The European Championships returned to Champery/Monthey this year just 4 years after the last visit. In 2010 there had been loads of snow, not just in Switzerland but also in England but this year there was none to be seen except on the high mountain tops. The England teams were down in Monthey in the B Division – a 20 minute bus ride from the main centre but both teams hired cars this year which made them much less reliant on the bus timetable and more able to get around and do their own thing. They had also rented a chalet each and this proved a great improvement also.
The men finished top of their group, with just one loss in their last game against Israel when they were already assured of their top position. This meant a 1v1 play-off against Finland which was lost 2-8 and to cap a disastrous Thursday this was followed by defeat against Netherlands by 4-10 in the semi-final, including the loss of a 6! The next day, however, a battling performance against Hungary saw a win by 8-5 and the bronze medals. The team was Alan MacDougall, Andrew Reed, Andrew Woolston, Tom Jaeggi and Ben Fowler, with John Brown as coach.
Round Robin Results:
Beat Netherlands (7-5), Turkey (6-5), Croatia (7-6), Estonia (7-5) and Lithuania (7-3)
Lost to Israel (6-7)
The women had won the bronze medal in the B Division last year and this year they were very keen to improve on that. One change in the team saw Angharad Ward replace Hetty Garnier at third while another was the replacement as alternate of Lucy Sparks by Sarah Decoine. The girls won 5 of their 9 games to finish tied in 4th position in the Division with Hungary and Turkey. However, under the new rules introduced by the WCF only one tie-breaker is now played in competitions and with each team having one win and one loss against the other two it went to the Draw Shot Challenge scores and of the three countries England had the worst which meant that they were eliminated while Hungary and Turkey played the tie-breaker. So heartbreaking all round for the girls who had played very well to beat Italy in their last game to keep their hopes alive.
Round Robin Results
Beat Italy (8-6), Hungary (10-6), Netherlands (5-2), Belarus (9-3) and Slovakia (7-3)
Lost to Norway (3-7), Austria (5-7), Turkey (6-8) and Poland (5-7)
The England women below with their coach John Sharp. Left to right – Angharad Ward, Sarah Decoine, Anna Fowler (skip), Naomi Robinson and Lauren Pearce.