Crack rinks from Stoneykirk and Wigtown Curling Clubs fought out a high class final of the Galloway Cup, sponsored by Gordons, at Stranraer Ice Rink last Friday with the Rhins side finally winning by one shot at the last end.
The Galloway Cup, one of the most handsome trophies in curling, is played for annually between rinks from the Galloway Province, the Rhins O’ Gallowa’ Province and the Stewartry Province.
The two rinks that made it through the knock-out stages to the final were both playing well and the decider didn’t disappoint the spectators.
In the first end Wigtown took the lead scoring two after third player Christine Cannon drew behind guards. Wigtown were lying well again at the second end when skip Jim Cannon drew the shot with his last stone. Stoneykirk skip Norman Brown couldn’t get inside the shot and Wigtown forged into a 3-0 lead.
The Stoneykirk team then got their act together and over the next three end counted three singles to level the scores at three all.
The sixth end saw some excellent play from both teams. Norman Brown’s last stone was swept hard all the way to lie shot behind a guard at the top on the 12 foot but Jim Cannon outdrew this shot for the one.
The Wigtown side all had their shooting boots on in the seventh end, with some great hit and roll shots that peppered the 12 foot. That was followed by two first class draws. one from Ian Kirkpatrick and one from Christine Cannon, but unfortunately, Ian’s second attempt to draw down the same line picked up. The pressure was now on Stoneykirk and skip Norman Brown’s last stone, going for a hit for a deuce, just clipped a front counter, rolling across the four foot and stopping for first shot. A measure for second shot went to Wigtown.
This enthralling final entered the last end all square at four all and Stoneykirk got and early advantage with a shot on the button and guards up front. Wigtown second player Stuart Davidson played a great clearance of two front guards and, given the opportunity after the Stoneykirk replacement guard drew too far, nicked the shot off the button with his second stone. Ian Kirkpatrick first draw was too heavy and Christine Cannon cleared the remaining guard. Ian then replaced the guard and Christine removed it. Again Norman put up cover but Jim peeled it. With two stones to go and just one stone for cover, Norman played a superbly weighted draw right being it to lie shot on the four foot but behind the tee line. With the last stone of the game, Jim just had to draw down on top on it but came up a foot short leaving Stoneykirk the trophy winners.
At the presentation of prizes, Rhins O’ Gallowa President Donald McColm congratulated the winners and the runners-up and said what a pleasure it was to have witnessed such a great final. He then asked Babs McIntyre, wife of Stranraer Ice Rink President John, to hand over the trophy and Royal Worcester crystal glasses to the winners and crystal tumblers to the runners-up.
Donald thanked the sponsors, Gordons, for their continued support of the competition. He also thanked the three province secretaries, James Dunlop, Janette Sloan and Louise Kerr for organising the competition.
A bottle raffle raised £158.05 for Galloway Cup funds.
1st round - G Penrose, Glasserton 3 S Groome, Anwoth and Girthon 7; N R Brown, Stoneykirk 13 D McArthur, Minnigaff 3; G Maclaine, Kirkcudbright Country SCR T Harrison. Leswalt WO; R Adams, Wigtown SCR P Wilson, Castle Kennedy WO; A Paton, Penninghame 7 J Findlay, Kirkpatrick Durham 3; G Adams, Kirkcowan SCR R Lammie, Logan WO; J Dunlop, Twynholm 7 J T Cannon, Wigtown 4; I Fisher, Kirkmabreck 13 A McClymont, Minnigaff 3.
Quarter-finals - S Groome 2 N R Brown 10; T Harrison 7 P Wilson 5; A Paton 3 R Lammie 11; J T Cannon 10 I Fisher 4.
Semi-final - N R Brown 10 T Harrison 3; R Lammie 4 J T Cannon 8.
Final - N R Brown 5 J T Cannon 4.
Winners - Norman Brown, Ian Kirkpatrick, Hugh Kirkpatrick, Malcolm Henry. Stoneykirk CC.
Runners-up - Jim Cannon, Christine Cannon, Stuart Davidson, Jak Kane. Wigtown CC.