Congratulations to Aberlour curler Jim Gault, who, fresh from winning the National Pairs Championship in Kinross at the weekend, maintained his 100% record in the Moray East Province League Division 3 with a big 9-1 win over Linda Hardie. The Forres team’s only counter came sandwiched between a 4 shot deficit after 3 ends and an additional 4 shots lost over the last 3 ends.
Elgin Curling Club colleagues Helen Downey and Andrew Allardyce always seem to be involved in the tightest of Derby clashes and this latest one was no exception. 3-0 ahead after the opening 2 ends, Allardyce was pinned back to 3-2 before forging ahead again to a healthy 7-2 lead after 5 ends. The doughty Downey however, came bouncing back and a deuce and then a sensational 3 shot steal at the last end was enough for handshakes to be exchanged with honours even. Interestingly ,Downey’s lead player Callum Buchan tells me that in another life, he once finished runner up in Britain’s Got Talent and only just failed to make the Final Cut for Boyzone.
Katie Gordon and her Moray Juniors gave Janice Rankin’s Ladies a bit of a lesson , racing to a 6-0 lead after 4 ends before stand in Ladies’ skip Julie Stewart took her team in hand closing to 6-4 going into the last end. Katie kept cool though, and used her hammer advantage to perfection to score a single shot for a very well played win.
Newcomer Steve Field and his Gateway Club rink have hit the top of Division 4 and his win over Buckie’s Jim Walls was down to an excellent start , scoring at each of the first 3 ends to lead 5-0. A loss of 3 in the fourth merely put a small dent in the Field machine as the Gateway gang racked up counts in all of the next 4 ends for a big 10-3 victory.
In the other Division 3 Gateway versus Buckie game, the spoils were reversed as Sandy Howie skipped Jodie Best’s rink to a close win over John Key’s Gateway team. Sandy is of course Moray’s premier fishing correspondent but despite this remains a cheerful character and ,if he was knitted,would be everyone’s favourite Teddy Bear. Meanwhile, back on the ice, the game’s only deuce and a single steal were enough to see the Buckie team take both points in a very tightly contested game.
In the West of the Province Mark Fraser has leapfrogged to the top of Division 1 after a comprehensive 10-2 win over Larry Kerr.
Master baker Ali Asher kept his Nairn team in contention with a solid win over clubmate Mike McInnes. Never behind, the pieman’s counts of 3 in the third and then 3 again in the final end left MacInnes scrabbling for the crumbs in a 9-3 defeat.
In Division 2, Jamie Cattell lies on top of the pile after his 9-5 win over Gus Forbes. Despite losing the ends won count 4 to 3, Cattell’s scores of 3 in the second and 4 in the fourth were enough to overcome his Nairn opponent.
Ricky Marwick’s greater experience was enough to turn the tables on Ernie Nicholson, as , despite finding himself 5-0 down after 3 ends, the former rallied to force victory from the jaws of defeat scoring all his 7 shots in the final 4 ends of a veritable “ game of two halves”.
Fiona Steel kept her promotion hopes high with a good win over Ian Thomson’s Dalcross rink. Tied 2-2 after 3 ends, the Ladies never lost another shot and consecutive counts in the last 3 ends gave them their 7-2 win.