LAURA BEEVER is certainly ice-cool when it comes to the business of curling.

Laura, from Deeside, is the skip of the Welsh ladies curling team which went so close to achieving victory at a major European event.

At the European Curling Championships (C Division) held in Dumfries, the team finished up as runners-up.

“The team went into the competition with the goal of having a positive win-loss record, but surpassed their own expectations when they finished the group stage on six wins and three losses,” said Laura, who has been involved in the sport since her teens.

This run of form meant Wales qualified for the ensuing play-offs and they then went on to win their semi-final encounter against Slovakia in convincing fashion with an 11-1 scoreline.

That set up a final meeting with the Netherlands, who would go on to win the competition.

Now, it’s a waiting game to see if that runners-up spot is good enough for Wales to take their place in the B Division later this year.

Laura explained that if the host nation has already qualified for the tournament, Wales will be able to make the step-up, with an announcement expected over the summer.

“The ladies, along with the rest of the members of the Welsh Curling Association, formerly played at Deeside Leisure Centre, but now have no facility in Wales,” added Laura.

Instead, players have to rely on ice in Preston and Scotland for their practice sessions.

“We’ve been working to try and get our own ice rink,” she added.

However, with the cost of living crisis foremost in minds, this is currently on the back-burner.

Even so, it has been a terrific few years for the team, which was only formed in 2019.

This came about with the addition of members Judith Glazier, Emily Simpson and Anna Carruthers, who all took up the sport after watching the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Led by Eve Muirhead, Great Britain’s women went close to winning a medal and they were beaten 5-3 by Japan in the bronze-medal match.

Reflecting her pride over the Welsh team, Laura said: “They have earned silver medals and possible promotion to the B Division, a huge highlight in what has been a difficult few years since the pandemic.”