The ECA national championships entries are in!

Senior Women (1 entry – no Championships)
  • Judith Dixon, Joan Reed, Helen Forbes
Senior Men (2 entries – best of 5)
  • Phil Atherton, Mike Spain, Alastair Fyfe, Steve Amann, John Brown
  • Graham Stanley, Richard Jachnik, Phil Townsend, Bill Brampton
Women’s Championship (2 entries – best of 5)
  • Anna Fowler, Hetty Garnier, Lorna Rettig, Naomi Robinson, Kirsty Balfour
  • Lisa Farnell, Sara Jahodova, Niamh Fenton
Men’s Championship (7 entries – single round-robin and Final)
  • Andy Taylor, David Barton, Jacob Whittle
  • Andrew Reed, Michael Opel, Jamie Malton, Tom Jaeggi
  • Greg Dunn, Jonathan Braden, Ian Gasson, Jonathan Havercroft
  • Andrew Woolston, Ben Fowler, Scott Gibson, Fraser Clark, Jim Whittle
  • Owen Rees, Stephen Lea, Harry Pinnell
  • Stephen Hinds, Ethan Conlin, Steve Amann, Tristan Hughes
  • Stuart Brand, Martin Gregory, Mike Spain, Harry Mallows
Mixed Doubles (5 entries – double round robin and final)
  • Anna Fowler, Tom Jaeggi
  • Andy Taylor, Jacqui Taylor
  • Stuart Brand, Angela Wilcox
  • Owen Rees, Annabelle Martin
  • Harry Pinnell, Olivia Millar
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World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships by Anna Fowler

Ben and I are about to board the plane to Canada for the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships in Lethbridge, Alberta. We fly from Heathrow to Calgary and then will drive two hours south to the city of Lethbridge where the event will be held from 22nd-29th April.

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As Team England, we will play teams from France, Kazakhstan, USA, Turkey, Germany, Czech Republic and from the host nation, Canada. The top three teams from each group will go through to the knock-out stages to compete for points to qualify for the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang (February, 2018). As part of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) any Olympic points gained by England cannot be kept, but we will be looking to better our 8th place ranking from last year whilst cheering on Scotland who are the points earners for Great Britain’s Olympic qualification.

We are delighted to announce that we are being supported during these championships by sponsor, Henson Franklyn, British sports events and exhibition specialists based in England. They’ve been in the business for 25 years and their focus on marginal gains closely matches our team and work ethic. Curling is a precision sport which is often decided on millimetres – we do whatever it takes to ensure we come out on the winning side of games.

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Proud to be part of Team HF

Our scores will be live on the World Curling Federation website: http://www.worldcurling.org/wmdcc2017 and our games vs the USA and hosts Canada will be live on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV.

You can take a look at our schedule below and keep up to date with our progress on twitter @annaefowler and @benwfowler!

Schedule WMDCC2017

ECC Round-up

The European Curling Championships held at Braehead, Glasgow proved to be a week of mixed fortunes and missed chances for both of the England teams. Alan MacDougall led his men’s side to their seventh and last appearance at the Championships in their existing format, and Hetty Garnier stepped up to skip the ladies for the first time at senior level.

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The teams at the opening ceremony – Photo: Peter Bell

The ladies team saw one line-up change going into the championships with 2015 European Junior Challenge champion, Hetty Garnier, leading the team. Anna Fowler played third, Angharad Ward second and Naomi Robinson and Lauren Pearce alternated in the lead position.

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The girls on the ice – Photo: Graham Peters

They started the week well with a convincing win over Slovakia and came out on top of a close game with Poland. On the second day of play, the ladies played a strong Belarus side and recorded their first loss. This game coincidentally happened to be both Anna and Angharad’s 100th game for England but this didn’t appear to bring much luck to the girls! They overcame Latvia that evening putting them on a record of 3-1.

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Anna and Angharad’s 100th game

The following day the ladies played a tough game against the Netherlands with skip Marianne Neeleman on fantastic form. This represented their second loss in an extra end but was made up for quickly with a convincing win over old rivals, Turkey, that evening. This meant that wins would be needed against group leaders Estonia and Hungary in the next two games.

The girls fought hard and had two heart-breaking losses on the last stone in both games, both in an extra end. This meant a win against Lithuania was needed to give them hope of a tiebreaker for 4th place and a chance to play in the semi-finals for promotion. Thankfully they achieved this in yet another extra end!

Their tiebreaker was a rematch against the on-form Dutch side and saw the English ladies in the driving seat until the 9th end. A two taken by the Dutch tied the score up at 7-7 meant a clean end was needed in order to win the game with the last stone. Despite playing a great end, it just wasn’t meant to be and the game was lost on a matter of centimetres. So that spelled a disappointing end to a competition characterised by losses that could have just as easily been wins.

Congratulations to Hungary and Turkey who qualified top of the group and then both won promotion to the A Group for 2017.

Hetty, skip of the ladies said: “We felt that the field this year was the highest standard we’ve played against at the Europeans, hence we played four extra ends during the round robin. Unfortunately we came out on the wrong side of a few of our close games and the tiebreaker was one of them, with us unable to keep our lead in the final few ends. We played below our ability which has left us feeling frustrated, but we have lots of positives to take away too and thoroughly enjoyed the competition in Glasgow”.

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Hetty Garnier throwing versus The Netherlands – Photo: WCF/Jeffrey Au

In the men’s side of the competition, Alan’s experienced team of Andrew Read, Andrew Woolston, Tom Jaeggi and Ben Fowler drew a tough group in a pool of teams that get stronger with every year. They recorded their first win over Belgium in the first game with an impressive score of 15-6 thanks to registering a steal of four in the 2nd end and a score of four in the 9th end.

Their second game versus Latvia proved to be frustrating after the men’s great start. Despite a close first half, Latvia pulled away and won the game 10-2. The frustration continued with their game vs Hungary where the men were leading 8-6 going into the last end without hammer, but giving away a three in the 10th end spelled another loss for the boys.

Their fourth game was another loss versus Poland 8-3. After this, the men played Slovenia whom they comfortably beat 7-3, bringing their three loss spell to an end and putting them on a win-loss record of 2-3. Their sixth game was against group leaders and eventual B group side winners, The Netherlands. The boys fought hard and came away with a significant 6-4 win over the Dutch. They beat Estonia in their last group game giving them hope of a possible tiebreaker. Sadly other results went the wrong way for team England meaning their 4-3 record was not quite enough for them to progress to the tiebreakers and semi-finals.

Congratulations to The Netherlands and Slovakia who both won promotion to the A Group for 2017 and extra well done to the Dutch boys who won the world qualifier against Austria.

Thank you to the organising committee who put on a superb event and an especially big shout of appreciation to all the friends, family, curlers and supporters who spent many hours sat in the freezing cold, cheering both teams throughout the week.

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The team at the banquet held at Kelvingrove Art gallery and Museum – Photo: Yvonne Gibson

We look forward to the ECA playdowns in February where we will have the first women’s challenge since 2013 and a strong group of contenders on the men’s side.

National championship entries

We’ve had all of the entries in for the national championships in the new season and are pleased to publish the team lists below.

Entries for the national mixed championships must be with John Brown by 30th September 2016.

SENIOR MEN
John Brown Steve Amann Iain Nelson Mike Robinson
Tommy Campbell Phil Barton Alastair Fyfe A N Other
SENIOR WOMEN
Judith Dixon Joan Reed Helen Forbes Debbie Higgins Val Saville
NATIONAL MEN
John Brown Richard Hills Stuart Brand Martin Gregory
Andrew Reed Oliver Kendall Jake Barker Tom Jaeggi Alan MacDougall
Owen Rees James Burman Vincent Branch Stephen Lea Jotham Sugden
Andrew Woolston Ben Fowler Scott Gibson Fraser Clark James Whittle
Jamie Malton Michael Opel Steve Amann Henry Carter
Greg Dunn Jonathan Havercroft Jonathan Braden Ian Gasson Arthur Bates
NATIONAL WOMEN
Anna Fowler Hetty Garnier Angharad Ward Lauren Pearce Naomi Robinson
Lisa Farnell Niamh Fenton Sara Jahodova A N Other
MIXED DOUBLES
Anna Fowler Ben Fowler
Lana Watson Alan MacDougall
Fiona Spain Owen Rees
Jacqui Taylor Andy Taylor

We are also just over a month away from the World Mixed Curling Championships held in Kazan, Russia (14th-22nd October). England will be represented by Greg Dunn, Angharad Ward, Nigel Patrick and Lorna Retig. You can find info about their group and schedule below. www.worldcurling.org/wmxcc2016

Group-A Group-B Group-C Group-D Group-E
Norway – NOR Sweden – SWE Russia – RUS Canada – CAN Germany – GER
Italy – ITA Hungary – HUN Denmark – DEN United States – USA Switzerland – SUI
Scotland – SCO Finland – FIN Poland – POL France – FRA Turkey – TUR
Japan – JPN Slovakia – SVK Czech Republic – CZE Latvia – LAT Estonia – EST
New Zealand – NZL Ireland – IRL Spain – ESP Austria – AUT Wales – WAL
Belarus – BLR England – ENG Australia – AUS Belgium – BEL Slovenia – SLO
Romania – ROU Brazil – BRA Kazakhstan – KAZ Korea – KOR Netherlands – NED
Andorra – AND Croatia – CRO

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Touchdown in Karlstad

So here we are, in the Swedish city of Karlstad and ready to take on the world (literally) at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship and World Senior Curling Championships. After a smooth trip from the UK to Oslo, we drove from the Norwegian capital, across the border to Karlstad.

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Tomorrow the seniors start play at the Karlstad curling club with the ladies taking on Australia 12.30 pm and the men up against Poland at 8.30am UK time.

The mixed doubles will be starting on Saturday with Anna and Ben playing against Romania in their first game in the Loftbergs arena at 3pm UK time. The mixed doubles schedule is as follows for the week ahead, and you can catch England vs Japan live on YouTube on Tuesday 19th at 16.45pm UK time.

WEMDCC schedule

We’ll be keeping the blog up to date over the week with all the news from Karlstad. You can also find regular updates on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/englishcurling, Twitter https://twitter.com/English_Curling  and live updates on the official websites http://www.worldcurling.org/wmdcc2016 | http://www.worldcurling.org/wscc2016. In addition to this, 23 of the mixed doubles games will be streamed LIVE on YouTube – link here www.youtube.com/user/WorldCurlingTV/ .

Here are the England team lists:

Senior Men:

Fourth – Tommy Campbell (Skip)
Third – Andy Taylor (Vice-skip)
Second – David Sillito
Lead – Alastair Fyfe
Alternate – John Brown

Coach – Elaine Turnbull

Senior Ladies:

Fourth – Judith Dixon (Skip)
Third – Joan Reed (Vice-skip)
Second – Val Saville
Lead – Debbie Higgins
Alternate – Helen Forbes

Coach – John Brown

Mixed Doubles:

Anna Fowler www.twitter.com/annaefowler

Ben Fowler www.twitter.com/benwfowler

Coach – Nigel Patrick

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World Junior B Curling Championships

By Lucy Sparks

This was the first year of the World Junior Curling Championships B Division and also the first year of our new team. The England girls team were represented by Lucy Sparks (skip), Sarah Decoine (vice), Kitty Conlin (second), Niamh Fenton (lead) and Becca Watts (alternate) and it was held in the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland, where it was also held in 2012.

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Kitty, Sarah, Niamh, Lucy and Becca

We had Lisa Farnell as our coach who was a really great help and we thoroughly enjoyed having her with us.  We had such a great experience even though it got down to -27 degrees on some days, we had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world including teams from China, New Zealand etc which was all very exciting. Going into the competition we were positive but knew we had a tough draw so it wasn’t going to be easy, in the end we feel it could have gone a little better, we won 2 out of 6 games.

Our first game was against Hungary which we knew was going to be a tough one as they have managed to get up on to the podium consistently over the last few years. This one ended in a 12- 1 loss as they were able to get a couple of big ends towards the beginning which we are unable to pull back from.

The next game was against Czech Republic who also came down from the World’s last year and had obviously been putting in the practice as they were looking very solid, we managed to have some really good ends and a good game but it ended in a 7-2 loss. We were all feeling more confident after this game as we could see an improvement already.

The third game was against Slovenia, this was a very close game despite the end score being 9-4, it was 5-4 going into the 8th end, however the aggressive style in the last end didn’t quite go our way and we lost a 4.

We then had another good game against Denmark where everyone in the team was playing well and we managed to put them under a lot of pressure. Unfortunately the two big ends that Denmark got in the first half meant we were never quite able to bring it back but we had a lot of chances and could feel we were improving. This one was also a 9-4 loss.

Then came the last day where we played Italy and Austria and they were both wins which we were absolutely delighted with! First was Italy where we brought on Becca Watts as second and Kitty Conlin came off for a game. Everyone really managed to get the feel of it and we were able to capitalise on a lot of the chances we had and managed a win of 8-3 after 7 ends which we were very happy with.  Then it was Austria which we kept Becca Watts on for and Niamh Fenton came off. This started off a bit iffy with us being 3-0 down but thanks to some big ends we ended up winning 10-5.

This left us 17th out of 21, however we managed to improve every game so hopefully with some hard work we can come back better next year.

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English Juniors Train at Summer Curling Camp

A junior men’s team from Fenton’s rink, Olly Kendall, Jake Barker, Joe Sugden and Ben Holley, attended the 2015 Sweetlake Junior Curling Camp in Zoetermeer, Netherlands. Their coach, Jonathan Havercroft, accompanied them on the trip.

The camp was a week long and consisted of on-ice training sessions, off-ice classroom sessions, as well as several fun non-curling activities, including a trip to the beach! The Sweetlake Curling Camp is organized by the Dutch national team coach, Shari Leibrandt-Demmon and had top international coaches from Romania, the Czech Republic, Canada, and the Netherlands. Teams from Latvia, Spain, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary, Denmark, and the Netherlands also participated in the camp.

The boys won the sand castle building competition with a creative design featuring Jake Barker as a mermaid! They also received new carbon fiber curling brooms courtesy of a WCF program sponsored by BalancePlus and Goldline Curling Supplies.

The boys have entered the Junior Men’s Playdowns in October and will also be playing in league matches at Fenton’s rink and in a competition in Scotland. They look forward to putting their new skills learnt at Sweetlake to the test this season.

The team would like to thank the ECA for its generous support in helping to fund the trip and to Tracey Brown for all the work she put into organizing it.

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