Friday, 14 December 2012

England men just miss out on medals

After finishing joint second in their group at the B Division European Championships the England men won their tie breaker against Italy but then lost twice to Netherlands - in the 3 v 4 Page play-off game and then in the Bronze Medal game to finish 4th overall in the B division and 14th overall in the whole European Championships.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The European Championships in Karlstad


The two English teams are in Karlstad this week playing in the European Championships. The men's team pictured below are seeking to improve on their bronze medal from last year.

Left to right - Tom Jaeggi (lead), Andrew Woolston (second), Alan MacDougall (skip), John Brown (alternate) and Andrew Reed (third)

Having hurt his back at the ECA Seniors Championship it is unlikely that John will be playing at all but the will be there as brush holder and stone retriever during pratice!!!

The women's team is a mixture of youth and experience with Angharad Ward coming in as alternate to join Fiona Hawker, Alison Hemmings, Susan Young and Debbie Hutcheon though she is likely to be playing third throughout.

RESULTS (will be updated as they are played)


Lost to Italy 5-7
Beat Turkey 7-4
Beat Estonia 7-6 after extra end
Beat Slovakia 7-5
Beat  Finland 6-4
Lost to Spain 5-9
Beat Wales 7-4

This means that England finished in third position on ranking and will play Italy in a tie break to decide whether or not they progress to the play-off against the Netherlands. Finland finished top of the group.


Beat Estonia 6-4
Lost to Austria 4-11
Lost to Latvia 4-11
Beat Spain 9-4
Lost to Slovakia 0-9
Lost to Poland 5-11
Lost to Belarus 5-7
Beat Turkey 7-6
Lost to Norway 4-9

The final finishing position for the women  was 17th, the same as last year.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Michael Sutherland retains Seniors title

Michael Sutherland, Tommy Campbell and John Summers, plus new recruit, Charles Jackson retained their ECA Seniors title for a third year in a row with a 3 games to 1 win over John Sharp, John Brown, Alastair Fyfe and Mike Robinson at Greenacres at the weekend.

The weekend started badly for John Sharp's team when their 5th player, Doug Andrews, was involved in a car accident in Kent and was unable to travel.

The games for the Championship began with two on Friday evening, the first was a close affair which Michael won by 6-4 having had an early 4-1 lead pegged back to 4-3, before easing clear over the last three ends.The second game began with a 3 for John at the first end though it was all square at 4-4 after 4 ends before a run of 2, 1, 1 gave John an 8-4 lead which Michael was unable to do anything about at the last end.

As the games were being played at the same time as the Under - 17 Baljaffray event, the next game for the Seniors was not until the Saturday evening. A visit to Stirling to see the country's top players in action on Saturday should have inspired the John Sharp team but instead a 4 at the first end for Michael signalled the start of a very quick win by 11-2 in just 5 ends!

And so to Sunday morning and at 6-1 up and lying 4 in the house halfway through the 6th end, Michael and his team were probably thinking that they had it in the bag. Then unfortunately John Brown hurt his back and was unable to continue in the game and all of a sudden the tables turned and with a run of 2, 1 and 2 for John S the scores were level at 6-6 after 8 ends and an extra end was required. While John B watched from the sidelines wondering if he should maybe have hurt his back earlier if that was the effect on the teams, Michael and his team saw out a well played end without needing to use Michael's last stone to win 7-6 and take the title and also win the trip to Fredericton for the World Seniors in April.

This will be Michael's 10th trip to the World Seniors having played every year since it began in 2002 except for the long-haul trips to New Zealand and Chelyabinsk. It also means that every year that we have had to play a Championship to select a team to go to the World Championships, Michael has been in the winning team.

For the record the teams that have previously represented England in the World Seniors have been as follows:

2002  Michael Sutherland, Tommy Campbell, John MacDougall, Ron Thwaites
2003  Michael Sutherland, Eric Laidler, John MacDougall, Ron Thwaites, Alistair Davison
2004  Michael Sutherland, Eric Laidler, John MacDougall, Ron Thwaites, Alistair Davison
2005  Michael Sutherland, John Brown, John MacDougall, Robin Gemmell
2006  Michael Sutherland, John Brown, John MacDougall, Robin Gemmell, Phil Barton
2007  John Brown, Michael Sutherland (skip), John MacDougall, Robin Gemmell
2008  John Brown, Michael Sutherland (skip), John MacDougall, Robin Gemmell
2009  John Brown, Phil Barton, John MacDougall, Robin Gemmell
2010  John Brown, Alastair MacNish, John MacDougall, Robin Gemmell, John Sharp
          (Alastair MacNish and John MacDougall unable to play because of ash cloud)
2011  Michael Sutherland, Tommy Campbell, John Summers, Phil Barton, John Brown
2012  Michael Sutherland, Tommy Campbell, John Summers, Phil Barton, John Brown

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


To make sure everyone is up to date with what is happening I am going to be posting a blog on an almost daily basis so please remember to check the contents list at the right as there might be more than one new posting since you were last on here!!

Following the ECA Mixed Doubles in January the next Championships we will stage are the National Championships which will be held at Fenton's between the 20th and 24th February with 8 men's teams and 2 women's teams participating. The men will play a single round-robin followed by a final while the women will play a best of 5 series.

Teams competing are:

John Sharp                James Mallows          Ben Fowler                Steve Amann            
John Brown                Nigel Patrick              Mark Wilkinson          Oliver Kendall           
Alan MacDougall        Andrew Reed             Andy Woolston          Tom Jaeggi               
Bryan Zachary           Duncan Spence         Kerr Alexander           Ken Maxwell             
Greg Dunn                 James Dixon             Arthur Bates              Bruce Bowyer           
John Summers           Richard Hills              Andy Taylor     John Hamilton     Martin Gregory
Ivan Zadorozny           Doug Andrews           Charles Murphy          Robin Gemmell         
Michael Opel             Jamie Malton             Henry Carter              Keith Wilson             
Fiona Hawker             Angharad Ward          Debbie Hutcheon        tbc
Anna Fowler              Hetty Garnier             Naomi Robinson         Lauren Pearce
The draw is as follows

Wednesday 20th February        1900

1          John Summers              v           Alan MacDougall
2          Bryan Zachary               v           John Sharp
3          Michael Opel                 v           Greg Dunn

Thursday 21st February           0900

1          John Brown                   v           Greg Dunn
2          Michael Opel                 v           Ivan Zadorozny
3          Bryan Zachary               v           Alan MacDougall

Thursday 21st February           1400

1          Bryan Zachary               v           John Summers
2          John Sharp                    v           John Brown
3          Greg Dunn                     v           Ivan Zadorozny

Thursday 21st February           1900

1          Sheet not used
2          John Summers              v           Michael Opel
3          Alan MacDougall            v           John Sharp

Friday 22nd February              0900

1          Ivan Zadorozny               v           John Brown
2          Greg Dunn                     v           Alan MacDougall
3          Bryan Zachary               v           Michael Opel

Friday 22nd February              1400

1          Fiona Hawker                v           Anna Fowler
2          John Brown                   v           John Summers
3          John Sharp                    v           Ivan Zadorozny

Friday 22nd February              1900

1          Greg Dunn                     v           Bryan Zachary
2          Alan MacDougall            v           Michael Opel
3          Anna Fowler                  v           Fiona Hawker

Saturday 23rd February           0900

1          John Brown                   v           Michael Opel
2          John Sharp                    v           Greg Dunn
3          Ivan Zadorozny               v           John Summers

Saturday 23rd February           1400

1          Alan MacDougall            v           Ivan Zadorozny
2          Fiona Hawker                v           Anna Fowler
3          John Brown                   v           Bryan Zachary

Saturday 23rd February           1900

1          Anna Fowler                  v           Fiona Hawker                if required
2          Greg Dunn                     v           John Summers
3          Michael Opel                 v           John Sharp

Sunday 24th February             0900

1          John Summers              v           John Sharp
2          Ivan Zadorozny               v           Bryan Zachary
3          Alan MacDougall            v           John Brown

Sunday 24th February             1400

Sheets to be decided
Men’s Final
Fiona Hawker                            v           Anna Fowler                  if required

Thursday, 15 November 2012


To make sure everyone is up to date with what is happening I am going to be posting a blog on an almost daily basis so please remember to check the contents list at the right as there might be more than one new posting since you were last on here!!

The ECA Mixed Doubles Championship will take place between 11th and 13th January 2013 at Fenton's Rink in Kent. Seven entries have been received as follows:

John Sharp / Anna Fowler
John Brown / Jean Robinson
Alison Hemmings / Nigel Patrick
Alan MacDougall / Lana Watson
Ben Fowler / Hetty Garnier
Harry Mallows / Lauren Pearce
Ken Maxwell / Katie Dolan

The draw is as follows:

Round    1                     Friday 11th January, 1200
1                                   Fowler / Garnier           v          Sharp / Fowler
2                                   MacDougall / Watson  v          Maxwell / Dolan
3                                   Patrick / Hemmings     v          Mallows / Pearce
BYE                              Brown / Robinson                    
Round    2                     Friday 11th January, 1600
1                                   Mallows / Pearce         v          Brown / Robinson
2                                   Fowler / Garnier           v          Patrick / Hemmings
3                                   Sharp / Fowler            v           MacDougall / Watson
BYE                              Maxwell / Dolan                       
Round    3                     Friday 11th January, 2000
1                                   Maxwell / Dolan          v          Fowler / Garnier
2                                   Mallows / Pearce         v          Sharp / Fowler
3                                   Brown / Robinson       v          Patrick / Hemmings
BYE                              MacDougall / Watson               
Round 4                        Saturday 12th January, 1200
1                                   Brown / Robinson       v          Maxwell / Dolan
2                                   Patrick / Hemmings     v          MacDougall / Watson
3                                   Mallows / Pearce         v          Fowler / Garnier
BYE                              Sharp / Fowler                       
Round    5                     Saturday 12th January, 1600
1                                   MacDougall / Watson  v          Mallows / Pearce
2                                   Brown / Robinson       v          Fowler / Garnier
3                                   Maxwell / Dolan          v          Sharp / Fowler
BYE                              Patrick / Hemmings                  
Round    6                     Saturday 12th January, 2000
1                                   Sharp / Fowler            v          Patrick / Hemmings
2                                   Maxwell / Dolan          v          Mallows / Pearce
3                                   MacDougall / Watson  v          Brown / Robinson
BYE                              Fowler / Garnier                        
Round    7                     Sunday 13th January, 1000
1                                   Patrick / Hemmings             v   Maxwell / Dolan            
2                                   Sharp / Fowler                    v   Brown / Robinson                     
3                                   Fowler / Garnier                  v   MacDougall / Watson               
BYE                              Mallows / Pearce               
FINAL                           Sunday 13th January, 1400                

Following the decision taken at the AGM there will be a final between the top two ranked teams unless the team ranked number 1 has won all its games AND is two clear wins ahead of the next ranked team.

Teams will be ranked using the WCF ranking system based upon:

1) Number of games won
2) Where teams are level on games won, the results of matches between the teams in the round robin
3) Where this does not produce a clear ranking the average LSD distance will be used


2007 - 08 John Brown / Glynnice Lauder
2008 - 09 John Sharp / Jane Clark
2009 - 10 John Sharp / Jane Clark
2010 - 11 John Sharp / Jane Clark
2011 - 12 John Sharp / Lorna Rettig

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

ECA Seniors Championship

To make sure everyone is up to date with what is happening I am going to be posting a blog on an almost daily basis so please remember to check the contents list at the right as there might be more than one new posting since you were last on here!!

The ECA Senior Men's Championship will take place at Greenacres on the weekend of 30th November to 2nd December. Two teams have entered, the holders skipped by Michael Sutherland but with a new face at lead, and their challengers skipped by John Sharp.

Michael has Tommy Campbell at third, John Summers at second and Charles Jackson at lead. Phil Barton, who led for the team last year, is secretary of the RCCC tour to Canada in January and decided he could not manage the commitment required for both challenges and has stood down this season.

John Sharp has John Brown, Alastair Fyfe, Doug Andrews and Mike Robinson in his squad but the final playing order has yet to be decided following various trial line-ups at the European Invitation Seniors and the Gormac International.

The first game is on the Friday evening with up to 4 more possible - the first team to win 3 games will be the champions.

Once again there is no women's championship. In actual fact since 2002 when the World Seniors began and teams were sent from England there has never been a women's championship in England as only one team has ever expressed an interest in participating although the women (bronze in 2003) are the only gender to have won a medal for England, the nearest the men managing being 4th in 2005.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Season So Far

The first two competitions in the ECA calendar have been held already this season - the Duncan Stewart Trophy and the Junior Women's Championships.


The ECA held the third Duncan Stewart Trophy at Dumfries Ice Bowl with 4 teams competing. Unfortunately Duncan's widow, Mary, could not be with us this year owing to illness. The competition is open to individuals who are then drawn into teams at the start of the weekend after they have been graded by a competitions committee to make sure that 4 skips do not play together.

The original idea for the competition came from current ECA President, Alison Arthur, who was there as the solitary spectator throughout the weekend and presented the prizes of unique individual wooden curling stones to each member of the winning team.

The 4 skips this year were John Sharp, John Brown, Phil Barton and Doug Andrews and there were 4 games to be played - firstly a complete round robin and then the top two would play off, and the bottom two, with ranking based on wins, ends, shots up and shots.

Results were varied with some pretty high scores and not that many close games in the end:

John Sharp 10 Phil Barton 4
Doug Andrews 13 John Brown 4
John Sharp 9 Doug Andrews 3
Phil Barton 8 John Brown 4
John Brown 14 John Sharp 4
Doug Andrews 6 Phil Barton 4
John Sharp 7 Doug Andrews 4
John Brown 8 Phil Barton 3

Overall winners on 3 wins were John Sharp, Phil Slater, Graham Stanley and James Gibb.
Second were Doug Andrews, Richard Hills (Sunday only), Martin Gregory, Iain Jamieson (Saturday only) and Jim Marmont.
Third were John Brown, Jean Robinson, Harvey Curle (Sunday only), Alison Barr and Doris McQueen (Saturday only).
Fourth were Phil Barton, Ross Barr, Charles Murphy, Susan Young

Quite an eclectic mix of nationalities in fact with Canadians and Scots living in England, English living in Scotland, Welsh living in England and also a few English living in England. This photo was taken on Saturday and shows those who were playing then (with thanks to Iain Jamieson for this and other photos).

Left to right - Doris McQueen, John Sharp, Jim Marmont, Doug Andrews, Graham Stanley, Jean Robinson, John Brown, James Gibb, Martin Gregory, Phil Barton, Alison Barr, Ross Barr, Susan Young, Charles Murphy, Phil Slater

It was the first time that the ECA have visited Dumfries Ice Bowl and we were made very welcome with signs welcoming us and an England flag prominent by the rinks we were playing on. It was quite a surprise to see how quiet it was as well as over the whole of the weekend there were no other games going on, just one person practising on Saturday and 3 of our wheelchair curlers practising on the Sunday.

When we found ourselves two players short on Saturday morning we were lucky to find Iain Jamieson in the ice rink cafeteria talking to Susan Young whom he had met on the RCCC Adult course. He was available for both sessions on Saturday and he got hold of another local player, Doris McQueen for the second session on Saturday. We invited the local players out for dinner and Doris brought her husband Duncan with her. During dinner we discovered that Duncan had been the manager at Streatham Ice Rink in 1982 who had arranged with Duncan Stewart for there to be curling after the ice hockey on a Sunday night. Quite an amazing coincidence that circumstances led to him being there on Saturday night as we toasted Duncan Stewart for the work he did for curling in London and England.

So Duncan Stewart - Susan Young - Ian Jamieson - Doris McQueen - Duncan McQueen - Duncan Stewart - 5 degrees of separation - Amazing!

And here are a few more pictures of the action at Dumfries:

Finally many thanks to Graham Sloan for helping us at the weekend and we hope to return to Dumfries some time soon - it is actually where I was born and lived for 4 years - and the house we lived in is approximately 5 minutes walk from the rink - now that would be bliss these days!!


Two teams competed in this championship at Fenton's over a series of 5 games with the first team to win 3 games being the Champions. There was a surprise in the first game when the team skipped by Hetty Garnier and consisting of most of last year's winners was defeated by the challenging team of Niamh Fenton by 8-7. However after that first close game,  Team Garnier then rattled off three wins in a row (10-1, 9-3, 12-2)  to take the series and thus qualify to represent England at the European Junior Challenge at Prague in January. Niamh Fenton will be joining them as 5th player - the full team is Hetty Garnier, Angharad Ward, Naomi Robinson, Lucy Sparks and Niamh Fenton.

They will be joined there by a Junior Men's team of Ben Fowler, Oliver Kendall, Conor Simpson, Cormac Barry and Renz Bunag who had no challengers to compete against. Both teams will be playing in the Lockerbie Junior Invitation in December.

Monday, 12 November 2012

In the beginning.....

Hello and welcome to the new blog we are setting up to tell everybody all about what is happening in the English Curling scene. This is the official blog of the English Curling Association and is being set up to add more detail and background to the information you can find on our Facebook page.

We also have a website but those who have been accessing that site recently will have realised that it has not been updated for quite a while and that our contacts page is now linked to a site selling Viagra!!

We are proposing to upgrade our website but in the meantime you should follow this blog to get more up to date information and to contact me, as secretary of the ECA. Please add us to your favourites and do complain if we are not keeping you informed.