THE final of the McLelland Cheese Packaging Company-sponsored Merchants Trophy was won for the first time by a rink of schoolchildren.
Eight teams entered the competition which requires team members to be in the same trade or profession. This criteria also allows schoolchildren to play.
The final contestants were Scott McColm’s farmers rink and the students’ team skipped by Gregor Cannon.
After blanking the first end, Cannon took the second by two shots and stole the third with a single. The McColm rink got on to the scoreboard with one at the fourth but then lost two more at the fifth end.
McColm took the sixth but only by one shot. The teams blanked the seventh but Cannon’s team took two at the eighth to lead 7-2. This was too much for McColm to pull back on the final end, although he and his team did take it by two shots, to leave Cannon’s rink 7-4 winners.
Teams – winners: Gregor Cannon (skip); Bobby Lammie (third); Euan Kyle (second); Jenni Cannon (lead).
Runners up: Scott McColm (skip); Colin Dalrymple (third); Ian Struthers (second); Alan Service (lead).
JUNIOR CLUB LEAGUE
LAST Tuesday evening saw the culmination of the curling season’s Junior Club League at the North West Castle Hotel’s Ice Rink in Stranraer.
In the High Road semi-finals, holders Wigtown went down to a determined Glasserton Club rink and a much-fancied Stoneykirk rink were surprisingly defeated by newcomers Logan Curling Club.
The Low Road saw Castle Kennedy’s second team getting through to play off against the Limekiln Loch team. The competition, sponsored by Baxters, of Stranraer, saw a huge turnout of families and supporters of the clubs and individual players at the final.
In the Low Road, Castle Kennedy, skipped by the experienced Neil Topping, got off to a good start, winning the first three ends and scoring six shots before Limekiln Loch, with Lauren Morgan at the helm, could get back into it.
Limekiln took the next two ends and scored a fourth at the seventh end to leave the score at 6-4 in Castle Kennedy’s favour going into the eighth and final end.
With Castle Kennedy having last-stone advantage and a two-shot lead, Limekiln were forced to take big risks in the hope of making the difference. But the experienced Castle Kennedy team kept the house clear and eventually took the final end by three shots to win 9-4.
The final was something of an anti-climax. Ross Inger’s Glasserton rink took the first end by one shot and this proved to be their only score as the Logan team, skipped by David McColm, then won the next five ends. After the sixth end, Logan were ahead 9-1 and the Glasserton team, accepting the inevitable, conceded the match and championship.
Logan: David McColm (skip); Sarah Sloan (third); Andrew Gilmore (second); Lauren Smith (lead).
Glasserton: Ross Inger (skip); Stuart Davidson (third); Rachel Mills (second); Fraser Galloway (lead).
Castle Kennedy: Neil Topping (skip); Frazer Shaw (third); Blair Haswell (second); Adam Connor (lead).
Limekiln Loch: Lauren Morgan (skip); Dion McGuire (third); Scott Patterson (second); Abby Cronie (lead).
OVER 60S CUP
THE final of the over 60s Cup, more commonly referred to as the Cheese competition because it is sponsored by the Caledonian Cheese Company, was played out last week at Stranraer Ice Rink.
Sixteen teams played in a round-robin of four teams in four sections to decide the semi-finalists. For the first time in several years, the four winning section teams all had undefeated round robin results.
The semi-finals saw close games, with victories going to Sandy Cronie over John Wilson by one shot and Willie Sloan over Hugh Kirkpatrick by two shots.
A large crowd of supporters and players turned out on Wednesday morning to watch what was expected to be a close final and they were not disappointed.
The match started with the Sloan rink taking the first end by one shot. Sloan then stole another at the second and his team did it again at the third.
But Cronie and his team had played hard to restrict the losses to one shot only at each end and, at the fourth end, they got on the scoreboard with one at the fourth.
The Sloan team pulled it back with yet another single at the fifth to retain a three-shot lead.
Then, at last, the Cronie team got a break and racked up three shots at the sixth to peel the score at four shots each.
Sloan took the seventh end with another single and the nailbiting final eighth end saw a very high level of skill and tactics as Cronie, with last stone advantage, sought to take the two shots he needed to win.
And with some consummate stone placements, the Cronie rink managed to pull off a four-shot win to take the game 8-5, with a last-stone hit to remove the opposition’s scoring stone.
Winners: Sandy Cronie (skip); Ian Stevenson (third); Robert Brown (second); Michael Sheppard (lead).
Runners up: Willie Sloan (skip); Helen Smith (third); Hugh Aitken (second); Bill Scott (lead).