Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The English are coming

Last weekend Fenton's Rink hosted a playdown to find the English Junior Champions who will represent their country in the European Junior Challenge at the Tårnby Curling Club, Copenhagen, Denmark, Jan 3-8. This competition is the qualifier for the World Junior Championships for those countries not already prequalified.

James Hustler was the Chief Umpire for the event and supplies the information below. I met some of these youngsters when I visited Fenton's for the Four Nations last season, so I was pleased to learn more on how they are getting on, and to share this on the blog.

All the results are here. The winners of the junior men's event was Ben Fowler's team above. L-R: Ben Alexander, Oliver Kendall, Ben Fowler, Harry Mallows.

Team Fowler defeated Jake Barker's team, above. Back: Miles Partridge, James Skidmore, Cormac Barry. Front: Jake Barker, Renz Bunag.

Jake's team is a product of the schools curling programme fostered at Fentons Rink with some of the local schools. This is their first season together as a unit and they're still getting a feel for the team dynamic. However with an age range of 14-16 and their current enthusiasm for the game there is potential for continuity as Ben's team ages and rolls out of junior curling.

Anna Fowler's team (above) won the girls' challenge. L-R: Naomi Robinson, Lauren Pearce, Angharad Ward, Anna Fowler, Hetty Garnier

Anna's team will go on to the European Junior Challenge in Tårnby in January. However it will be without Angharad who will be preparing for the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.

Lucy Spark's team are all still at secondary school and under 16. Back: Sarah Decoine, Rebecca Watts, Lucy Sparks. Front: Niamh Fenton, Louisa Partridge. Lucy's team is a product of the Sunday junior academy which has been run by Forbes Fenton for the last three years at Fenton's Rink. This was their first ever competition so it was very much a steep learning curve for them. They certainly held their own in the second match against Anna, losing 6-5.

James says, "I don't think we're ready for the cry of 'The English are coming!' but the future is looking promising if we can nurture the talent and enthusiasm."

Photos are all © Rosaleen Boardman.