Aberlour’s Andy Cameron advanced to the quarter final of the Moray Province Open Knockout with a big win over Wilson Burnett on a strangely mild Hallowe’en at Moray Leisure Centre this week. The Fochabers rink could not hit the proverbial barn door and were only able to avoid a whitewash courtesy of a single shot at the last end in a 10-1 drubbing.
Steve Rankin was another big knockout winner, casting a spell on Eddie Milne in a 9-2 victory. The night’s only close contest saw experienced skip Alan Durno narrowly prevail against young pretender Charlie Watt jnr. On tricky negative ice and tied at 5-5 in the last end, Charlie’s team looked to be sitting pretty with a well guarded counter as Durno’s fourth player Mike Watt made ready to play the game’s final stone. With a big swing on the out turn and the shot stone covered by a long guard, the wily Watt laid a beauty that passed the guard and swung perfectly to chip out Watt’s stone and give his team a 2 shot victory.
Rarely in this column do curling team’s front ends receive much attention and two of the best showed their form in this week’s Moray Province League battles.
Many people seem to mistakenly think that Andy Cameron lead player John Sharpe is Welsh. However,I can exclusively reveal that he is as Scottish as you and I and was in fact born in Aberystwyth.
Issues of Nationality aside, on Wednesday,Sharpe laid the foundation as the Aberlour rink raced to 13 unanswered shots before a consolation 3 at the last , at least gave a slightly less bitter taste to the Elgin Tennis Club’s late night hot chocolate.
Highlighting another member of the front end union, at second in Bill Jaffrey’s Fochabers rink, Fiona Ewan is arguably the team’s most consistent performer and was instrumental in an against the odds win over last year’s East champions Kenny Oswald. On ice that was very much in favour of a drawing game, the Fochabers rink opened with a 3 before falling behind as the Elgin unit scored at each of the next 3 ends. Another 3 at the fifth and then a steal of 2 saw the Speysiders go down the last with a healthy 4 shot lead . Lead player Gary Burnett and then Fiona Ewan shored up the front of the house to allow skip Wilson Burnett to play a killer last stone draw and Kenny could only score a single in an 8-5 Fochabers win.
Steve Rankin’s Buckie rink went one better than Andy Cameron with a 14-3 demolition of an understrength Sunninghill team. Many people mistakenly think that Buckie lead player Tim Rutzler is Welsh but again ,I can exclusively reveal the he is as Welsh as you and I and was born in Ashby-De-La Zouch. Rutzler was the unheralded star as three separate counts of 4 gave the coasters an easy victory to consolidate their position as joint League leaders.