won their first ever world curling championship title by beating Canada 6-5 in an extra end and become World Senior Men’s Curling Champions 2012.
The main turning point in the game came in the fourth end when Ireland skip, John Jo Kenny, hit a double take-out to score four points. Canada battled back and the teams were tied 5-5 going into an extra end, Canada with last stone advantage. However they could not make it count as Canadian skip, Kelly Robertson, was long with his last draw shot to hand Ireland one point and the championship title.
Ireland's championship winning team included Tony Tierney who played at lead in the gold medal game, with David Whyte in second, Bill Gray in third and David Hume as alternate.
After winning the gold medal, Ireland skip, John Jo Kenny, said: “Scrape me off the ceiling! I feel unbelievable. It didn’t look good out there for a long time. I went through a bad patch but the team hung in until the end and we persevered.
“What can I say, it’s a great moment. A country of a million curlers against a country of 52 curlers - but on the ice it’s four against four. We came here hoping to win four games and we’re unbeaten. Hopefully it gives us some support and some exposure in Ireland. We’re hoping to get a rink in Dublin this year and hopefully this will be the catalyst that we need to get some coverage over there.
Their opponents were Bob Scales (lead), Peter Prokopowich (second) and Doug Armour (third). Canada skip, Kelly Robertson, shared his feelings shortly after the game. He said: “It’s like the wind has been sucked right out of me. They played a good game – we gave up a four ender which was a little hard to take but we came back. It was a hell of a game. Actually, he made a great shot with his first one in the extra end. If mine heads a little bit more it’s like check-mate and he doesn’t have a shot. I had the chance to win it with a draw, I’ve had draw weight all week, but it’s the way it goes I guess.”
The women’s final was not as close and encounter, with Canada winning 12-2 in seven ends against Scotland. Canada, who had Jane Arseneau as lead, Judy Blanchard as second, Kathy Floyd in third and Heidi Hanlon as skip, stole five points in the last two ends to seal the victory.
Afterwards skip, Heidi Hanlon, said: “We made it. Amazing, awesome, it’s unbelievable. We waited a long time for this moment. We have curled so many years together, off and on, and this is what we’ve dreamed of, I’ve been saying that all day. This is what we’ve been curling all these years for, just to be in this game, so lets just play.”
As a result, Scotland, with Valerie Mahon at lead, Maggie Barry at second, Jean Hammond as third and Judith Carr as alternate, picked up the silver medal, something that skip, Barbara Watt, agreed was a great achievement. She said: “We’re sorry we didn’t make a better game of it but they didn’t let us. They played absolutely beautifully. If you had told us at the start of the week we would be getting the silver medal we would be absolutely thrilled and we are - absolutely thrilled. We weren’t in that game, they were just too good, that’s all.”
In the women’s bronze medal game, Sweden, with Marie Lehander playing as lead in this game, Birgitta Torn in second, Ann-Catrin Kjerr in third and Sylvie Liljefors as alternate, defeated New Zealand 10-3 in seven ends.
This was a particularly memorable win for the team as skip Ingrid Meldahl explained. She said: “It’s always great to win medals, especially for Mia (Maria Lehander, Sweden alternate). She is undefeated because she didn’t play the game this morning (the Semi-final) and this is her first medal, so we’re especially glad for her. We’re sorry that we had a completely stupid game in the Semi-final but that was the first bad game we’ve had this week.”
In the men’s bronze medal game, Sweden, with Glenn Franzen as lead, Lars Lindgren at second, Morgan Fredholm in third and Stig Sewik as alternate and coach, beat Norway 8-4 in seven ends.
Two scores of three points in the third and fifth ends and a score of two in the seventh end sealed the victory. Afterwards, Swedish skip, Connie Östlund said: “It feels great because a medal was one of the things we wanted, especially after we reached the play-offs. It’s always a rivalry with Norway but it’s fun to play against them – there is never any hard feelings, both teams can win - of course it’s fun to beat them. But today we played really, really well in all positions and got that vital win.”
Senior Women’s Semi-finals:
Canada 7, New Zealand 6
Sweden 5, Scotland 9
Senior Men’s Semi-finals:
Sweden 5, Canada 9
Ireland 5, Norway 4
Women’s Gold Medal Game:
Canada 12, Scotland 2
Women’s Bronze Medal Game:
Sweden 10, New Zealand 3
Men’s Gold Medal Game:
Ireland 6, Canada 5
Men’s Bronze Medal Game:
Sweden 8, Norway 4
FINAL STANDINGS (according to WCF ranking procedures)
4. New Zealand
7. Czech Republic
5. New Zealand
17. Czech Republic
Full Team Line-ups:http://www.worldcurling.org/world-senior-curling-championships-2012
Scores and Standings: http://www.cuponline.nu/information.asp?cupid=1775
Scores mirrored on: http://results.worldcurling.org/default.aspx