The final of the R & A Hannay Handicap Competition, sponsored by Scottish Fuels, was played out last Friday night at the North West Castle Hotel’s Curling Rink in Stranraer. This ever popular event is unique in that by virtue of handicapping each player in a team with plus or minus shots, it offers relatively inexperienced players the opportunity of defeating better more skillful players. The competition has been strongly supported by Scottish Fuels (formerly Shell) for over twenty years.
There was a full entry of sixteen teams who played a knock out competition to decide who would compete the finals. After some close games, the finalists proved to be the rink of the current holder of the trophy, Paul Soriani, against the young schoolboy rink of Campbell Dooley. The Dooley team commenced with an advantage of three shots on the handicap and, with this initial count, shot into a seven shot lead by taking the first three ends with a one shot, two shot steal and another shot at the third respectively. At this point the handicapping committee must have been starting to worry. In the fourth end disaster struck for the Dooley team as the Soriani rink came back with a big five shot win albeit with some luck. Soriani kept up the pressure in the fifth end to steal a three shot win and take the lead eight shots to seven. The sixth end saw the Dooley rink pick up a one shot win to peel the game at eight shots all. By this time it was becoming clear that the tactical experience of Soriani and Galloway at the head of the Soriani rink was starting to tell. This proved to be the case and at the seventh end a big four shot win for the Soriani team practically clinched the game and the title. In the final end Soriani blocked the youngsters out and stole a one to confirm his team’s victory.
At the presentation, Stranraer Ice Rink Curling Club President, Hew Chalmers, congratulated the winning Soriani team and Paul Soriani for his second success in the past two years and commiserated with the Dooley rink who had played an excellent game considering their age. Hew thanked Scottish Fuels for their continuing valuable and much valued sponsorship and introduced Scottish Fuels representative, George Murray. George congratulated the teams on a well fought final and stated that, although a golfing man himself, he was starting to understand the subtlety of the curling game having watched many finals over the years that Scottish Fuels had sponsored the competition. George stated that Scottish Fuels would be pleased to continue the sponsorship of the Hannay Trophy. The Hannay Trophy was presented to the winning rink of Paul Soriani by Hew Chalmers’ wife a scion of the Hannay family, while George Murray presented the runners up rink of Campbell Dooley with the Shell Trophy. George also presented prizes of i phone ports to the members of the winning rink and wrist watches analogue and digital to each of the runners up courtesy of sponsors Scottish Fuels. Speaking on behalf of his winning rink, Paul Soriani thanked George Murray and Scottish Fuels for the much appreciated and valuable sponsoship and praised his teams’ performance during the competition. Paul congratulated Campbell Dooley and his team for a well played game.
Winners: Paul Soriani (skip); Forsyth Galloway (third); Matthew Soriani (second); Aaron Lyons (lead).
Runners up: Campbell Dooley (skip); William McQuillan (third); Dion McGuire (second); Callum McQuillan (lead).