Busy Weekend 10/11/17 to 12/11/17

Busy weekend for Moray Curlers 10/11/17 to 12/11/17.

Scottish Province Championship – Greenacres
The Scottish Province Championship was contested this year by 22 teams from around the country at Greenacres Curling Rink from 10th – 12th November.
Moray was represented by Ardclach skipped by Ally Fraser with Ruaraidh Greenwood, Calum Greenwood and Grant Fraser.

Off to a flying start with a 9 to 4 win over East Fife on the Friday am Followed by a peeled game against Midlothian 5 to 5 followed by a fine win over Glasgow 6 to 4 unfortunately followed by a loss to Stirlingshire 3 to 8.
This provided a very tight finish to their league games, they were second with Midlothian however Midlothian had same points but had more ends. Shots up and total shots and so they went forward to the knock out stages with Stirlingshire.
Credit to the lads they obviously played well but pipped at the post by detail!!

ASHAM UNDER 21 SLAM – INVERNESS JUNIOR INTERNATIONAL.No all Moray teams playing here however there were individuals from Moray who shone within the teams they were playing with.
Again it was round robin sections followed by qualification to the Knock Out stages.
In section A we had Amy MacDonald playing for Rebecca Morrison who plays out of Aberdeen and in Section B we had Molly Keen playing for Amy Bryce who plays out of the Borders and in Section B we also had Marran Nicol Playing for Rachel Dakers playing out of Murrayfield.

On completion of the round robin section A qualifiers were Davie 1st & Morrison 2nd (Amy)
On completion of the round robin section B qualifiers were Dakers 1st (Marran) & Farmer 2nd  
Unfortunately Bryce did not qualify (Molly)
This set up the semi-final, Morrison V Dakers which Morrison won by 6 Shots to 1 while in the Farmer V Davie game Davie won 7 shots to 3.

The ladies final between Davie and Morrison finished on end seven with Morrison (Amy) winning by 4 shots to 1.
In the 3 V 4 game Dakers (Marran) beat Farmer 10 shots to 6.
There was some fantastic curling from the ladies throughout the week end and although the number of rinks was down on previous years the standard of curling was not.

As well as the ladies rinks there were junior men’s in the same format of competition, round robin and KO. Baird from Murrayfield beating Craik from Forfar 8 shots to 3 in the final. 

The local girls were delighted to be playing this home round of the under 21 slam as the other rounds are in the central belt with the last round as far as Lockerbie.
The other rounds push up the expenses what with travel, mostly two overnights
accommodation, ice costs and meals makes it expensive over the season however they have to get involved  at that level now to have any chance of progressing to the top of their sport.
Any business who would be interested in discussing sponsorship with national and local coverage please do not hesitate to contact 07789988917

Christmas Bonspiel 2017

Dear Club Secretary,

Moray Leisure Centre is hosting their annual Christmas Bonspiel on Saturday the 9th of December. This is always a fun event for all those who take part and well worth supporting. Festive dress is the order of the day and very much encouraged for all curlers so that everyone enters into the Christmas spirit. The cost will be £15 per head which includes the ice, soup, sandwiches and coffee – a bargain!!.

Would you please circulate this information to all your club members.

 The names of those who wish to take part, including the position(s) in which they would like to play, should be emailed to “angela.fraser@mlc-elgin.co.uk“.

With best wishes,

Mike Pickthall

Province Secretary

East Leagues report

There were 2 club derby’s in Division 2 of the Moray Province East curling league last week.
In the battle of the Forres rinks, it was a ding dong derby with Howard Anstruther’s rink just shading Mike McDonald by the odd shot in 11.
Meanwhile along to the east, the Fochabers fixture was won by Bill Jaffrey. Despite losing a careless 4 in the penultimate end to Abby Duncan, skip Wilson Burnett held his nerve to pick up a single shot in the last end for a 7-5 win.
In the remaining division 2 game, Elgin Tennis Club skipped by Chris Whelan had a very tight and eventually peeled game against Ryan Mackenzie’s Ballindalloch boys.
In the third division, Molly Keen’s Juniors had a super win against the experienced Rotarians skipped by Rob Tyson. 3-3 after 4 ends became 13-4 to the youngsters with big scores at the fifth, sixth and eighth ends. Eddie Milne picked up another win, this time at the expense of Ron Christie, who was 8-1 down after 4 ends and didn’t really improve much after seven. Forres’ Charlie Watt jnr, with Charlie Watt snr at lead , easily saw off Bob Stewart’s Elgin rink once again skipped by Rob Stenton in Bob’s absence.
In Division 4, Mike Mckenzie’s Aberlour team had another win, Jim Gault skipping to a 7-4 victory over Jim Farquhar.
Jamie Rankin’s Juniors fell quickly behind against Helen Downey, but fought back strongly to be peeling 5-5 after 6 ends. Helen, however played a canny last end to pick up 3 for an 8-5 win.
Finally, in a division 5 match brought forward from January, Andrew Allardyce once again defeated the Forres girls of Linda Hardie. One behind going into the last end, the wily Allardyce picked up 2 shots against the hammer for a narrow 7-6 win.

Moray Leisure Centre as at 30/10/17


Published by Richard Simmers18 hrs

On behalf of all the ice rink users, following last week’s worrying media report about Moray Leisure Centre, I emailed MLC board of directors asking for some clarification on the report.
Below is the reply I received today from the MLC board.
I hope that this will ease some of our members worries in knowing that the MLC board are fully committed to the future of the Leisure Centre.

Rick Simmers
Ice4all chairperson

“I am unable to add more than was available in the press last week which stated that the Board have instructed accountants to prepare a set of management accounts so that we may assess the current financial situation of MLC. I would like to reassure your members that the Board are doing our upmost to ensure that MLC continues for the benefit of all staff, service users and the local community alike. I am sure I4A will of course continue to support us fully in this.

Kind regards

Gill Dale”

Northern County Lady Curlers

Please see below a letter supplied for publication by Sandra McIver a member of Northern County Lady Curlers.
The letter is to Inverness Ice Centre regarding I C L C thoughts on discussions taking place between the Inverness Ice Centre Board and “High Life”.
The relevance of course to us is that Moray Council has had a presentation from “High Life” on the very same subject with regard to Moray Leisure Centre, this discussion was instigated by T M C prior to any public knowledge that the M L C was finding its self in financial difficulties.

Northern Counties Lady Curlers
Inverness Ice Centre
Dear Board Members
This letter is on behalf of Northern Counties Lady Curlers to express our concern and disquiet about the proposal for the Ice Centre to be managed by High Life.
At present the Ice Centre caters for a range of Curling Activities including Club Curling, Bonspiels and competitions both local and national. In doing so they provide an excellent service on and off the ice. Having experienced other centres where the facilities are managed by an external agency we have found this service to be of a poorer standard.
NCLC host a number of events and we are able to support the Ice Centre by providing additional items which would not be allowed if High Life were to be the managers. Our experience of food being supplied in centres with external management has been disappointing and some food being unable to be consumed.
Curling is a social sport and RCCC are trying to increase membership. This means we must keep our costs reasonable and we fear tis will not be the case id High Life takes over.
Our understanding is that the Ice Centre will still be responsible for the ongoing maintenance and repairs of the building, plant and outdoor areas so there is no benefit to the Centre there. 
We feel that being managed by High Life will be have a detrimental effect on the present service provided by the Ice Centre.
Yours sincerely
Ann Gibb
Northern Counties Lady Curlers.

East League Report 25/10/17

With the school holiday over, competition resumed in the Moray Province East curling programme.

Alastair Maltman’s Bank rink, skipped by the vastly experienced Frank Ross were big winners in the Open Knockout preliminary round. 
Handshakes after 6 ends found the Bankers 11-0 victors over the unfortunate Rob Stenton ,skipping Bob Stewart’s rink.

Maltman should obviously spend more time on holiday, as Frank and co had another convincing 10-3 win over Helen Downey’s Elgin team in Division 4 the following night.

In the other Division 4 game, Jamie Rankin’s Moray Juniors, which included 2 Holders and a Stalker had a superb 7-2 win over Jim Farquhar’s Elgin ensemble. The youngsters won 5 of the 7 ends in a great team effort.

In the Division 5 battle of the Juniors, Georgia Clarke’s rink were convincing 11-2 winners over Andrew Mcintyre’s newcomers.
Meanwhile, in a parallel galaxy, Andrew Allardyce ran out 7-3 winners over Linda Hardie’s Forres girls, 4 shots at the sixth end proving the decisive count.

At the other end of the League tables, Neil Mustard’s woes continued with a 9-3 loss to Aberlour’s Andy Cameron whose two 3’s at the third and sixth ends ensured a comfortable win for the Speyside boys.

A count of 3 in the last end was no consolation for Neil Durno’s team who were on the wrong end of a 10-4 thrashing from the in form Kenny Oswald. A superb angled raised take out of Durno’s shot stone in the third end for a count of 3 set Kenny up for his comprehensive win.

Game Scores and League Tables under competition

Northern Scott take on M L C future

All quiet on leisure centre future


Moray Leisure Centre

Moray Leisure Centre

USERS of Moray Leisure Centre in Elgin remain in the dark about whether the facility will close.  

Taxpayers fund an annual subsidy, this year £698,000, via Moray Council to Moray Leisure Ltd to run the centre on an “arm’s length agreement”.

The council made the deal 25 years ago but it ends next July and speculation is rife that the centre may close before then because of finances. 

The centre has a board of seven directors – four from the private sector and three councillors. The councillors – Amy Patience, Walter Wilson and Frank Brown – issued a joint statement this week.

It said: “It is clear there are some serious cash flow and capital issues facing the centre. Advisers are working with the board to find a way forward.” 

The centre has the only public swimming pool in Elgin and the only ice rink in Moray. 

Graeme Summers, who runs Moray Figure Skating Club along with his sister Sue, is one of many who are worried about the centre’s future. 

He said: “We have five skaters competing at the British championships next month. That’s more than some big cities. 

“To compete at that level you have to be on the ice for at least 15 hours a week. If the rink in Elgin closes, the nearest alternative is Inverness, but that caters mainly for curling so it’s difficult to get ice time.

“Our skaters would be left instead with a four-hour round trip to Aberdeen, which is just not practical for anybody who also has to attend school. It would end their careers.

“All I can do is plead with the powers that be to get this sorted out as quickly as possible and end the uncertainty.” 

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead met Roddy Burns, head of the council, this week. to discuss the matter. 

Mr Lochhead said: “We cannot allow ourselves to be in the position where a community the size of Elgin is left without a swimming pool and leisure facilities. 

“It does seem change is inevitable – and with its current financial position that is for good reason – but it is vital the doors remain open.” 

The chairman of the current board, Andrew Wood, is away on holiday this week and unavailable for comment.

Moray Leisure Centre was built in 1993. An independent report in the autumn of 2015 stated that, although well looked after, the building needed £1million spent on it. 

Councillors unanimously agreed last year to pay half the £500,000 needed to replace the equipment that freezes the ice rink, while the other half of the cost was match-funded by sportscotland. 

However, the following council budget duly saw the removal of an additional £60,000 subsidy the leisure centre had used to pay for maintenance. 

Funds are being sought to build a sports centre in the Linkwood area of Elgin. 

However, there are no plans at present for this facility, which is being pushed by Springfield Properties boss Sandy Adams, to include a swimming pool or ice rink.

Moray Leisure in financial difficulties

Looks like trouble ahead but hopefully it can be overcome with a working partnership between MLC and TMC.
We can’t blame the new board or the new councillors named, they will be trying to sort out what they were landed with when some members of the previous board went walk about.
Hopefully the two parties previously mentioned and the leisure centre users through discussion can overcome the problems that have caused the MLC to find itself in this position

First Rounds Div 4 And 5

The opening round of matches in Divisions 4 and 5 took place at Moray Leisure Centre this week and all three games were tight affairs, with results only decided in the last end.

Mike McKenzie’s all conquering Division 5 champions of last year were narrowly pipped by Bank of Scotland, skipped by Frank Ross in the absence of regular skip Alastair Maltman. Mike’s final attempt at promoting a half covered front stone didn’t quite come off and the Bank picked up the two shots required for a 6-5 win.

In the all Elgin clash, Morag Cumming, skipping Jim Farquhar’s rink, just held off Helen Downey, whose 2 single shots at the last 2 ends was not quite enough to avoid a 6-5 loss.

In Division 5 Andrew Allardyce’s Elgin rink raced to a 7-0 lead after 4 ends against the junior rink skipped by Georgia Clarke. The Juniors however, came storming back , and a well-played last end by Georgia saw her steal a single shot, but not quite enough to avoid a one shot loss by a 7-6 whisker.

Skips in Division 4 should note Darnaway C.C. has withdrawn C Guald’s rink after the draw was made. A couple of skips in Division 4 are aware of this but not all skips in division 4 were aware as at last night. The ice rink is aware.

The last Para was written by the web master however the Match Secretary disagreed
(see face Book)