Divisional titles are all but in the bag in Moray Province League’s West section.
Division 1 defending champions Ardclach’s Ally Fraser is a whopping 7 points ahead of the opposition and although 3 of the chasing pack have games in hand, it would be folly to bet against Fraser and co snaring yet another League title. It was 3 ends apiece in Fraser’s game against Mike McInnes,a count of 3 at the penultimate end the decisive factor in an Ardclach victory.
Clubmate Ruaridh Greenwood kept his mathematical chance alive with an 8-4 win. An opening score of 5 shots fairly deflated opponent Larry Kerr’s chances and although the Nairn men scored at 3 of the 6 ends played, the early 5-0 deficit proved to be too difficult a recovery.
Division 2 is proving to be a dawdle for Jamie Cattell who maintained his unblemished League record with another win,this one against Ernie Nicholson. Multiple counts,including a 5 at the fourth end and an opening count of 4 were a stark pointer of experience over enthusiasm in Cattell’s 16-2 win.
Gus Forbes is hanging on to Cattell’s Division coat tails after a solid 9-2 defeat of Fiona Steel’s Nairn Ladies. A second end 5 followed by 3 more steals were bookended by solitary Steel singles.
Things are considerably more competitive in the East where Andy Cameron’s 9-4 win over title challenging Charlie Watt has eased the Aberlour rink to the top of Division 1. Cameron however,has played a couple of games more than his second and third place opponents.
Fresh from his sojourn to last week’s Scottish Championships, the Aberlour man was always in control and scored at 5 of the 8 ends played in his convincing win.
Fochabers’ Wilson Burnett came out on top in the relegation battle, coming back from 6-2 behind against Mike McDonald to score at all of the last 5 ends in his 8-6 victory.
The Division 2 battle is just as tight, with contenders Abby Duncan and Owen Watson in action against each other and it was the veteran Duncan who came out on top. Tied at 5-5 after 5 ends, Duncan’s guile was enough to send the youngsters home to think again as he eased to victory with a 3 shot steal at the last end. Talking of veteran, the combined age of Duncan’s gang must be approaching 270 whilst Watson’s must be about a quarter of that outrageous number. Watson and company have been hammering team after team this season, but this week,ran aground against the wily Fochabers gunslinger and his gang . Gordon Fraser is Tonto to Duncan’s Ke -Mo Sah- Bee whilst Duncan’s namesake Tony and Grandad Bill Ross power the posse’s front end.
Angus Gunn skipped the Sunninghill rink to a win over Alan Douglas and kept the hotel team well in the title hunt. Another of the week’s 5 shot counts, this time at end 3 gave the Ross outfit a 7-1 lead and despite a spirited Darnaway comeback, Ross and co ran out 11-5 victors.
Bob Stewart and Alan Durno are part of the Division’s support cast this season and a 7-7 peel kept Durno’s head above relegation water whilst his Elgin opponents’ hopes are just about holed below the waterline.