Over 60s League
The final of the over 60s League was played last Friday morning at Stranraer Ice Rink. This competition, sponsored by McMillan Hotels, had an entry of eighteen teams who, divided into two sections of nine, played a round-robin league commencing last October and culminating on Friday. Four teams had qualified from each section and played a knock-out to decide on the finalists. In the semi-finals, John Wilson had overcome Norman Brown’s rink and Robert Cannon was defeated by Sandy Cronie in difficult games. The final was seen to be between two very strong teams and it was no surprise that a large number of club supporters turned out to watch the match.
In the final, the first two ends went to each side with John Wilson’s rink taking the first end by two shots, only to be pegged back immediately by the Cronie team who replied with two shots in the second. All eight players on the ice were at the top of their games with many exceptional, not to say brilliant, shots being pulled off. Wilson had one at the third end and Cronie took one at the fourth to peel the game at three shots each. The ends continued to go with the hammer as John Wilson took one at the fifth to lead four shots to three. On the sixth end Sandy Cronie’s team took a two to go one up for the first time at five to four. The seventh end saw the Wilson rink take the one shot that peeled the game on five shots each going into the eighth and final end. This left the Cronie rink with the hammer and thus far every shot had gone with the hammer (last stone). Needing to reverse the action to date, the Wilson team built up guards in front of the house and with shot scoring looked to keep the Cronie rink from getting through to change the position. Sandy Cronie had an almost impossible stone on his last shot to get through a narrow port and make the winning shot - however, his final attempt just caught on the right hand front guard leaving the Wilson rink to take the only steal of the game to win the competition by one shot. This match had truly gone down to the wire and was a worthy contest between two elite and well matched teams.
At the presentation, Stranraer Ice Rink Curling Club President, Hew Chalmers, congratulated both teams on a superb game that had kept the large watching audience on the edge of their seats throughout. Hew called on Janet McMillan who, on behalf of sponsor McMillan Hotels, presented the Lyburn Shield for the Over 60s League competition to the winning team of John Wilson together with prizes of weekend stays at the Cally Palace Hotel, Gatehouse-of-Fleet, to the winners and McMillan Hotel gift vouchers to the runners up of Sandy Cronie’s rink. Both John Wilson and Sandy Cronie spoke to thank McMillan Hotels for the generous sponsorship, praise their teams and thank one another for the really close and sporting contest in the final. Former club president, Hugh Aitken, brought matters to conclusion with a vote of thanks to Hew Chalmers for his presentation of events.
Winners: John Wilson (skip); Gillian Campbell (third); Phyllis Miller (second); Margaret Sloan (lead).
Runners up: Sandy Cronie (skip); Babs McIntyre (third); Billy Benson (second); Roberta Warwick (lead).
The Galloway Cup
A crack rink from Castle Kennedy Curling Club won the prestigious Galloway Cup, sponsored by James Gordon Limited, on Friday night at Stranraer Ice Rink beating a Wigtown CC rink in a hard fought final.
The spectators who came along to watch both the semis and the final were treated to some excellent shot making, which was no surprise with a handful of former World junior champions, European champions and a world champion on the ice.
Fourteen rinks entered this unique competition which involves rinks from the three curling provinces in Galloway - the Rhins O’ Gallowa’, the Galloway Province and the Stewartry. Entries were down by four on last year, but those who took part thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing against each other.
Friday afternoon’s semi-finals saw three Galloway Province rinks win through and one Rhins rink. In one, Galloway Cup holder, Dick Adams, and his Wigtown CC rink of Gregor Cannon, Jodie Milroy and Jak Kane went down 8-2 to Philip Wilson from Castle Kennedy with Hammy (HM) McMillan, Colin Dalrymple and Sandy Cronie in the team. In the other semi, another Wigtown rink, Jim Cannon, Stuart Davidson, Kirsty Wilson and Andrew Wilson got the better of John Wilson’s Kirkmabreck rink of Peter Lupton, Eric Johnstone and Andrew McConchie 12-4.
In the final, the Wigtown quartet were always chasing the game after the Castle Kennedy team posted a big four at the second end. Singles were swapped over the next three ends and a deuce in the sixth end for the Rhins rink put the game beyond the Wigtown team’s reach and it was handshakes at the end of the seventh end.
Final score: 8-3.
At the presentation of prizes, Galloway Province President Andrew McConchie congratulated both teams in the final and called upon John Wilson from Kirkmabreck CC to present the Galloway Cup to the winners on behalf of the sponsors, James Gordon Ltd. All the finalist also received a box of goodies from Flavours of Galloway. Not only did John Wilson play in the semi-final, but he was the winner that morning of the Over 60s League at the ice rink. His stamina was only surpassed by that of Sandy Cronie from the winning rink. Super Sandy was playing his third game that day and his second final, having been beaten in the Over 60s’ final that morning - by John Wilson. Both skips then spoke to thank their respective rinks and their opposition.
Finally, Rhins O’ Gallowa’ President Ian McIntyre thanked the sponsors for their continued generosity and both secretaries, Janette Sloan and Louise Kerr for organising the competition. He also extended a special to the players and spectators for supporting the competition.
First round - D Haining, Kirkcudbright Country 3 P Wilson, Castle Kennedy 14; D Paton, Penninghame 2 I Macpherson, Logan 10; R Adams, Wigtown 6 NR Brown, Stoneykirk 5; G Munro, Castle Kennedy 3 JT Cannon, Wigtown 9; J Dunlop, Twynholm 7 J McNeillie, Glasserton 8; J Wilson, Kirkmabreck 7 K Murray, 6.
Quarter-finals - Ph Wilson 11 Ian Agnew 2; I Macpherson 5 R Adams 7; JT Cannon 12 D McArthur 4; J McNeillie 7 J Wilson 10.
Semi-finals - Ph Wilson 8 R Adams 2; JT Cannon 12 J Wilson 4.
Final - Ph Wilson 8 JT Cannon 3.
Winning rink - Philip Wilson, Hammy McMillan, Colin Dalrymple, Sandy Cronie. Castle Kennedy CC.
Runner-up - Jim Cannon, Stuart Dalrymple, Kirsty Wilson, Andrew Wilson. Wigtown CC.
The Kinnear Trophy, sponsored by Kinnear for Carpets, will be played at Stranraer Ice Rink on Friday, February 24th.
2.40pm - Mrs L Galloway, Glasserton v Mrs S Prentice, Leswalt; Mrs D Johnstone, Wigtown v Mrs E Drummond, Logan; Mrs G Campbell, Minnigaff v Mrs J R Sloan, Loch Connel; Mrs A Cloy, Kirkmabreck v Mrs L Brown, Stoneykirk.
5.00pm - Mrs A Collins, Penninghame v Mrs J Murray, Stoneykirk; Mrs C Cannon, Wigtown v Mrs K Adams, Portpatrick; Mrs P Boult, Penninghame v Mrs J Bell, Limekiln Loch; Miss L Kerr, Glasserton v Mrs M Parker, Castle Kennedy.
OVER the past few months a group of wheelchair curlers have made steady progress at Stranraer Ice Rink in their quest to be ready for their first big challenge - a game against the Lockerbie “wheelies” next month.
Last Friday night, six of them were thrilled to receive expert coaching from Paralympic curler Angie Malone from Girvan.
Forty-four-year-old Angie, who has been a paraplegic since a road traffic accident, was a member of the GB team that won a silver medal at the Winter Paralympic Games in Torino 2006 and she represented Great Britain again in Vancouver in 2010. She is also a double world champion from 2004 and 2005 a was a world bronze medallist in 2007.
Over the last year she has faced a battle against cancer, and she has successfully balanced training with her treatment. This weekend she is heading off to South Korea to represent Scotland at the World Wheelchair Championships from February 18 to 25.
Angie took time out to pass on her expertise to Graham Keenan, aged 76; Douglas Dewar, aged 50; Phil Heron, aged 57; Stewart Maxwell, aged 26 and Joe McGurk, aged 28, all under the watchful eye of regular coach Brian Park.
The Stranraer wheelchair curlers team have all disabilities off the ice for a variety of reasons like accidents, strokes and amputations but, as Brian points out, on the ice they are treated just the same as any able-bodied curler, and most are now playing games with local clubs.
The basics are fairly simple. The wheelchair curler thows the stone with the aid of a cue stick, while his wheelchair is anchored behind by a “buddy”. The skill is in the accuracy of the throw and weigh control. Unlike able bodies curlers a wheelie only game means there are no sweepers available to help the stone’s path.
All the curlers taking part said what enjoyment they get out of their weekly sessions and the difference it has made to their lives.
They are very keen to get as much practice in as possible before the Lockerbie players arrive at the doors of the ice rink on March 21.
Seventeen-year-old Newton Stewart curler Jodie Milroy will get her first taste of the curling ‘big time’ next week when she travels to Perth Ice Rink for the finals of the Scottish Ladies Curling Championships as part of Gail Munro’s team.
Also gong to Perth with Gail and her longtime team mate Lyndsay Cumming will be 15-year-old Katie Wright from Portpatrick.
Jodie and Katie are both regualar on the ice at Stranraer and are both looking forward to a week’s curling at the top level.
They play their first game on Monday at 1pm against Kerry Barr’s team. Gail Munro and Lyndsay Cumming won the Scottish title in 2008.