Four games were contested this week in the Moray Province East curling league. With regular skip Alan Campbell absent in Canada as part of the Scotland Strathcona Cup touring team, his title chasing Buckie rink skipped by Steve Rankin slipped up big time against Bill Jaffrey’s Fochabers team. Powered by a very consistent front end of Gary Burnett and the ever reliable Fiona Ewen, the Speysiders nonetheless must have thought they were paid up members of the Lucky White Heather Club as a series of wicks, rubs and poorly thrown rocks went their way over the first few ends. A 5 against the hammer in end two was ample proof that the fates were with them and a count of 4 against at the sixth end was really their only scorecard blemish as another 5 at the last gave them a somewhat flattering 15-6 victory.
Meanwhile fellow title contender Andy Cameron was picking up both points against Sunninghill’s Donald Ross to slip past the Buckie team into league top spot.Cameron was always in command following an opening end count of 3 , and 2 more single steals gave him a comfortable lead before the hoteliers hit back to make it 5-3 after 5 ends. Another 3 and a double steal sealed a 10-4 win for the whisky town rink.
Dave MacPherson was another absentee as his Tennis Club team under the expertise of Roy Thomson dealt yet another blow to defending champion Kenny Oswald. The Elgin four were 5-1 up after 3 ends but 3 consecutive doubles allowed the ball boys to pip their opponents who have struggled to match last season’s form and are yet to find their first win of this season.
Honours were even in the Division 2 contest as Gregor Ewen, skipping the Aberlour team went toe to toe with Elgin’s Bob Stewart. Aberlour second player Ade Firth looking for all the world like an extra from a spaghetti western in his New Year’s Zapata moustache and lead Nicole Allan provided the grunt to complement the subtler skills of Skip Ewan and third player Jim Gault in a thrilling 5-5 draw. This leaves 4 of the 6 Division 2 teams on 4 points, just one win behind second placed Alan Durno, but all trailing runaway leader Fochabers’ Abby Duncan