This season’s Moray Province Open Knockout final will be a repeat of last year’s East v West showdown. Holder Ally Fraser and runner up Andy Cameron will fight it out once again,this year at Moray Leisure Centre on March 20th.
West Province champions rink Fraser easily defeated the East’s Alan Campbell at Inverness Ice Centre on a sheet of ice that was reported to be of a very poor standard. An opening count of 4 got the Ardclach rink off to a fast start and Campbell’s only score was his second end deuce as a 3 and steals of 1 and then 3 saw the teams exchange handshakes and head East after just 5 ends.
The second semifinal on the other hand,was an absolute hum dinger with Ali Asher’s team in control of matters , leading 6-3 after 6 ends. Cameron’s young rink of Fraser Rankin, Owen Watson and Lilia Clarke fought back in the seventh with a 2 to trail by a single shot going into the last end against the Asher hammer and in a nail biting conclusion,managed the 2 shot steal that gave them the tightest of victories and a chance to avenge last year’s final disappointment.
On East Division 3 League business Katie Gordon’s Juniors have thrown the proverbial cat amongst the metaphorical pigeons with a terrific win against the promotion chasing Moray Firth Ladies. In a high scoring contest, the Juniors trailed 9-6 going down the last end but an incredible 5 shot pick up gave Katie her come from behind win. 3 teams are now fighting it out for the second promotion place behind runaway Division leader Jim Gault whose Aberlour team powered their way to a big win over Linda Hardie. The Forres skip was absent as her team were overwhelmed, losing a 6 at the fourth end in their 13-2 defeat.
Elgin clubmates Helen Downey and Andrew Allardyce played out a game of 2 halves as Helen scored at each of the first 3 ends to lead 3-0 before Andrew put a firm lid on his opponents’ efforts as he scored at the next 4 ends to take the honours in a 5-3 win.
Division 4 is proving to be a competitive cauldron as Gateway Club’s John Key put a dent in Jodi Best’s canoe with a convincing 6-2 victory. 2 shots apiece after 4 ends, Key and co turned on the afterburners to deny Best the 2 points they required to be Division 4 champions.
Key’s Gateway colleague Steve Field has hauled his team to second spot,a single point behind Best with just one game left to play after a splendid 8-4 win over Buckie’s Jim Walls.A count of 4 at the third end was the decisive factor in a hard fought contest. In the final round of games, top two, Best and Field meet in a winner takes all Division 4 showdown in a fortnight’s time.