As we approach the end of another curling season , a number of League Winners have already been decided. In Moray Province East Division 1, a table top clash between Andy Cameron and Alan Campbell resulted in a straightforward win and Division 1 title for the Aberlour rink. An opening count of 5 shots took full advantage of the first end hammer for Andy and another pick up of 2 in the third end effectively ended the contest with Cameron holding a7-1 lead. A single and then 2 consecutive steals breathed a bit of life into the Buckie team but Cameron’s rink snuffed out the response to run out 10-5 winners and deservedly snare his spot on the Champion’s podium .
Kenny Oswald kept his hopes of retaining Division 1 status alive with a solid win over the Sunninghill rink skipped this week by Georgia Clarke. A count of 4 in the last end confirmed a win for the Elgin team.
The Division 2 title is wide open again after long time front runner Abby Duncan came another cropper , losing heavily to Forres’s Mike MacDonald. Gordon Fraser has been driving the Duncan bus all season long, but another wheel has dropped off his wagon as a single shot at the opening end was the Fochabers’ rink’s only contribution to the scoreboard . Forres’s Charlie Watt jnr has risen quietly to the top of the League with a thrilling 7-6 win against Bob Stewart. Stewart must have been delighted to be leading 6-0 after 4 ends, but in the classic “ game of 2 halves” Watt woke with a bang and 2 steals of 3 in the final ends left his Elgin opponents wondering what went wrong. Mike Macdonald’s remarkable and rare count of 7 shots in end 5 stunned both the crowd and his Fochabers opponent and was instrumental in his 14-7 win to keep his team in the title race.
Division 3 winners are Owen Watson’s Moray Juniors rink who were never behind in their title clash with Alan Douglas. 3 consecutive 2 shot counts after an opening end deuce gave the Juniors an 8-6 win and what a week it has been for Watson and co. Sunday saw them reach the final of the Scottish Schools Championship where they gave a fantastic account of themselves all weekend to just be pipped by Perth Academy in the final.
Andrew Allardyce came out on top in his club clash with Helen Downey. Despite a pick up of 2 shots in the first end, Helen’s team struggled thereafter with the wily Allardyce scoring at each of the next 4 ends to win 10-3 and confirm his Division 3 status for next year.
Janice Rankin’s Moray Firth Ladies are Division 4 champions after a 9-3 win over Jodi Best’s Buckie team. Penalised several shots for a late start, Best’s team of newcomers and returning stars have nevertheless had a very encouraging first season , winning 4 of their 9 games.
In the West, Division 1 champion Ali Fraser dropped his only point of the season in an exciting 4-4 draw with clubmate Ruaridh Greenwood and Ali Asher confirmed his mid table position with a 7-3 win over Mark Fraser. In their basement battle, Jamie Cattell was a big winner over Gus Forbes. Despite loss of 1 at the first end , Cattell proceeded to score at each of the next 5 for a convincing 12-1 victory.
Mike McInnes is still in with a shout of the Division 2 title after a 12-4 win over Ricky Marwick albeit he is 4 points behind leader Larry Kerr and Ian Thomson pulled away from Fiona Steel with a 10-5 win over the Ladies.
Bill Jaffrey