League Table

SkipPlayedWonLostDrawnShots ForShots AgainstEnds WonDiffPoints
Watt jnr, Charlie131210153113663524
Kennedy, Gordie13841972945-117
Downey, Helen138509730571616
Clarke, Georgia1375182449315
McIver, Sandra1357176-2043-111
Hardie, Linda1348171-2443-99
Virtual Club13112028-13019-492

Draw & Results

Wed 18 Sep
19:00Sandra McIver vs Janice Rankin 2 – 122 – 5
19:00Charlie Watt jnr vs Helen Downey 9 – 44 – 4
19:00Georgia Clarke vs Virtual Club [P Wright] 9 – 24 – 2
19:00Linda Hardie vs Gordie Kennedy [Lynn Scott] 6 – 25 – 2
Wed 25 Sep
19:00Gordie Kennedy vs Janice Rankin 6 – 34 – 3
19:00Helen Downey [Callum Buchan] vs Virtual Club [D Cameron] 12 – 07 – 0
19:00Charlie Watt jnr vs Georgia Clarke 13 – 36 – 3
19:00Linda Hardie vs Sandra McIver 10 – 104 – 3
Wed 02 Oct
19:00Linda Hardie vs Janice Rankin 4 – 112 – 6
19:00Sandra McIver [S McKessack-Leitch] vs Gordie Kennedy 1 – 151 – 6
Wed 09 Oct
19:00Charlie Watt jnr vs Virtual Club [L Roberts] 24 – 17 – 1
19:00Helen Downey vs Georgia Clarke 10 – 44 – 3
Wed 30 Oct
19:00Charlie Watt jnr vs Janice Rankin 12 – 74 – 4
19:00Georgia Clarke vs Linda Hardie [Carol Bennett] 4 – 72 – 5
19:00Sandra McIver vs Helen Downey 9 – 25 – 2
Wed 06 Nov
19:00Gordie Kennedy vs Virtual Club [P Wright] 16 – 16 – 1
Wed 13 Nov
19:00Linda Hardie [Carol Bennett] vs Charlie Watt jnr 4 – 143 – 5
19:00Sandra McIver vs Georgia Clarke 3 – 92 – 5
19:00Helen Downey vs Gordie Kennedy 6 – 54 – 4
19:00Virtual Club [L Roberts] vs Janice Rankin 5 – 152 – 5
Wed 20 Nov
19:00Charlie Watt jnr vs Gordie Kennedy 8 – 16 – 1
19:00Helen Downey vs Linda Hardie [Carol Bennett] 9 – 36 – 2
Wed 27 Nov
19:00Georgia Clarke [Georgia Clarke] vs Janice Rankin [Andrew Macintyre] 7 – 55 – 3
19:00Virtual Club [L Roberts] vs Sandra McIver [Sandra McIver] 0 – 110 – 7
Wed 11 Dec
19:00Virtual Club vs Linda Hardie [Carol Bennett] 3 – 102 – 5
19:00Gordie Kennedy vs Georgia Clarke 6 – 64 – 4
19:00Charlie Watt jnr vs Sandra McIver [Jean Richardson] 7 – 34 – 3
19:00Helen Downey vs Janice Rankin 4 – 83 – 5
Wed 08 Jan
19.00Helen Downey vs Charlie Watt jnr 7 – 64 – 4
19.00Virtual Club [L Roberts] vs Georgia Clarke 1 – 91 – 5
19.00Sandra McIver vs Janice Rankin [Andrew Macintyre] 5 – 92 – 5
19.00Gordie Kennedy vs Linda Hardie [Carol Bennett] 9 – 63 – 3
Wed 15 Jan
19.00Gordie Kennedy vs Janice Rankin [Andrew Macintyre] 12 – 44 – 3
19.00Georgia Clarke vs Charlie Watt jnr 4 – 102 – 5
19.00Virtual Club [L Roberts] vs Helen Downey 1 – 111 – 6
19.00Linda Hardie [Carol Bennett] vs Sandra McIver [Jean Richardson] 5 – 73 – 4
Wed 22 Jan
19.00Janice Rankin [Andrew Macintyre] vs Linda Hardie [Carol Bennett] 5 – 93 – 4
19.00Sandra McIver [Jean Richardson] vs Gordie Kennedy 6 – 94 – 3
Wed 29 Jan
19.00Georgia Clarke vs Helen Downey 8 – 55 – 3
19.00Virtual Club [L Roberts] vs Charlie Watt jnr 1 – 211 – 6
Wed 05 Feb
19.00Georgia Clarke vs Linda Hardie [Carol Bennett] 9 – 26 – 2
19.00Charlie Watt jnr [G Kelly] vs Janice Rankin 12 – 25 – 2
21.20Helen Downey vs Sandra McIver [Jean Richardson] 15 – 25 – 1
Wed 12 Feb
19.00Virtual Club [B Cormack] vs Gordie Kennedy [Lynn Scott] 4 – 63 – 3
Wed 19 Feb
19.00Virtual Club [L Roberts] vs Janice Rankin [Fraser Rankin] 7 – 34 – 3
19.00Helen Downey vs Gordie Kennedy 7 – 94 – 4
19.00Georgia Clarke [O Watson] vs Sandra McIver 1 – 61 – 5
21.20Linda Hardie [Carol Bennett] vs Charlie Watt jnr 2 – 72 – 5
Wed 26 Feb
19.00Helen Downey vs Linda Hardie [Carol Bennett] 5 – 35 – 3
19.00Charlie Watt jnr vs Gordie Kennedy 10 – 15 – 1
Wed 04 Mar
19.00Georgia Clarke vs Janice Rankin [Andrew Macintyre] 9 – 84 – 4
19.00Virtual Club [Lynn Roberts] vs Sandra McIver 2 – 111 – 4
Wed 18 Mar
19.00Virtual Club vs Linda Hardie
19.00Gordie Kennedy vs Georgia Clarke
19.00Charlie Watt jnr vs Sandra McIver
19.00Charlie Watt jnr vs Janice Rankin
Wed 25 Mar
19:00Sandra McIver vs Janice Rankin

Updates From the Rink

  • Moray Province AGM – Wednesday 15th May 7pm – Mosset Tavern, Forres

    Fellow Province Curlers,

    The Moray Province AGM will be held at the usual venue, the Mosset Tavern in Forres, on Wednesday 15th May 2024 starting at 7:00pm.

    Please find attached a copy of the Agenda and the minutes of last year`s minutes.

    I look forward to seeing you there.


    Carl Bennett

  • Minutes_of_Moray_Province_AGM_3_May_2023_5331.pdf
  • Minutes_of_Moray_Province_AGM_3_May_2023_5331.pdf
  • I am sharing ‘P35_Minutes_of_Moray_Province_AGM_3_May_2023_5331’ with you
  • Agenda_-_Moray_Province_AGM_2024.pdf
  • Agenda_-_Moray_Province_AGM_2024.pdf
  • Moray Province Curling Development Group AGM

    The Moray Province Curling Development Group AGM is to held in the Moray Leisure Centre at 7:00 pm tonight. If any of you can manage along your presence would be much appreciated. It will be a chance to see what the committee is trying to develop/support curling in the Moray area. The committee is trying to halt the steady decline in curlers and any views you have would be welcome. So please try and come along.

  • Moray Province Pairs

    Twelve pairs of runners and riders entered the stalls at the start of the Province Pairs Competition for the magnificent and prestigious Grant Salvers Stakes. Tradition has given way to pragmatic wokery in the unmixing of what originated as the “ Mixed Pairs”.
    It was refreshing to see a healthy entry of relatively new curlers amidst the familiar collection of old nags as teams embarked on two x4 end games, the winners to be decided by 2 wins and then most shots up.
    First to show on the soft to softer ground were short priced joint favourites Watson O and Edwards G who ruthlessly demolished the inexperienced Christie twins 12-0.
    Also fast out of the stalls were bookies joint favourites Rankins S and F who won big by +10 over Walls R and Seton A.
    Forres foals Hardie L and Cameron R and Elgin geldings Buchan C and Pilkington S were just behind the early pace setters with +8 and +6 shots respectively, whilst visiting Nairn thoroughbreds Fraser S and Laurie S and Gateway’s Key J and Smith M were the other first round winners. Favoured runners Rankin B and Clarke L had clearly pulled a fetlock as they ran single shot losers in both their games.
    In round 2 , yearlings Tom and Harry ( no sign of Dick) had a terrific 6 -0 win over the unfortunate Smiths E and C, and came in a very creditable 6th ahead of the Nairn duo,Walls and Seton and a very competitive Turnidge C and McAndie R.
    As the finish line approached, Key and Smith crept up on the rails with 6 unanswered shots to take third place and relegate their Nairn opponents to the latter half of the table whilst the heavily backed Buchan and Pilkington showed up well over the final furlong to finish on the runners up podium.
    In the winner takes all , loser goes home match it was the Rankin Family that came out on top as they defended their title with a decisive 6-1 victory over Watson and Edwards.
    After what had been an energetic 4 hours of curling all the competitors were no doubt glad to get back to the stables for a rub down and a nose bag of oats.

    from our on course reporter, Lester Piglett.

  • Open KO & East Div 1

    Ardclach’s Ally Fraser underlined his credentials as Moray Province’s premier curling team this week, as he added the Open Knockout to his already burgeoning trophy cabinet to stand beside his recently bagged West League Division 1 silverware. Three open knockout wins in the last 4 years and five League titles in the last 6 are testament to the dominance of the Nairnshire lads.
    On a sheet of ice that was as frustrating as it was bewildering, the Fraser rink’s greater experience , with Grant Fraser at lead,Neil Campbell at second and Neil MacArthur steady at three , eventually won out over a very young Andy Cameron outfit.
    There were huge, unnatural swings and several run backs which made shot making difficult and unpredictable. After some early end sparring it was 3 shots apiece after 5 ends with Cameron’s young trio of Lilia Clarke, Owen Watson and Fraser Rankin drawing pretty well on ice that made hitting particularly tricky.The Ardclach team’s big competition experience now kicked in and third player Neil MacArthur managed to find a decent line for his down weight strikes to set up skip Fraser’s sixth end draw for 2 shots to edge ahead . In the seventh end, a couple of Ardclach right wing counters proved difficult to find and Andy Cameron’s last stone draw was just a bit heavy , running too far and leaving Fraser with a 3 shot steal and another Knockout Title to his name.
    In the Province League, it was decision time in East Division 1 with all 3 title contenders involved and it was Forres’s Charlie Watt who emerged triumphant, completing the remarkable feat of reaching the summit of the League from the foothills of Division 4 in 4 consecutive Division winning campaigns .
    Going into the title deciding week , Watt was only third favourite a point behind front runners Andy Cameron and Alan Campbell whose 6-6 draw gave the Forres rink their chance to snatch the glory and this they duly did with an 8-5 win over Dave McPherson.
    At 4-0 down after the opening 2 ends and 5-2 behind after 5 ends, it looked like the Tennis Club lads were intent on spoiling the Forres party,but with Stuart Heppenstall and Lyall Pirie
    drawing well and third player Gordie Kelly doing the business at three, Watt’s team counted 4 in the sixth and added a 2 shot steal at the seventh. It was now just a question of running MacPherson out of stones in the last end and after a couple of sticky moments it was skip Charlie Watt that removed the MacPherson counter to take the applause, the League Title and complete his fairy tale rise to the top of the Province pile.
    The Moray Province season concludes next week with the Nicol Quaich, the annual showdown between Division 1 winners from the East and the West and gives newly crowned East champion Charlie Watt a tilt at serial winner,West champion Ally Fraser.


    As the daffodils push through into flower and the daylight lengthens towards Spring, so the curling season in Moray slips gently into the record books. Champions have been crowned in all but Division 1 East and that title will be decided in next week’s table top tussle between Aberlour’s Andy Cameron and Buckie’s Alan Campbell.
    If it’s nearly Spring, it must be the Province Points showdown and this season’s Heather Little Trophy winner is Forres’s Charlie Watt jnr. Albeit, he is not now Junior in anything but name, Charles capped an outstanding season with the tightest of victories. Only a single point separated Watt from second placed Steve Rankin, scores of 41 and 40 respectively,a commendable return in the 9 discipline Points competition. Eilidh Smith was the leading lady with a stuffy score of 25.

    In East Division 2 Fochabers’ Abby Duncan completed his unbeaten League season with a commanding win over Bob Stewart. Duncan reminded me that he and current team skip Gordon Fraser have now been curling together for 25 years and their smooth symbiosis was evident as they picked up a couple of 4 shot ends in their 11-3 win.
    Fraser is one of the Province’s unsung heroes, a man who has been instrumental in support of club curling and coordinating Duncan’s team success over a number of seasons. Tony Duncan and Bill Ross in turn have been loyal stalwarts in their Fochabers club and Province curling.
    Donald Ross and his Sunninghill rink will move up to Division 1 next term as the second promoted team after a 9-3 victory over Alan Durno. Like Duncan, Ross relies on a firm hand on the last stone tiller in the considerable shape of Angus Gunn who was instrumental in the Sunninghill squad scoring a total of 6 shots in the 3 ends following an opening end single shot loss.
    Alan Douglas’s last opportunity to pick up a League point floundered on the rock of Owen Watson’s Juniors. With 3 of the weekend’s Scottish Schools Champion rink on the ice, Watson’s youngsters once again showed their ruthless edge in a 10-2 win. Powered by the Rankin twins and with the ever steady Gwyn Edwards at lead, Watson and co have been the team that most of the seniors dread to come up against and consecutive counts of 2,2 and 4 after a close opening three ends were sufficient to put a seal on Douglas’s miserable league season.
    Jodi Best is Division 4 champion after a winner takes all victory over first season entrants
    Gateway Club’s Steve Field. Field and co must however, be delighted with a second place League finish which means promotion to Division 3 in their first year of competitive curling.
    In the West, honours had been decided some weeks ago as it was a case of Ally Fraser in Division 1 and Jamie Cattell in Division 2 out of sight ahead of the chasing pack.
    Fraser completed another successful campaign with an 8-2 win over clubmate and perennial title contender Ruaridh Greenwood. In a closely fought game, Fraser’s final end 4 rubber stamped his championship credentials and gave the Fraser boys another year of Ardclach bragging rights.
    Mike McInnes came out on top in his club derby duel with Ali Asher. Always in control and leading 4-0 after 3 ends, the ever steady McInnes allowed his opponents just a single shot in the fourth end to run out 7-1 winners.
    Larry Kerr completed a difficult season with a 5-3 defeat to Mark Fraser. Kerr has had plenty of team availability problems and drops down to the lower Division next season. Fraser himself has been a pretty regular ice absentee but has a doughty deputy in the experienced Tom Pendreigh who has kept his Dalcross rink in the promotion mix all year.

    Jamie Cattell has a good claim to be team of the Province League season having dropped just a single point in the ten game campaign. Despite a loss of 3 shots in the second end, the Nairn rink never again faltered and 10 unanswered counters against Gus Forbes gave Cattell a satisfying 11-3 victory.
    Ian Thomson’s win over Fiona Steel was founded on a 3 shot score in the second end and then a 2 shot steal and despite a last end deuce, the Ladies just came up short in a 6-4 loss.
    Newcomer Ernie Nicholson has been on a steep learning curve , but has a commendable League win under his belt. Ricky Marwick however was in no sympathetic mood in reply to an opening end 2 shot deficit as his Nairn rink scored multiple shots at 5 of the next 6 ends in a comprehensive 13-3 win.
    A marquee week of curling next week will see the decisive East Division 1 finale and the open knockout final between Ally Fraser and Andy Cameron together with the Province Pairs competition .It should be a cracker.


    Ardclach’s Ally Fraser has once again won the Moray Province West Division 1 title after a big win against Nairn’s Larry Kerr. The serial winners were in imperious form ,racing to a 5-0 lead before their opponents picked up their sole shot of the night. A pick up of 6 shots in the fifth was more than enough for Kerr and co to shake hands and congratulate their opponents on yet another League triumph.
    Fraser’s Ardclach clubmate Ruaridh Greenwood nudged his rink into second spot with an equally impressive win over Ali Asher. In an extraordinary game of big scores, Asher’s count of 5 at what became the last end was his only counter against the Greenwood machine that led 13-0 after the opening 3 ends, having registered a 5 and then two 4 shot steals.
    On a considerably calmer sheet C, Mark Fraser and Mike McInnes shared the points in a gentlemanly 5-5 draw. A stolen deuce at the last end might have slightly soured the taste of Mcinnes’ bedtime hot chocolate.
    Jamie Cattell’s 100% record was finally curtailed by Fiona Steel and her Nairn Ladies. Despite the loss of single shots at each of the opening 3 ends, the Ladies rallied to draw level after 5. Neither team could do better than to count 1 at the last two ends in a 4-4 peel.
    Gus Forbes confirmed his promotion to Division 1 with a comprehensive win over Ricky Marwick. The latter’s 1 shot score at the fourth end was his only reply to a rampant Forbes four who had led 6-0 after three ends in their 9-1 victory.
    Ian Thomson and Ernie Nicholson’s basement battle was only just a contest as the Thomson’s team were 6-0 up after 3 ends and a count of 4 in the sixth was enough to seal Ernie’s fate and condemn him to the deepest depths of the Division.
    In contrast to the already decided West honours, there will be the closest of finishes in East Division 1. With only the final round of fixtures to play, three teams are locked on 14 points.
    Andy Cameron and Alan Campbell have a significant shots up advantage over Forres’s Charlie Watt and will play each other next week. Watt can be champion only if he wins and the other two draw and he kept his title hopes alive this week with a significant win over Alan Campbell. 3-0 up after two ends, a loss of three at the third put a dent in the Forres hopes,but a steal of 2 in end six and a further two at the last gave Watt the 8-4 win.
    In a rearranged game, Campbell boosted his chances with an 8-4 win of his own against Dave McPherson’s Tennis team. In a very competitive match it was 4 apiece with 2 ends left. Campbell cleverly blanked the sixth and then a count of 4 at the last gave the Buckie boys the two points they desperately craved.
    In Division 2 Abby Duncan has edged 2 points ahead of Sunninghill’s Donald Ross with just one game left to play. A 10-7 win against the still pointless Alan Douglas contained counts of 3 and a decisive 5. The Darnaway rink must have thought their League duck might be about to be broken as they pulled out to a 4-0 lead but it was their hearts rather than their duck that took the hit as the ruthless Duncan came back once again, this time from a 7-3 defecit to register 7 more shots over the last 3 ends.
    Division 3 is now done and dusted and Andrew Allardyce will join Aberlour’s Jim Gault in Division 2 next season. In the tightest of games, the old warhorse Allardyce just pipped Katie Gordon’s Juniors in a single shot victory thriller. With the callow youth of Mike Kemp and Julia Walker at skip and third, a steal of three in end 6 sneaked the Elgin team into a 6-4 lead going down the last and Katie could only score a single to come up just short in her promotion campaign.
    Linda Hardie and her Forres team have leapfrogged Helen Downey, albeit that both will now face relegation. A 4 shot Forres count in the second end in a game of single shot scores decided the outcome in Linda’s favour.
    In Division 4 , Gemma Forgie’s Moray Juniors completed a very creditable campaign with a friendly 6-6 peel against Jim Walls. It was 4 ends apiece in a swiftly played contest with Walls coming from a 6-4 deficit to pick up shots at the last two ends for his share of the spoils.


    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.


    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.


    It was Wilson Burnett who pocketed the season’s first silverware this week as his rink decisively defeated Fraser Rankin in what turned out to be rather a one sided final of the Mixed Knockout.
    2 ladies and 2 men play in alternate positions in this tournament and Burnett’s team of Fiona Ewen, Tim Rutzler and Jodi Best showed they had the wood on a Rankin family trio who had Lilia Clarke ( no relation)at third and a powerful front end of Mum Janice and Dad Steve.
    In what had started as a very cagey contest the teams were a single shot apiece after the opening two ends before Burnett and co took another single and a procession of single steals to lead 5-1 after 6 ends. A final steal of 3 at the last was mere icing on the Burnett cake in a game in which the Paddy Power had the Rankin rink as odds on pre match favourites.
    On East League business, Aberlour’s Jim Gault got back to winning ways and has now confirmed promotion up to Division 2 next season with a closely fought win over Katie Gordon’s Moray Juniors. Katie picked up counts at 4 of the 8 ends played, but a 3 at the fourth after an opening end deuce gave the experienced Aberlour man his victory.
    Janice Rankin kept her Moray Firth Ladies in the promotion hunt albeit dropping a point in an exciting 5-5 peel with Helen Downey.The scoreboard was virtually a mirror image as both teams showed 3 scores of 1 and a lonely looking deuce ,Helen’s two coming at the last end to secure the peel.
    Linda Hardie is in a rich vein of form at the moment and despite being 2-1 down after end 2, the Forres skip came firing back with a 3 shot steal at the fourth, and another 2 at the sixth proved to be insurance enough to fend off Allardyce’s double at the last.
    In Division 4, despite a bye week,Buckie’s Jodie Best has secured promotion with 2 games left to play. Divisional chasers Gemma Forgie and Steve Field shared the spoils in a hard fought 4-4 draw, whilst Gateway Club’s John Key handed out a big defeat to Jim Walls’ Buckie rink. It was seven ups all round for Key who didn’t so much unlock his opponents as smash down the Walls


    In this week’s Moray Province curling Owen Watson’s Division 2 East Moray Juniors team are the League’s current hottest property. Skipped by Ben with twin Fraser at third ,the Rankin boys ,team boss Owen Watson and lead Gwyn Edward’s are simply putting opponents to the sword. This time the hapless victims were Bob Stewart’s Elgin rink whose single score at the second end merely lit the blue touch paper as Watson and co raced to a 14-1 win and now sit atop the Division.
    Abby Duncan slipped a little to lose his top spot after a hard fought 5-5 peel against a fighting Sunninghill crew for whom Mike Kemp skipped the hoteliers to a point with a last end 2 shot steal.
    Alan Durno returned to winning ways with an 8-6 win over Alan Douglas. The game turned on ends 4 and 5 as the part time Clochan farmer snared a count of 4 and then a 2 shot steal to ease to victory.
    In Division 1, Andy Cameron has climbed to joint top with the closest of wins against Wilson Burnett. Whilst the Fochabers rink won the ends count 4-3 , Cameron’s 3 counts of 2 were the difference,no count more impressive than the deuce he recorded in the final end with a last stone draw to the button.
    Mike McDonald pulled his Forres team in an upward League direction with a comfortable win against Alan Douglas who led 4-1 after 3 ends. That , however,was to be the last scorecard entry for his Darnaway rink as McDonald powered away to a 10-4 win.

    In the West,Ardclach’s Ally Fraser remains in his perennial position at the top of Division 1.
    Levelling up the game in the second end after an opening end loss of 3 shots, the defending champions wobbled once again in the sixth as stand in Dalcross skip Tom Pendreigh mastermind a 3 shot count to tie the game before a deuce at the last gave the Ardclach rink their 2 shot win.
    Ruaridh Greenwood picked up both points in his win over Nairn’s Mike McInnes. In an otherwise tight contest the Ardclach counts of 2 in the fourth end and then a 3 shot steal were enough to snuff out the McInnes challenge.
    Nairn’s Jamie Cattell is the only rink in the Province with an unblemished League record after a 9-6 win over Division 2 opponent Ian Thomson. An opening count of 3 and another trio of shots in the sixth end were the decisive factor .
    Fiona Steel’s 2 single shot scores at the first 2 ends were her only counters in a 6-2 loss against a short handed Ricky Marwick and Gus Forbes kept his promotion hopes alive with a comfortable 9-3 win over Ernie Nicholson.

    In the Ladies knockout, a couple of cracking semi finals resulted in the closest of victories and a replay of last year’s final. Fiona Steel’s Nairn Ladies will be hoping for a change of fortune after their final disappointment last time around after a terrific game against Janice Rankin’s Moray Firth Ladies.The Rankin rink could only count 4 single shots whilst their Nairn opponents managed a couple of deuces in a 5-4 victory.
    Holder Fiona Ewen had a bit of a nail biter against Linda Hardie who found herself 7-0 down after 5 ends. The Forres lady is nothing if not a fighter however,and a sixth end count of 4 and then a 2 shot steal gave Ewen and co a real scare as they just held on for a 7-6 win.

  • Favourites Fall

    There were a couple of stunning results in this week’s Moray curling League .
    The last remaining East Province rink with an unblemished 2023/24 record, Jim Gault’s Aberlour were comprehensively defeated by Helen Downey’s Elgin team who pulled themselves up from the Division 3 basement with an outstanding win. The scoreboard showed just single shots scored over the first 5 ends as Downey held a marginal 3-2 lead, but the game changed decisively as the Elgin team scored a 3 at the sixth end and then a steal of 2 at the last to give Downey a thoroughly deserved victory. Front end Callum Buchan at lead and Marlyn Mackenzie at second were instrumental in setting up third player Graeme Mackenzie and skip Helen Downey to apply the necessary “coup de grace “. Leads are often unsung heroes and as well as being useful for taking dogs for walks they are the players who invariably set up their teams to score heavily or steal at the outset of every end. Downey has a diamond in Buchan whose other claim to near fame was just failing the final audition for a bit part in a Spaghetti Western.

    Janice Rankin’s Moray Firth Ladies lost their chance to reduce the gap between them and Division leader Gault as they too were on the wrong end of an inspired opponent. Downey’s equally experienced Elgin Club colleague Andrew Allardyce was on fire as his team raced to a 10-0 lead before Olympian curler Rankin picked a consolation deuce to at least register on the scorecard. Allardyce was understandably ecstatic after his win and in an exclusive interview he told me “ The boys done well. We’re not going to get carried away and are just taking one game at a time, Brian”.

    In Division 4 Jodi Best’s table topping rink were also in tip top form as they easily overcame the challenge of Buckie clubmate Jim Walls. On a scoreboard that looked strikingly similar to the neighbouring Allardyce versus Rankin game, Best skip ( I use the term advisedly) Sandy Howie steered his rink to an 8-0 lead before Walls was able to register his solitary one shot in a 9-1 loss.
    The contest of the night meanwhile, was taking place on sheet E as Gemma Forgie’s Moray Juniors and John Key’s Gateway teams fought out a ding dong battle. Key and co were 3-1 up after 3 ends before the Juniors powered into a 5-3 lead going down the last. In a nail biting finale, Key couldn’t quite unlock the Forgie door counting just a single shot to give the Juniors the tightest of victories.
    Bill Jaffrey


    The four quarter final games in the Moray Province Open Knockout competition have resulted in two evenly split East v West semifinals. On a night when conditions outside were as slippery as those on the Moray Leisure Centre Ice sheet, three local East Province teams welcomed their three Inverness based West Province opponents. Andy Cameron had progressed from the East following Tom Pendreigh’s unfortunate withdrawal and was joined in the semi final draw by fellow East Province’s Alan Campbell. Campbell’s rink with young Ben Rankin throwing last stones were 3-0 down to Mike McInnes after 2 ends but rallied strongly to score at all the remaining ends in a 7-3 win.
    The West’s two successes came in the very different shapes of Ali Asher and Ally Fraser.
    Despite Asher claiming none of his rink had ever been east of Forres, I happen to know that plumbing brothers Robbie and Ross Cope once serviced an old boiler in Llanbryde and Alan Scott and Asher himself come Line Dancing to Elgin town hall twice a month. Meanwhile, back on the ice,the Nairn baker and soon to be President of Scottish Curling soon clicked into gear on pretty quick, if just a bit straight Elgin ice. East’s Wilson Burnett stole at each of the opening two ends to lead 3-0 before Asher’s team hit back with a count of 4. It was nip and tuck after 5 ends with the Nairn rink holding a slender 5-4 lead and the all important hammer. With a well protected Burnett counter on the button, Asher’s second player Robbie Cope played the shot of the night with an angled raise on his own stone to lie shot and leave Burnett with a very difficult route to the button to level the game. Lying 4 against, his draw came up short and handshakes were exchanged with a 9-4 Asher victory.
    Ally Fraser’s Ardclach team held on in a game that was considerably closer than the 8-5 score might suggest. With a pickup of 4 shots at the second end, Charlie Watt jnr led 5-4 after five ends. Fraser countered at the next with a deuce and a chance to tie the scores at the seventh end was lost when Watt jnr just threw his last stone take out a bit outside the brush and wrecked on a guard to give up 2 shots. Now 3 shots ahead, the wily Fraser and co simply ran the Watt team out of scoring shots in the last end for their win.
    Andy Cameron now plays Ali Asher and Alan Campbell plays Ally Fraser in the semifinals at Inverness Ice Centre on February 21st.
    In East League business,Division 1 has split into a top 3 and bottom 3 situation, the top 3 at least 5 points ahead of the basement stragglers.
    Buckie’s Alan Campbell still sits atop following a 13-3 demolition of Mike McDonald’s Forres rink.
    Andy Cameron’s Aberlour team remain a couple of points behind Campbell,a count of 5 at the third end easing the Speysiders to a comfortable win over a short handed Tennis Club team.
    Charlie Watt jnr kept his Forres team in the hunt with an 8-4 win over Wilson Burnett.The game was keenly contested, a Forres count of 4 at the fourth end together with some missed opportunities by the Fochabers lads allowing Watt to remain in the Division’s top trio.
    In Division 2 Bob Stewart was a player short due to the wintry road conditions and despite a count of 4 shots to level things up after 4 ends,the Elgin team ran out of steam to allow the Sunninghill Mob their 9-4 victory.
    Bill Jaffrey

  • Fathers, Sons and Bunnets

    There were three fathers and sons on the early session ice this week and the fortunes of each family were much varied. Clan Cameron’s Andy and Gavin gave their opponents a fair dusting , Burnetts Wilson and Gary got fair dusted while Steve and son Fraser Rankin had arranged to be safely separated by the width of an empty sheet of ice.
    It was business as usual for Alan Campbell’s rink this week in the Moray Province Curling League. On ice that you might as well have asked Stevie Wonder to read, the first 4 ends were somewhat akin to a pre concert sound check with a 1,2 1,2 count for the Buckie team before Burnett managed to open his account with a solid pick up of 3 shots. Single shots exchanged over the last 2 ends gave Campbell his 7-4 win and maintained his 100% league record in a game that in all honesty was never as close as the final score might suggest.
    It must have been early bath night in the MacDonald household as the Forres skip shook hands and was heading West well before the sound of the final end bell. Perhaps this wasn’t such a surprise as first thought,as the scoreboard took on the look of Andy Cameron’s phone number with the Aberlour team running up 14 shots to a solitary Forres counter.
    Division 2 is the tightest of races, with the top 5 teams separated by just a single point.
    Despite a loss to Owen Watson’s Juniors, Sunninghill are still League leaders. With both teams under the guidance of nominated skips, it was Ben Rankin who gained the plaudits with his team never behind , a count of 4 in the last end putting the cherry on the top of his curling cake in a 9-4 victory.
    Bob Stewart is a man who looks as if his bunnet is grafted to his napper. Rarely seen bare headed, the rumour is that the grafted headgear once hid a luxuriant ginger Afro. Last season’s Darnaway skipper Eddie Milne,now Alan Douglas’s lead player on the other hand, is bald as a marble,his preferred dome covering giving him the look of a genial seasonal Gnome. In the Division 2 battle of the Bunnets, Stewart inflicted further pain on Douglas’s Darnaway rink with their own 9-4 win.The Darnaway lads are yet to pick up a League point and could only score 4 single shots as their Elgin opponents racked up a 3 and 3 doubles .
    A single game in the West saw Nairn’s Gus Forbes pull level on points with Fiona Steel in Division 2 after a 5-3 win.

  • Marquee Week For Gault

    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.

  • Campbell Climbs to Summit.

    There was a full curling programme this week at Moray Leisure Centre in the Moray Province East League. After the season’s third round of fixtures only 2 teams in the Province have unblemished records. Jim Gault’s Aberlour rink and Alan Campbell’s Buckie team.
    In a rearranged Division 3 game, the experience of Gault and co was just a bit too much for Katie Gordon’s Juniors whose first end single shot was their only counter in a 15-1 defeat.
    In Division 1 , Campbell found himself behind after an uncharacteristic loss of 4 shots in the second end, but consecutive counts of 3 and then 4 took the Buckie outfit clear and a further deuce in the sixth was enough for a table topping 10-6 win. With their best team out, the Campbell rink are extremely strong right through the rink with Rutzler and Seton at the front end and skip Campell always reliable at third. Fourth player Steve Rankin is as energetic as a squirrel on speed and his experience in top quality curling is a further intimidating factor for most opponents. McPherson’s Tennis team are always steady and give most teams a decent run for their money. The normally sartorial Roy Thomson was uncharacteristically nervous this week as he constantly seemed to be changing his attire. Starting in red, he had changed to grey by the third end and had also removed his bunnet, perhaps conscious of the fact that when he stood next to lead player Martin Brown, the pair of them strongly resembled a pair of forest dwelling elfin twins . Second player Colin Anderson and Dave McPherson meanwhile clearly buy their garb from Scarecrow.com.
    Charlie Watt jnr got back to familiar winning ways albeit with a touch of good fortune as opponent Andy Cameron’s attempted last stone inturn draw just fell out to rub off Watt’s back 8 foot counter and give the Forres team a 2 shot steal to leapfrog to a 7-6 victory.
    Wilson Burnett and Mike McDonald shook hands on a 6-6 draw. 4 ends apiece and a mirror image scoreboard showing a 3 and 3 single shots was a fair reflection of a hard fought contest.
    In Division 2, Sunninghill are setting the pace after skip Angus Gunn steered the hotel based team to a comprehensive victory over Darnaway’s Alan Douglas. Douglas’ last end 3 was scant consolation after a miserable mid game slump, as Gunn picked up 10 of his counters between ends four and seven.
    In the absence of Alan Durno, currently standing in as a Sean Ryder lookalike in the Happy Mondays reunion tour ,Mike Watt skipped his Fochabers rink to a convincing win over Bob Stewart. Mid match counts of 4 and 3 then 2 single steals were enough to keep team Durno in the mix at the upper end of the Division.
    Durno’s old Fochabers mucker Abby Duncan found himself 4-0 behind after 2 ends as last week’s Province Points winner Owen Watson’s good form continued, but a count of 4 in the third end and then a 3 shot steal put Duncan back on track. The teams were tied at 7 apiece going down the last, but , holding the hammer, the Fochabers skip’s vast experience came to the fore as he eased his team to a 9-7 win with a count of 2 .

  • Watson Wins on Points

    Moray Juniors were well represented on the podium in this week’s playing of the Moray Province Points competition. After 9 rounds of specified individual curling shots, Owen Watson picked up the Heather Little Trophy with a clear 2 point lead over runner up Ardclach’s evergreen Neil Campbell. Gwyn Edwards finished in third spot and thus was the night’s leading lady curler. Owen became the first Junior to win the Moray Province Points competition and both he and Gwyn are an absolute credit to the Moray Junior Club and its dedicated coaches.
    Meanwhile , on Division 2 League business Alan Durno was a big winner over Darnaway’s Alan Douglas. Douglas picked up his consolation shot at the last end as the Fochabers’ team dominated the contest right from the off.
    In Division 3 Janice Rankin’s Ladies retained their 100% record as stand in skip Julie Stewart steered her rink to a convincing 8-3 victory. 5-1 ahead after 4 ends, Helen clawed back a couple of single shots before the Ladies pulled away again to pocket both points.
    Linda Hardie and Andrew Allardyce had a terrific scrap with the scoreboard showing exclusive counts of just single shots. The wily Allardyce had collected 3 of them before the Forres girls opened their own account and then just held on at the final end to pip Hardie by the odd shot in 7.
    Jim Walls started like a train in his Division 4 game with John Key winning the first 5 ends to lead 8-0. He then somewhat hit the buffers losing a 4 as stand in Gateway skip Cameron Smith brought his team back into the contest. It was too little too late though as Walls closed out the game with a last end single and a 9-4 win

    Moray Province Points
    1st O. Watson ( Moray Juniors) 33 points
    2nd N. Campbell (Ardclach) 31 points
    3rd G. Edwards ( Moray Juniors) 28 points

  • Campbell Edges Ahead In The East

    Alan Campbell and his Buckie rink are 2 for 2 in the Moray Province East Division 1 League after a comprehensive win over Forres’s Charlie Watt jnr. Watt’s  post game expression was one of bewilderment , reflective of a team unused to losing after serial seasons of League promotion victories . 2 single scoring ends against 2 deuces and 2 big counts of 4 against, were the cause of the Forres skip’s demeanour after a 13-2 drubbing.
    Not so bewildered but just about as heavily defeated, Wilson Burnett shook hands with Andy Cameron on a 12-4 defeat. Cameron’s Aberlour are last season’s Division 1 champs and their class showed as front end John Sharpe  ,  despite sporting more bandages than King Tut  and  the ever elegant Lilia Clarke repeatedly set up third player Gavin and  Andy Cameron to race to a 6-0 lead after 4 ends. Burnett and co were never at the races and in particular,their lead player could have have been outplayed by a half chewed bannock. Virtually their only highlight was a well played hack weight take out through a narrow port which  gave the Fochabers’ skip a consolation 3 at the penultimate end.
    The game of the night was undoubtedly the ding dong battle between Mike McDonald and Dave McPherson. 5 apiece going into the final end, the Forres team had a good counter pretty well protected and held last stone advantage. Tennis Club skip Roy Thomson just failed to get to the shot stone and McDonald breathed a sigh of relief to edge to his 6-5 win.
    Owen Watson’s Juniors played twice in the week, winning a rearranged match against Alan Durno 10-4 but then losing a very tight game against Bob Stewart in a nail biting contest of 8 single shot scores. A single steal for Stewart in the fourth end and another single steal at the seventh was enough for the experienced  Elgin outfit to notch up their victory.
    In Watson’s win over the Durno deputising Mike Watt, a 5 shot pick up in the opening end set the Juniors up and running before Watt and co came right back into the contest to win the next 3 ends and trail by  just a single shot. That however, was the high water mark for the Fochabers’ rink as Watson then cleaned up the last 3 ends for a terrific 10-4 victory.
    Abby Duncan and Donald Ross took a point each after a gripping 6-6 draw. 3-0 ahead after 2 ends, the Fochabers’ lads then gave up a 4 but went into the final end 6-5 leaders. Sunninghill skip Angus Gunn is not a man to get easily spooked however and with last stone advantage got the single he needed to leave the ice with his share of the points.
    Next Tuesday 14th November sees the playing of the delayed 2023 Moray Province Points competition when each Province Club can nominate 2 members to compete for the Heather Little Trophy,an individual, skill based throwing of a set of pre determined curling shots .

  • Fine Week for Juniors

    The Moray Province Curling season resumed after the October holiday break with a full Division 3 and Division 4 programme and what a fine pair of results it was for the 2 Moray Juniors’ rinks. Katie Gordon notched up her second win of the campaign with a very tight win over the Forres rink of Linda Hardie. The Forres girls edged ahead to lead 3-2 after 3 ends but Katie’s team held firm and 3 single end pickups were just enough for the Juniors to hold out for an excellent 5-4 victory. Juniors’ mentor Janice Rankin and her strong Moray Firth Ladies also made it a brace of current season wins , overwhelming Andrew Allardyce’s Elgin crew. The Ladies were imperious in the first 4 ends and led 8-0 before their Elgin opponents managed to make a scoreboard entry with a deuce and then a single steal. A last end single shot gave the Ladies an impressive looking 9-3 win. Jim Gault’s Aberlour made it 3 teams with full points in a crushing 13-2 win over Helen Downey. To rub in further salt, the Elgin team’s 2 shots were gathered off the ice as penalty shots rather than hard won on the ice sheet.
    In Division 4, Gemma Forgie made it a winning double for the Junior Club as her rink of Robert Macandie,Isla Ure and Erin Bryceland gave John Key’s Gateway team a harsh lesson , scoring at every end in an 11-0 victory. Credit must be given to both these teams who are both new to competitive curling and who are very quickly learning the game .
    In the Buckie club derby, bragging rights were grabbed by the Jim Walls as his slightly more experienced team overcame Jodi Best with a fine 9-1 victory. Jodi picked up her only score in the fifth end and a final end 3 was the cherry on the top of the Walls’ cake to propel his team to the top of Division 4.
    Bill Jaffrey


    The top two Divisions in Moray Province East kicked off this week with a loss for defending Division 1 champions Andy Cameron’s Aberlour rink who went down in straight sets to Elgin Tennis Club. In the absence of skip Andy, son Gavin was in command , but the Speysiders could only count 3 single shots as the Tennis lads , under the control of the smartly dressed Roy Thomson started strongly with a count of 3 in the opening end to ease away to a 7-3 win.
    Alan Campbell, looking like a mobile advertising hoarding in his Canadian curling jacket,eventually overcame stand in skip Greg Stephen in the Buckie versus Forres clash. A neat looking scorecard showed 5 counts of 2 and It was 6 apiece after 6 ends then 8-6 for Campbell as they went into the final end with the Forres team holding the hammer. A clutch of short stones gave skip Campbell the chance to play a perfect in turn draw round the cover to lie shot, leaving Stephen nothing but a Hail Mary. The Forres skip nearly pulled off an angled wick off his own outside stone but just slid across the top of his opponent’s counter to lose a wonderful match 10-6.
    If you fancy a flutter on a dark horse for the title, then how about putting a shilling on serial promotion man Charlie Watt jnr? The Forres man was always ahead against Wilson Burnett’s Fochabers’ rink. A well thought out last stone double takeout and lie in the third end gave the Forres team a count of 5 and a perfectly played last 2 stones gave him another count of 3 in the sixth end to put the polish on an 11-5 victory.
    It was Sweet Sixteen for Sunninghill as Angus Gunn ( neither sweet nor sixteen) skipped the Donald Ross rink to a big win over Bob Stewart’s Elgin team. Stewart was another Skip absentee and a loss of 6 in the fifth end and 3 counts of 3 against , made up the bulk of his Elgin team’s 16-5 defeat.
    It was good to see Abby Duncan back on the ice after missing all of last season and the vastly experienced Fochabers’ gunslinger ensured his team picked up counts at 6 of the 8 ends played as the village people opened their league campaign with a 7-2 win over Darnaway’s Alan Douglas.
    Any aching curling muscles now get a chance for recovery as we slide into the Tattie Holiday recess.

  • New Brooms in Season Opener

    As the leaves turn and think about dropping, the new Moray Province Curling season commenced with the addition of 4 new teams across the Province. In the West second Division Ernie Nicholson’s Dalcross rink had some baptism of fire in a 14-1 loss to Gus Forbes whilst Fiona Steel’s experienced Nairn Ladies came from a 4-0 deficit to overtake Ricky Marwick in an 8-4 victory. In the Division 2 Dalcross Derby Jamie Cattell came out on top with a solid 11-5 win over clubmate Ian Thomson .
    In West Division 1 there was a comprehensive demolition of Ally Fraser’s champion’s rink as namesake Mark shut out the title favourites in an 8-0 drubbing and Larry Kerr overcame club colleague Ali Asher in a 7-1 win.
    In the East, Janice Rankin’s promoted Moray Firth Ladies continued where they left off last season, scoring at each of the first 5 ends before Forres’s Linda Hardie picked up a consolation 3 at the last end. Jim Gault and his strong Aberlour outfit were too streetwise for Andrew Allardyce with 3 counts of 2 shots as the Elgin rink could only reply with singles at each of their 3 scoring ends. Katie Gordon’s Juniors gave the battle hardened Elgin rink of Helen Downey a lesson, leading 6-1 after 5 ends before Helen picked up a couple of singles in her 6-3 loss
    In Division 4 there are a total of 3 new teams including 2 from the Moray Gateway Club.
    This is basically a club for new curlers who meet for coaching every Tuesday at Moray Leisure Centre and have entered the Province League for a taste of competitive curling.
    These 2 sets of newcomers fought out a club derby this week and it was a case of the pupil beating the Master as Steve Field’s team got one over on Gateway organiser and coach John Key. Steve and co must have been cock- a – hoop to lead 5-0 after 3 ends before John picked up a 3 at the last end to put a less bitter hue on the scoreline.
    Next week there will be an opportunity for all those interested in having a go , to attend a Try Curling session at Moray Leisure Centre and a phone call to M.L.C is all that is required to book a place.
    Bill jaffrey

  • Minutes of Moray Province AGM 3 May 2023.docx
  • Minutes of Moray Province AGM 3 May 2023.docx
  • MP match secy report 2022-23.docx
  • Moray Province Presidents Report for Season 2022-23.docx
  • MP match secy report 2022-23.docx
  • Moray Province Presidents Report for Season 2022-23.docx
  • Moray Province Accounts 26Apr23.pdf
  • Moray Province Accounts 26Apr23.pdf
  • MPCDG AGM minutes 2023.pdf
  • MPCDG AGM minutes 2023.pdf
  • McInnes Pockets Knockout as Watt Sneaks Division 2 Title

    As the 2022/23 Moray Province Curling season reached its conclusion this week, virtually all the silverware has now found it’s summer home.
    Nairn’s Mike McInnes won the Open Knockout in his battle of the underdogs with Fochabers’ Alan Durno. Both teams currently reside in Division 2 of their respective Province Leagues and both had taken a number of fancied scalps en route to the Big Show. McInnes got off to a flyer, opening his account with 3 shots and led 6-0 after 3 ends.Durno could only pick up single shots and as the klaxon sounded, the Nairn rink were worthy 8-3 winners.
    In the Province League East, Division 2 has seen the tightest finish in many a season as Charlie Watt jnr and Abby Duncan both lost their final game but Watt’s superior shots up total just allowed him to scrape ahead of both Fraser and Forres clubmate Mike MacDonald to win yet another Division title and climb into the top League next season . Watt jnr appeared to be in east street, leading 6-3 against the Durno team skipped by Mike Watt, but a steal of 3 by the Fochabers rink at the last end for a 7-6 win put a slight damper on the Forres celebrations. Charlie wasn’t worried for long however, as a couple of sheets away, Duncan’s Fochabers rink ,under the continued direction of Gordon Fraser were suffering a heavy defeat in their game against an inspired Bob Stewart. The Elgin skip could do no wrong on a tricky sheet of ice and a 10-3 victory was a dagger in the heart of his Fochabers opponents who had led the Division for such a substantial part of the season.
    Division 1 champions Andy Cameron came a real cropper against Bill Jaffrey’s Fochabers team for whom skip Wilson Burnett was in exceptional form. With the front end putting shots in the house on straight and sometimes negative ice, and Burnett throwing perfect guards and freezes, poor Andy was continually left with nigh on impossible set ups and a consolation 3 shots in the final end was at least a small exclamation point on his outstanding season’s campaign.
    Kenny Oswald and Dave McPherson were fighting for Division 1 survival, and the Tennis Club lads’ narrow 8-7 win was just enough to keep them in the top League despite Kenny’s convincing 8-3 win over Buckie’s Alan Campbell . 8-3 up with 2 ends to go, Tennis Club skip Roy Thomson breathed a huge sigh of relief as his Sunninghill opponents fought back strongly but just fell short of the win that would have condemned McPherson to relegation.
    In the West, Larry Kerr just kept his nose ahead of clubmate Mike McInnes to snare the Division 2 title. McInnes managed a good win against Ian Thomson and was hoping for a Kerr loss but Larry ensured his table top spot with a convincing win over Ricky Marwick who is sent back to Division 2 along with Gus Forbes after just a year in the top Division.
    Next Wednesday Inverness Ice Centre hosts the season’s finale with the meeting of East and West Division 1 winners as Andy Cameron’s Aberlour rink take on West champions Ali Fraser’s Ardclach rink for the Nicol Quaich

  • Division Titles Decided

    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

  • Big Wins in Moray East Curling League

    There were a series of comprehensive wins in this week’s Moray Province Curling League.
    Aberlour’s Andy Cameron maintained top spot in East Division 1 with a very one sided win over defending champions Elgin’s Kenny Oswald. Both teams were rather perplexed by the tricky ice that had more gouges on it than Al “ Scarface” Capone’s coupon. Cameron’s crew got the rub of the green with a count of 5 at the second end and after picking up scores at the next 3 ends, the game was a bogey with Aberlour sprinting to an 11-1 lead. Rueful handshakes were exchanged at a 14-3 win for the Speysiders .
    Alan Campbell’s win over Elgin Tennis Club kept the Buckie team in the honours hunt,2 points behind Cameron with a game in hand. Skip Steve Rankin was relentless against his Elgin opponents, racing to an 8-0 lead before a consolation 2 shots at the last just about salved the ball boys’ wounds.
    Bill Jaffrey’s game against Donald Ross was closer than the final score might suggest. A strong front end repeatedly set up good positions for the Fochabers’ four and skip Wilson Burnett converted counts of 3 at the fourth end and a decisive deuce at the sixth to move his team into what should be a safe mid table spot.
    Alan Douglas was in terrific form and took his team to a share of the Division 3 lead with a comfortable 11-1 win over Linda Hardie. The Darnaway Destroyer was 8 shots up before Linda managed her single shot and 3 more shots over the last two ends gave the final score somewhat of an Admiral Nelson look.
    The Match of the Night was a terrific contest between experienced Andrew Allardyce and youngster Owen Watson. Trading exclusively in single shots, the teams were tied at 3 each as they went into the last end . The wily Allardyce with Mike Kemp at the helm sat 1 shot to the left of the button partly guarded by two stones out front. Watson ,with last stone, spotted a small gap between the guards but his mid weight take out just wrecked and an audible sigh of relief from the Elgin rink signalled the tightest of victories for Allardyce and co.
    In Division 4 Katie Gordon was 3-1 behind after 3 ends but rallied strongly, never losing another shot and picking up a 4 in the sixth for a solid 9-3 win.
    In Moray Province West Division 1, Ardclach’s Ali Fraser maintained his 100% record . Fraser’s team scored at each of the seven ends played for an 8-0 win .
    Ali Asher was just about as ruthless as Fraser in his Nairn derby against Gus Forbes. A sixth end single was Forbes’ sole response in Asher’s 7-1 victory.
    Newly crowned Scottish Seniors winner Mark Fraser was an absentee in his Dalcross rink’s 9-4 loss against Ruaridh Greenwood and both teams, along with Asher, are now locked in second place ,4 points between Ali Fraser’s Ardclach pacesetters.
    In Division 2 Nairn’s Larry Kerr is in pole title position 4 points ahead of the chasers after an 8-4 win over Fiona Steel and Ricky Marwick’s 7-3 win over Ian Thomson moves him into second place and the second promotion spot.

  • Success for Ewen in Battle of Fionas

    Fiona Ewen and her Fochabers rink of Jodi Best,Anna-Louise Fraser and Christine Wood have won the Province Rosebowl with a convincing win over Nairn Ladies’ perennial finalist Fiona Steel. In a rematch of the 2019/20 final, Ewen more than made up for that previous disappointment with a solid all round 11-3 victory. The big swings on both hands may have caught out the Nairn girls who play all their curling out of Inverness,but a well worked second end 3 gave them early hope of another trophy. Thereafter however, Ewen’s front end of Wood and Fraser were instrumental in setting up good positions leaving Best and Ewen herself to either guard counters or chip up front stones.
    It was a story of getting a shot in early and then defending the position and Ewen’s team had this down to a tee frequently leaving Steel nigh on impossible last stones , trying to get to opposition rocks via a front curtain of protecting stones. Probably the shot of the night,was Ewen’s remarkably bold angled back weight chip out of an opposing stone lying in second position for a 2 shot count in the fourth end.A further three 2 shot steals propelled the Fochabers team to a win that was actually much more competitive than the final margin might suggest.
    In the Open Knockout semi finals it was one win apiece for East against West and so the final will be between two Moray Province curling legends. Alan Durno for the East and Mike McInnes for the West.
    McInnes’ match against Andy Cameron hinged on the second end when Cameron’s team missed two takeouts for his opponents to lie 3 shots guarded. Andy’s last stone draw only succeeded in promoting a front stone to give McInnes a 4 shot steal and a 5-0 lead. A single and a stolen 2 gave the Aberlour team a comeback sniff but 3 shots was their final tally as handshakes were exchanged at 7-3 with McInnes lying another 2 shots as Cameron ran out of potential game winning stones.
    Ali Asher never quite got to grips with the swing on his sheet as the wily Clochan farmer Alan Durno, throwing lead stones and skipping, guided his quartet to another Province knockout final. With Dad Alan , a first sighting of the season from son Neil and Matthew Smith all playing a canny drawing game and fourth player Mike Watt tidying up, poor Asher could never get any ends built up and found himself playing tricky shots to save ends and merely pick up a single. One apiece after two ends, the game was all but over with a well executed 3 shot count in the third for Durno and then in the fourth , Asher played a hit and lie against 3 opposing counters but sat open leaving Mike Watt the same shot to lie 3 again. Ali now needed to repeat his first shot for a single score but was a touch light and wicked off a guard to lose a 4. 8-1 was too big a deficit to make up and after an exchange of singles the teams left the ice for a quick getaway and their bedtime hot chocolate .
    In Province East League Division 2, Abby Duncan finally lost his first points of the season in an 8-6 defeat by Mike MacDonald. Regular rink caretaker Gordon Fraser’s previously unblemished record took a knock as stand in caretaker Tony Duncan, though winning 5 of the 8 ends played, lost a 4 then a 3 to the cunning Forres tactician.
    Charlie Watt jnr played the shot of the night as his angled double take out left his Aberlour opponent Jim Gault with no more than a last end single as Watt won 6-4.
    Alan Durno and Bob Stewart had a battle royal with the Clochan Farmer racing to a 6-1 lead before his Elgin counterpart hit back with consecutive 3’s to lead by 1 going down the last.
    A remarkable , big swinging draw to the button by Fochabers’ fourth player Mike Watt saw his team claim a share of the spoils in a 7-7 peel.
    Katie Gordon’s Moray Juniors meanwhile were giving Jodi Best’s Buckie newcomers a severe lesson as 4 consecutive scoring ends saw the youngsters run out convincing 11-2 victors.


    Clan Cameron and the Rankin Family will contest this year’s Moray Province Mixed Knockout Final . Father and son Andy and Gavin well supported by Louise Marshall and Susan Mackenzie came from behind to beat Wilson Burnett in a game that was closer than the final score might suggest. Burnett’s team steadily collected single shots and a fourth end deuce to lead 5-3 after six ends but there was always a feeling that they were tampering with a time bomb and sure enough,in the seventh end the bomb exploded with Cameron counting 4 to take a 2 shot lead into the last end. Finding a way to a locked in opposition counter proved to be an impossible task and Burnett had to shake hands on an 8-5 loss.
    It was a different story on the adjoining sheet as a full hand of Rankins blanked an unfortunate Linda Hardie. With Dad Steve and Mum Janice calling the shots and siblings Ben and Zoe paddling the canoe, the contest was virtually decided by the third end after counts of 4 then 3 propelled them to a 12-0 victory.
    In Moray East League Division 1 , Aberlour’s Andy Cameron has climbed to the top of the League following a 12-7 win over Elgin Tennis Club. Despite winning only 3 of the 8 ends played, a ruthless Speyside team scored heavily with a 4 and a 6 to effectively put the match beyond McPherson’s ball boys and raced to a 12-2 lead after 5 ends. The Tennis club with skip Roy Thomson resplendent in his red Noddy outfit won the last 3 ends to put a more respectable sheen on the final scoreboard.
    If one were to borrow a tree analogy, and quite frankly I don’t know why one wood, the match between Elgin’s Kenny Oswald and Fochabers’ Skip Wilson Burnett would be billed as the Birch sapling versus the mighty Oak and at the bell, the gap between their respective teams was somewhat akin to the inverse proportion of their trouser size.
    Back in the world of reality,Oswald finally picked up his first win of the season with a 9-4 victory over his Fochabers ‘ opponent . An opening end loss of 3 apart, the Elgin team of Susan Mackenzie, Jim Barron ,Louise Marshall and Skip OswaId never looked in any danger, scoring at all of the next 4 ends to extinguish any lingering Fochabers’ hopes. OswaId himself was in particularly fine form, nominating and successfully playing several terrific shots on ice that seemed to change a bit in the second half of the match.
    In Moray Province West Division 2, Nairn’s Mike McInnes scored a comprehensive victory over Dalcross’s Ian Thomson to reach the joint Division lead. Locked at 2 apiece after3 ends, McInnes and co powered away , winning the last 3 ends to ensure a solid win.