Berwick curler Andrew Reed has just returned from Switzerland where he won a bronze medal with England’s men in the European Championships.
Reed, along with team-mates Alan MacDougall, Andrew Woolston, Tom Jaeggi and Ben Fowler, clinched third spot in the event, which was held at Champery.
But he and his colleagues were left feeling a little disappointed after the event, as they just missed out on a top two finish (gold and silver medal positions) which would have meant qualification for the ‘A Division.’
“This would have meant some exposure on Eurosport TV,” said Reed, “so we were a little disappointed, although we were still happy to pick up the bronze.”
Reed and his team qualified for the championships by winning the English teams title earlier this year.
“It was our fifth year together as a team, so we know each other pretty well,” he said.
“It was also my tenth year of competing at the European Championships and we were back at the same venue we played at in 2010.”
The team’s preparation for the championships was not ideal as they were forced into being accommodated in a chalet, rather than a hotel, and they also had to use a car to transport themselves to the ice rink rather than the complementary bus service which the other nations enjoyed.
Amazingly, they also had to survive an earthquake, measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale, which according to Reed, ‘sounded a lot worse in the mountains.’
“It wasn’t the best of starts,” said Reed, “but still, we managed to overcome this and in the round robin section we played well and finished top of our group.”
England beat Estonia, Turkey, Holland, Croatia, France and Lithuania, putting them through to the play-offs, where they narrowly lost 7-6 to Finland.
“This meant we had to play Holland again, but this time we couldn’t repeat our earlier win, which meant we finished up with the bronze medals . . . and a huge lump of Swiss cheese!”
After the event Reed added: “The gap between the A and B Divisions is getting closer all the time.
“Denmark, who are a well funded /practiced nation, are now down into the B Division, so it just goes to show how tough the competition is getting.”