Stranraer curlers take the title
STRANRAER curlers proved they were the best in Scotland again last weekend when Gail Munro and Lyndsay Wilson won the Scottish Ladies Curling Championships at the Dewars ice Rink in Perth, beating the defending champions, Stirling's Kelly Woods, 5-4 in a nail-biting final.
Skip Gail and sup-skip Lyndsay were joined by central belt-based Karen Addison and Annie Laird in a new line up that has swept all before them this season. The team will now represent Scotland at the Ladies World Curling Championships in Canada next month.
The newly crowned champion spoke to The Galloway Gazette soon after her triumph.
Asked how it felt to be the champion, an ecstatic Gail replied: "Unbelievable. It's a wonderful feeling, especially as its been such a long time coming."
Last week saw the final rounds of the 'Gold League', sponsored by Columba Cream Liqueur. After 14 games had been played throughout the season, 'Team Munro' had finished in second place. This meant a play-off against the top team, skipped by Woods, with the winner going directly to the final.
A 9-7 victory put Munro through while Woods won a second-chance semi to set up another tense showdown. These two teams had emerged as the best in Scotland this season, but Woods had not beaten Munro in their last three encounters - a crucial psychological advantage for Gail.
The final, in front of a large crowd and BBC television cameras, was close - two shots all at the fifth end break. In the ninth, Wood had the chance to put Munro under pressure with an draw behind cover to lie two. Despite her sweepers' best efforts it finished short of the rings. Gail blanked the end and headed home with the last stone, just one shot behind. The Munro team pulled out the stops in the 10th, and when Kelly could not make the across-the-house double take-out, or even stay in shot position with her final stone, Gail had a straightforward draw to the eight foot for the win. She was perfectly played and 'Team Munro' were the champions. The statistics told the story, Gail outplayed Kelly Woods and Lyndsay Wilson had an outstanding game, shooting 89 per cent.
Forty year old mother-of-one Gail, put her fantastic form this year down to simply "enjoying it and having fun".
"The team dynamics have also been good, and the addition of Karen (Addison) has added something. This team has lots of experience at international level, and Karen and Annie have been very supportive of Lyndsay and myself."
From a famous curling family, Gail has previously represented Scotland at the European Championships, playing third to Olympic gold medalist Rhona Martin, but this was her first Scottish title. Her brother Hammy has a fistful of Scottish and European titles and won the World Championships in 1999. Her older sister Fiona also has a Scottish title, winning the Scottish Ladies Junior Championships in 1981.
Hotel receptionist Lyndsay Wilson, 26, also combines her curling career with motherhood. The youngest member of the rink, the trip to the World Championships will be her first taste of international competition.
With the World Championships less than a month away, the team are now busy trying to arrange practice sessions and organise time off work. Gail, an ice rink manager said: "It's just a case of trying to fit four weeks work into two!"
If the team take a medal in Vernon, British Columbia, it would put them firmly in the frame to represent Great Britain at the Winter Olympics in 2010.
This latest success follow hot on the heels of fellow Stranraer curler Vicki Adams winning the Scottish Junior title at the beginning of February.
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Weather for Newton Stewart
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 7 C to 10 C
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Wind direction: South