Greenacres has been a very "International" place these last few weeks - they had the Welsh International Bonspiel followed by the European Senior Invitation Curling Championships (or ESICC to its close friends) and then last weekend it was the Greenacres International Bonspiel.
When many of the teams entered for the weekend it was going to be the Gormac as it has been for a number of years, but by the time we got to the rink on Friday the Gormac tag had been dropped (for reasons I am not necessarily able to talk about) and it was the G.I.B..
The International moniker was still relevant as there were 3 teams from England entered, plus the Irish team fresh back from the European C Division at Taarnby in Denmark.
With just 10 teams in total a straight 4-game Schenkel was played and then the top 2 teams played off for first prize and the next two for 3rd prize.
(I was going to blog a detailed account of the games but I cannot find my results sheet just at the moment - first rule of blogging - don't begin to write until you are sure you have all the necessary information ready!!!)
Going into the 4th session Alan MacDougall's England Champions were undefeated and would play Graeme Adam who was on 4 points and 14 ends. Graham Shedden (4 and 13) played James Dixon (4 and 12) and Tony Tierney (4 and 12) played Drew Gemmell (4 and 10) and the top 4 teams would come out of those 3 games. Other contestants were Alan Mitchell and Matthew McConnell (2 points) and Fergus Corbett and Anna Fowler (0 points).
The first game to finish was the MacDougall - Adam game which Graeme won so that both teams ended with 6 points and 18 ends. By this time none of the other teams were going to be able to match that number of ends and so they would meet again in the final an hour later. The decision on who would play the 3/4 final then came down to who would win the other games between the teams with 4 points. In the Dixon - Sheddon game the former had opened out a 6-2 lead to be pegged back at the 7th when Shedden took a two. The Dixon team then contrived to play the 8th end so badly that Shedden was lying 5 when James came to play his last stone - but a straightforward nose hit reduced that to 2 and the win went to Dixon by 6-5. The Tierney - Gemmell also went to the last stone before Gemmell squeezed through by 7-5.
And so to the finals - Alan MacDougall knew he would have to leave early to catch a plane back to London and he and Graeme romped through the first 5 ends before Alan left with his team losing. That situation did not change and so Graeme Adam, Drew Howie, Stuart Naismith and Jean Lesperance won the Greenaces International Bonspiel. Runners-up were Alan MacDougall, Andrew Reed, John Sharp and Tom Jaeggi, while Andrew Woolston also played in two of the games.
In the 3/4 final the James Dixon team never seemed to get into the game and Drew Gemmell's team, skipped in this game by Alec Wilson, won fairly easily by 11-5.
So a good weekend all round on the ice for those who participated - hopefully there will be more entries again next year and we can get back to the 24-team fields of the Gormac in the past.