The Final. Last night´s post was a bit sparse. What happened was this. Wales had control of the game in the early ends. Denmark came back and squared the game in the sixth. Adrian Meikle attempted to blank the seventh. He played good weight, touched the Danish stone but didn´t remove it from the house. So, the Welsh had last stone in the eighth, but were one behind.
Joel Ostrowski, the Danish skip, drew the prefect shot with his first to lie hidden back of the four. Adrian followed but lay open. Denmark was still shot stone I think. Joel then played a shot that will live in his memory. As the stones stopped moving, Wales were now in shot position. All Adrian had to do was draw to the four foot, with backing there to help, and he was right on target. Wales was surprise winners of the European Mixed Curling Championship 2007! All the results are here.
Germany beat Austria in the bronze playoff.
Of course, my headline should have been, ´REFORM CURLER WINS EURO MIXED´, as Blair Hughes, the Welsh lead is a member of my own club. She plays with secretary Michael Burton and former Scottish Senior champ Ronnie Peat. After the final a delighted Blair paid credit to Olympian Rhona Martin for sorting out her out-turn last year!
My memories of the week? Plenty of them.
First and foremost was the fact that the Spanish organisers brought it off. What an achievement to have staged a major championship - and make no mistake this was one - in Madrid. The arena was pretty good. Not sealed though, no dehumidifation, and gave the ice technicians more than a few headaches. No wonder that Scott Henderson and Mark Callan are known as experts in ´extreme icemaking´. They provided an excellent ice surface, even on the finals day which was the only day NOT to have a blue sky.
Pity about the stones. Not the local organisers´fault. They realised their local stones were not good enough for the championship and stones were supplied by the World Curling Federation. Let´s face it, they were poor. Disappointing. The players deserve the best and for whatever reason they did not get it here.
New, emerging curling nations had their day here in Madrid. Did you note that there was no Norway, Switzerland or Sweden in the playoff stages. The standard out there is getting better!
Mixed curling is different (do I need to even say this) and I´m pleased to say that the teams looked to be enjoying the event, on and off the ice. I was proud of the young Scottish team and all credit to the old man, dad Gordon for taking the team on. Reaching the quarters was a good result and but for an inspired performance by thir opposition skip they could certainly have gone further.
For more thoughts on the event, you´ll have to read the November Scottish Curler magazine. Please support our team!
I think I might have an image or two more to put up, but otherwise that´s it from Spain.
Gracias for reading this.
Chuck Hay - Chuck Hay, legend, died last week, aged 87. That's him in happy times on the hack at the Brora rink. You will find the World Curling Federation's obituar...
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