|Skip||Played||Won||Lost||Drawn||Shots Total||Shots Up||Ends Won||Points|
Draw & Results
|Wed 15 Sep|
|18:45||Fiona Steel vs Angus Forbes||5 – 10||3 – 4|
|18:45||Ian Thomson [J Smart] vs Jamie Cattell||3 – 9||3 – 4|
|Wed 06 Oct|
|21.00||Angus Forbes vs Jamie Cattell||3 – 4||3 – 4|
|21.00||Ian Thomson vs Ricky Marwick||6 – 9||3 – 4|
|Wed 27 Oct|
|18:45||Jamie Cattell vs Fiona Steel||5 – 3||4 – 3|
|18:45||Angus Forbes [S Fraser] vs Ricky Marwick||6 – 3||4 – 3|
|Wed 17 Nov|
|21.00||Ricky Marwick vs Fiona Steel||3 – 11||1 – 5|
|21.00||Angus Forbes vs Ian Thomson||8 – 5||5 – 2|
|Wed 08 Dec|
|18:45||Ricky Marwick vs Jamie Cattell||4 – 6||3 – 4|
|18:45||Fiona Steel vs Ian Thomson||8 – 7||3 – 3|
|Wed 05 Jan|
|21.00||Angus Forbes vs Fiona Steel||6 – 5||4 – 3|
|21.00||Jamie Cattell vs Ian Thomson||2 – 8||2 – 5|
|Wed 26 Jan|
|18:45||Jamie Cattell vs Angus Forbes||4 – 7||3 – 4|
|18:45||Ricky Marwick vs Ian Thomson||5 – 4||3 – 4|
|Wed 16 Feb|
|21.00||Ricky Marwick vs Angus Forbes||0 – 8||0 – 5|
|21.00||Fiona Steel vs Jamie Cattell||3 – 6||2 – 5|
|Wed 09 Mar|
|18:45||Ian Thomson [J Smart] vs Angus Forbes [J Hogg]||2 – 5||2 – 4|
|18:45||Fiona Steel vs Ricky Marwick||4 – 7||3 – 4|
|Wed 30 Mar|
|21.00||Jamie Cattell vs Ricky Marwick||4 – 6||2 – 5|
|21.00||Ian Thomson vs Fiona Steel||7 – 2||5 – 2|
The Sandy Gunn Stone was presented to the Province by Nairn Curling Club in memory of Sandy Gunn who gave many years to service the Club.
Apart from having his name associated with the Stone, the Club League is named after him too, with members playing for the Shield which he gave to the Club in 1967.
Updates From the Rink
- OswaId and Watt jnr Win Their Respective Divisions
The dust has finally settled on the Moray Province East curling league and perhaps as expected,Kenny OswaId has topped Division 1 and long time favourite Charlie Watt jnr has snared the Division 3 title.
Despite a loss to Aberlour’s Andy Cameron this week, Oswald had already secured the East’s top rink status and was a clear winner of the League race. Cameron’s win meanwhile, confirmed his Division 1 position for next season , unfortunately,at the expense of club colleague Willie Cameron. 3 counts of 2 against Oswald’s 4 single shots was enough for Andy to sneak past his father’s rink and find mid table safety. Snapping at Oswald’s heels, Alan Campbell’s Buckie team and Donald Ross’s Sunninghill were contesting the runner up spot and it was the Hotel team who came out on top.6-1 down after 4 ends, 2 scores of 3 and a single steal gave Ross’s rink the win.
Forres’s Charlie Watt jnr had been in falter mode over the last couple of months but normal
service was resumed for the long time Division 3 leader as he trounced clubmate Linda Hardie 15-4. It was great to see Linda back on the ice for the first time this season albeit rather rusty in losing a couple of 4 shot ends to Watt and co. Bob Stewart did all he could in his title challenge with a tight 4-3 win over Owen Watson’s Moray Juniors. The ends count was tied at 3 apiece but a steal of 2 at the third end was just enough for Stewart to sneak home and confirm his runner up spot.
Moray Wheels had their best game of the season against Helen Downey with both teams only able to pick up single end counts . The Elgin team’s hammer at the last end proved decisive in the tightest of tight contests. Georgia Clarke finished her season in fine style with a terrific 7-4 win over the wily Gordie Kennedy. Georgia’s Juniors have ended the campaign in a very creditable third place.
The annual Province Points competition for the Heather Little Trophy took place this week and on keen ice the clear winner with a terrific score of 45 points was Steve Rankin. This week’s Province Open Knockout final between Rankin’s East team and Ardclach’s Ally Fraser’s West team will bring down the curtain on the 2021/22 curling season.
- League Division 2 Winners Decided
Moray Province Division 2 was the first to be completed this week and the winning rink was Bill Jaffrey’s Fochabers team. Long time front runners Elgin Tennis Club started the night a single point ahead of Jaffrey but came a cropper , losing 9-4 to a fired up Abby Duncan. 3 counts of 3 gave Duncan his win and allowed his Fochabers clubmate to leapfrog Dave McPherson and win the Division by a very short head.
Wilson Burnett and co will have to treat the suntanned Gordon Castle Gunslinger to a drink in appreciation of his assistance. The Tennis club’s post Christmas fortunes took a nosedive as McPherson’s team only managed to collect 3 points from a potential 10. Jaffrey knew that only a win over Andrew Allardyce would do, and a 6 -0 lead after 3 ends settled a few Fochabers nerves. The alliterative Allardyce however pulled back to 6-4 before counts of 3 and 4 in the final two ends gave the Speysiders victory and the Division win. On a personal note, it has been great to see the return of Andrew Allardyce this season though now using a stick, he is a legendary figure in Moray Province. Widely thought to be using a curling stick due to a hip replacement, Andrew explained that it is actually due to the effects of shrapnel and an injury sustained during the Relief of Mafeking.
In the other Division 2 game, Eddie Milne’s Darnaway overcame a weakened Durnoless Alan Durno rink, restricting their opponents to three single count ends in a 7-4 win. The big fellow apparently for once not being away at Old Trafford, but nursing the after effects of an altercation with a sheep. Division 1 saw another close encounter between Buckie’s Alan Campbell and Aberlour’s Andy Cameron. There has been only a single shot between these two in their previous encounters this season and this time, the coast team came out on top courtesy of multiple shots in their 3 ends with the hammer, a 3 at the sixth end being the decisive count.
Willie Cameron’s win over Sunninghill kept alive his hopes of Division 1 status next year. Skip Jim Gault and Paralympian hero Gregor Ewen were instrumental in steering their team to a solid 9-5 victory.
Charlie Watt jnr returned to his familiar slot at the top of Division 3 with another big win over Lynn Robert’s Wheels rink whist last week’s League leader Bob Stewart came unstuck against a trio of Kennedys. Dad Gordie, Mum Ruth and son Ian scored at 5 of the 6 ends played , but opponent Stewart can still win the title with a win in his last game against Owen Watson’ Juniors and a Charlie Watt jnr loss in his final game with adversary Linda Hardie whose own rink has been in the capable hands of Carol Bennett whilst her boss has been getting over the effects of an altercation with a table.
Next week will see the completion of this year’s curling season with the final games in Divisions 1 and 3 and the Moray Province Points title that will be decided on Tuesday evening at Moray Leisure Centre.
- Frasers Set For West Showdown
Moray Province West Division 1 will be decided by a “ cup final” winner takes all showdown next week when the Frasers face off at Inverness Ice Centre .After a straightforward 9-0 win for Ally of that Ilk against Nairn’s Mike McInnes, he will meet Mark Fraser’s Dalcross team in the season’s last League game. The Dalcross rink hold a 1 point advantage at the table top and so Ally’s Ardclach rink must win to leapfrog to the title.
In the East, Alan Campbell kept his Buckie team in with an outside chance of League glory after the tightest of wins against Andy Cameron. Single shot counts over the first 6 ends left the score at 3-3 with the Aberlour rink holding the hammer in the final end. A steal of 1 saw the Coast Club just about sneak home in a nail biting finish.
In Division 3, Elgin’s Bob Stewart has once again moved into top spot , displacing his Forres rival Charlie Watt jnr. A count of 4 at the second against Georgia Clarke’s Juniors and then a single steal gave the veteran skip his win, whilst the recently rather inconsistent Charlie lost a close match to Owen Watson and his Moray Juniors rink. The Juniors displayed terrific tactical nous , their 2 shot steal at the second end probably proving to be the decisive moment . At the other end of the Division 3 table, Forres’s Linda Hardie, skipped as usual by Carol Bennet jumped ahead of Elgin’s Helen Downey with a solid 9-3 victory. The Forres rink raced to an unanswered 9 shot lead before a consolation 3 shots over the final 2 ends put a bit of polish on Helen’s scorecard.
As we approach the end of another season, there is still all to play for, especially in Division 1 West and Divisions 2 and 3 East.
- Open Knockout Finalists Decided
The second semifinal of the Moray Province Open Knockout was an East versus West clash which resulted in a decisive win for Steve Rankin’s Buckie rink and set the coast club up for a final against Ardclach’s Ally Fraser. Gus Forbes’ Nairn team travelled East in vain as handshakes after 5 ends saw Rankin’s lads victorious 8-2 . The Nairn boys took single shots at the opening 2 ends but counts of 3 and then a steal of 4 and another single steal sent them homewards to think again.
In the East Province League the lead at the top of Division 2 tightened as Bill Jaffrey took both points in the game against Eddie Milne. A huge count of 6 for Fochabers at the second end saw the scoreboard showing a 9-0 lead and, despite a strong comeback from the Darnaway team, they could never quite peg back such a big deficit and ran out 13-8 losers. With only 1 game to play, Jaffrey is just a single point behind leaders Dave MacPherson with both teams just about guaranteed promotion. Abby Duncan may still have something to say about that as his crushing 12-3 win over Andrew Allardyce kept his team in with an outside chance of going up a Division. 12-1 down after 6 ends, the Allardyce combo took little consolation from a 2 shot pick up at the last and are now, along with Eddie Milne, unable to avoid relegation.
The Division 3 lead changed hands again this week after Forres’s Charlie Watt jnr returned to winning ways with a big 18-0 victory over Lynn Roberts’ Moray Wheels . Simply nothing went the Wheels way and now Charlie leads the Province’s most competitive Division by a single point from Elgin’s Bob Stewart.
Commiserations are in order for the Great Britain Paralympic curlers, as not even the good form of Moray’s Gregor Ewan could steer the team into the semifinals.
- Rankin Rink Wrap up Mixed Knockout
In the final of the Moray Province Mixed knockout, the Rankin family together with lead Jodi Best overcame a very strong Andy Cameron rink 6-3 in a fine exhibition of high quality curling. With son Fraser at second and Salt Lake City Olympic Gold medalist mum Janice at third setting up strong positions and dad Steve clinically clearing up potential opposition opportunities, it was down to several coolly played last stone draws from skip Andy Cameron to keep his own team in the hunt . Cameron’s 3 single shot ends however, were insufficient to counter a couple of 2 shot scores and a couple of single shot ends from the Rankin combo.
In East Division 1, Elgin’s Kenny OswaId consolidated his spot at the summit with a good 8-5 win over Donald Ross. The game was a precise reversal of their previous league encounter when the hoteliers took both points and with only 2 games to play, Kenny looks like a strong bet to pick up the title.
Division 2 leader Dave McPherson also took a step nearer winning his division, albeit whilst dropping a point against Alan Durno. The Tennis Club lads looked to be in control all the way until a loss of 3 at the last end gave the Fochabers rink a share of the spoils.
Division 3 is the tightest and most competitive in the whole Province and Elgin’s Bob Stewart leapfrogged long time League leader Charlie Watt jnr with a hard fought victory over club colleague Helen Downey. Counts of 3 and 4 in ends 2 and 4 and then a double steal ensured Stewart’s new position at the top of the table. Charlie Watt jnr continues to falter from his previous seemingly invincible form, this time dropping a point to Gordie Kennedy, but the Forres rink are still well in the title race ,only a single point behind Stewart. Owen Watson moved his Moray Junior team into contention with a very strong 9-2 win over Linda Hardie. The Forres rink could only score 2 singles as the clinical Juniors won 5 ends and are now only 3 points off the top of the Division.
With Try Curling being extremely well attended in the aftermath of a hugely successful Winter Olympics and a fully subscribed Curling’s Cool Primary School Bonspiel taking place next week, it is very encouraging to see the popularity of the game booming at Moray Leisure Centre.
- Match Report – 24th Feb
In the euphoric aftermath of G.B. Winter Olympic medal success it was business as usual in Division 1 of Moray Province. As we slide towards the sharp end of the season,East of the Province pace setter Elgin’s Kenny Oswald slipped up rather ,as Sunninghill skipped by Angus Gunn dominated the opening ends of their match. A count of 5 at the third end gave the hotel team a 7-0 lead and although the Elgin four won the next 3 ends,it was to prove too little too late as the Ross combo ran out 8-5 winners. Aberlour skip Andy Cameron was in equally fine form as his team opened proceedings with a deuce and a steal of 3. Restricting Mike Macdonald to single shots in the next 3 ends, the Speyside rink then scored a further 3 count and a single steal to give them their 9-4 win. On an adjoining sheet of ice, Willie Cameron’s team , playing without their Paralympic star Gregor Ewan were on the wrong end of a big result against title contender Alan Campbell . The Buckie quartet scored 3’s at each of 4 separate ends in their 13-3 demolition job.
In the West, Division 1 contender Mark Fraser kept his title bid well on track with a solid 8-6 win over Ali Asher. Although winning only 3 ends to Asher’s 4 ends, a big count of 5 in end 3 ensured the Dalcross team’s victory.
In the first semi final of the Open Knockout there was success for Ardclach’s Ally Fraser.
In an absolute nail biter of a match the lead changed constantly as Andy Cameron gave the Nairnshire team a terrific contest. With perhaps the Province’s finest second players in Fraser’s Neil Campbell and Cameron’s John Sharpe it came down to a battle of nerve,as first Cameron picked up a 2 at the penultimate end to edge into a 4-3 lead and then Fraser a 2 of his own to just pip his Province East opponent 5-4. Fraser will now meet the winner of the second semi final between the East’s Steve Rankin and the West’s Gus Forbes.
The Province wishes all success to Gregor Ewen and the GB Paralympic squad who travel to Beijing today to contest the curling.Good Luck,Gregor!
Don’t forget to have a look at Try Curling website for details of how you can come along and have a go at our fabulous Olympic Medal sport.
- Oswald Maintains Winning Ways
In Moray Province East Division 1 it was business as usual for Kenny Oswald as 13 proved to be Willie Cameron’s unlucky number. The unfortunate Aberlour rink went scoreless as their Elgin opponents relentlessly won every end and the 3,2,2,1,1,4 count that went up on the scoreboard was more like Kenny’s phone number than a curling scoreline. Buckie’s Alan Campbell was in equally dominant form in his 14-6 win over Mike MacDonald. The Forres rink, skipped by Greg Stephen took an opening end 4 and were 6-4 to the good after 3 ends but Buckie skip Steve Rankin sprung into action thereafter with multiple counts at the last 4 ends to keep his team in the title chase. The game between Sunninghill and Aberlour was a real thriller. A count of 5 in the fourth end brought the Hotel team back into the lead before they were leapfrogged by the Speysiders who led 8-7 after 6 ends. A single shot then a single steal was enough for Donald Ross’s rink to just sneak home and claim both points.
In Division 2 Dave Macpherson’s Tennis Club rink lost their 100% league record in a somewhat surprising heavy loss to the bottom team. Andrew Allardyce was in vintage form allowing the current Division toppers only 2 single shots as his Elgin team dominated proceedings in a 9-2 victory. Fochabers’ Abby Duncan maintained his good form in a 9-7 win over Darnaway’s Eddie Milne. 5-0 down after the opening 2 ends, Duncan bounced back with consecutive 3’s and a further count of 2 and then a single steal proved too much for the Darnaway crew. Bill Jaffrey and Alan Durno were tied at 5-5 with 2 ends to play ,the former eventually taking the points as skip Wilson Burnett engineered a final end single steal.
In Division 1 West, leader Mark Fraser slipped up ,scoring all his shots at the third end as Callum Greenwood’s Ardclach rink won the last 3 ends to prevail in a 6-3 victory. At one point in the last end,the excitement was so great that even Ardclach second player Neil Campbell’s hair was standing on end.
Andy Cameron advanced to the final of the Mixed Knockout win a straightforward 7-3 win over Wilson Burnett and will now meet Steve Rankin in the final.
- HONOURS EVEN IN EAST V WEST QUARTER FINALS
Yes, of course the League title is the Blue Riband of Province curling,but surely the romance still lies , like the F.A. Cup,in the cut and thrust of the Open Knockout . It is hardly a “ Clash of Continents “ and thankfully neither was it a clash of incontinents. Nevertheless,there was excitement aplenty.
In this week’s quarter finals, the traditional East v West match ups finished with 2 victories to each side of the Province and set up a couple of mouth watering semi final clashes.
The pick of the games was the 6-6 peel between Aberlour’s Andy Cameron and Dalcross’s Tom Pendreigh . Pendreigh is a man who has curled and coached near the summits, but Cameron himself is no stranger to mountain tops! The Aberlour rink were ahead early before Pendreigh’s men hit back with a 3 and then a single steal to lead 6-4 going into the final end. A cleverly set up deuce brought the teams level at 6 shots each and so it was down to which skip could draw his extra stone nearest the button to decide who would advance. Cameron held his nerve and delivered a beauty thus setting up a semi final clash with current trophy holder Ardclach’s Ally Fraser.Fraser’s team totally outplayed Elgin’s Bob Stewart, scoring heavily over the last 4 ends in a 17-2 win.
In the Battle of the Bakers, shortbread came out on top of scotch pies as Allan Campbell’s team overcame Ali Asher 6-3. Never behind, the Buckie unit’s pair of deuces in the third and fourth ends were enough to secure their passage to the semi final and a meeting with Angus Forbes whose Nairn team came from a 6-4 deficit to pip Alan Durno. A 3 and a steal in the last end allowed the Nairn lads to leapfrog the big Clochan farmer.
In the East League Division 1, Kenny OswaId maintained his perfect record with a 6-5 win over Alan Campbell. This was suitable recompense for last week’s knockout game between the teams, when the score was the same, but was a reverse of the outcome.
Sunninghill’s 11-3 win over Mike MacDonald saw a welcome return to skip by Donald Ross. A count of 5 to the hoteliers in the fourth end was the decisive blow. In the Aberlour club and family battle, it was father Willie who triumphed over son Andy. Racing to a 7-0 lead after 4 ends, Cameron senior was never behind as skip Jim Gault steered his rink to a 9-7 win.
In Division 2 Elgin Tennis Club also maintained their 100 % record with a convincing 10-2 win over Eddie Milne’s Darnaway team. Skip Roy Thomson was in scintillating form and the straight sets victory was in the bag as the Tennis boys racked up an 8-1 lead after 5 ends.
Abby Duncan won the Fochabers club bragging rights with an 11-8 victory over clubmate Bill Jaffrey. In a contest where the lead changed hands several times, the experienced Fochabers gunslinger Duncan pulled away with threes at ends five and six for a handsome win. A count of 3 at the penultimate end was decisive in Alan Durno’s win over Andrew Allardyce. Shared counts of one at all the other ends meant that the Elgin rink had to settle for a 6-4 defeat.
Owen Watson and Bob Stewart were vying for second place in Division 3 and it was the old fox Stewart who prevailed over Watson’s young guns. In a very tight contest, a 2 at the fourth end and then 2 single steals gave the Elgin rink the closest of 7-5 victories.
- A Guid New Year to All In Moray Province
Curling resumed in Moray Province West following the Christmas and New Year recess and in Division 1 it was a successful start to the year for Nairn pieman Ali Asher. He was always in control against title challenger Ally Fraser. An opening end deuce,a steal of 3 in the fourth end and another single steal in the fifth gave the Baker a 7-1 lead. Fraser’s men hit back with a 3 and a steal of their own, but it was too little too late as Asher claimed a 7-5 win. In the Nairn club derby, Mike McInnes was hot at the second end , scoring 4 to lead 4-1. This was to be the high point however, as clubmate Larry Kerr proceeded to add to his score at all the next 5 ends for a comfortable 8-4 victory.
In Division 2, pacesetter Angus Forbes was involved in a real struggle against Fiona Steel’s Nairn Ladies . The game went right down to the wire as the Forbes four just about held their nerve to edge out the girls 6-5. Fellow table topper Jamie Cattell, meanwhile, had a bit of a nightmare night, losing 8-2 to Dalcross Dynamo Ian Thomson. Cattell could only mark up 2 single shot ends as Thomson came on strong with a 3 at the fifth end and then a couple of good steals in a comprehensive 8-2 victory. Forbes now leads the table from Cattell on ends scored.
- Oswald On Top At Christmas Recess
Elgin’s Kenny OswaId has a clear Division 1 lead at the mid season Christmas break after his straightforward win over Aberlour’s Andy Cameron.A 2-2 score line after 3 ends proved to be the summit of the Aberlour quartet’s achievement on the night,as Oswald won all the remaining ends for a 10-2 victory. The Sunninghill rink skipped by Angus Gunn was 8-6 down going into the last end against Buckie’s Alan Campbell,but last stone advantage allowed the Hotel team to pick up a 4 for their 10-8 win. The night’s tightest game was a real see saw affair in which the lead changed hands 4 times before Willie Cameron’s Aberlour rink just got the better of Mike McDonald’s Forres rink skipped by Greg Stephen.In Division 2,Dave McPherson’s Elgin Tennis rink have reached the mid season break with a 100% record, racking up their fifth straight win. Abby Duncan opened proceedings with 3 shots at the first end,but that was it for the Fochabers four as the Tennis Club won the next 5 ends for a 6-3 victory. Darnaway’s Eddie Milne had the night’s biggest win as he scored at each of 6 ends including a 4 and two 3’s as he thrashed Fochaber’s Alan Durno 13-4. Wilson Burnett skipping the absent Bill Jaffrey’s Fochabers team raced to a 6-0 lead before Andrew Allardyce fought back with a 3 in the fourth end. Single counts with the hammer at each of the next 4 ends were sufficient to give Burnett an 8-5 victory.In Division 3, Charlie Watt jnr,almost inevitably it seems,won the Forres club derby with yet another big win against Linda Hardie. Skip Carol Bennett picked up 3 singles but couldn’t stop the Watt onslaught as Charlie rang up 3 counts of 3 in his 12-3 win.In the Province Open Knockout there were wins for Alan Durno and Bob Stewart as they got the better respectively of club colleagues Wilson Burnett and Andrew Allardyce.
- Match Report – 09/12/2021
As the Christmas recess approaches, Elgin’s Kenny OswaId consolidated his position atop Moray Province East Division 1 with a big win over Forres’s Mike MacDonald .It sounded like a reprise of the Tom Robinson hit “2-4-6-8 Motorway as Oswald scored 2 shots at each of the first 4 ends before MacDonald got back on the road with a consolation single at the fifth and last end. It was good to see a pair of Ross’s turning out as the Sunninghill mob were very convincing in their 8-3 win over Willie Cameron. It was a pretty one sided affair as the Elgin Hotel rink raced to a 7-1 lead before the Speysiders picked up a deuce in the seventh end.
Talking of one sided affairs, Bob Stewart’s demolition of Lynn Robert’s Wheels was the biggest victory margin of the season thus far,as the Elgin team , scoring consecutive 5’s in ends 2 and 3 showed no mercy in their 21-0 romp. Give the Wheels team a huge amount of credit,however, as they gave Helen Downey a real run for her money in their rearranged League match. The Wheels scored at 3 ends, including a count of 3 , but just failed to take the points as Helen pulled away for a 9-5 victory.
In the West, the Division 1 showdown of the clan Fraser resulted in a superb win for Dalcross’s Mark, of that ilk, as he leapfrogged Ardclach’s Ally Fraser to lead the division by a single point. In the Nairn club contest, Ali Asher maintained his title challenge with a good win over Mike Macinnes.
West Division 2 also has a new leader as Jamie Cattell beat clubmate Ricky Marwick and the tightest game of the week saw Fiona Steel’s Nairn Ladies rally from a5-0 deficit to overhaul Ian Thomson. Counts of 3 and then 4 against the hammer were just enough to give the Ladies a terrific win.
- Match Report – 02/12/2021
In the week following the Scottish Men’s and Women’s fabulous European Championship winning double, more mundane matters resumed in Moray Province.
In the Ladies knockout however, there was what many might count as a sensational result, as Sandra MacIver’s Moray Firth Ladies put one over on multiple Rosebowl winner, Elgin’s Louise Marshall.The MFLs got away away to a blistering start, winning all 4 opening ends to lead 7-0. A sharp and frank team discussion saw the Elgin ladies pick up 6 shots in the next 2 ends to set up a nail biting final end in which Sandra kept her cool to pick up a single shot in an excellent 8-6 win and a trip to the final.
In Division 3 League business there were 2 closely fought contests and 2 blow outs.
Ballindalloch’s Clan Kennedy were ruthless in racing to a 13-0 lead over Lynn Robert’s Wheels team, but two well played final ends gave the scoreboard a better look as the Wheels fought back to 13-4. Meanwhile,on the adjoining sheet, the shot scoring phenomenon otherwise known as Charlie Watt jnr was completely steamrolling Owen Watson’s unfortunate Moray Juniors .Owen’s single shot at the fifth end was the only interruption to what , by the end,resembled a telephone number on the bottom line of the board.
Georgia Clarke’s Juniors had a terrific game against the experienced Bob Stewart. The lead had changed hands 3 times and Georgia was a shot behind going into the last end,but both well thought out and well played tactics gave the Juniors the 2 shots they needed for a 5-4 victory. Helen Downey and Eilidh Smith ,standing in for Linda Hardie ,had a real ding dong contest, exchanging single shots to be peeling 3-3 after 6 ends. The final end was nip and tuck before the more experienced Downey scored 2 shots for her 5-3 win.
In Division 3 ,the question is, who can topple Charlie Watt who has now scored 55 shots in 5 games and remains unbeaten since 2019.
- Fox Sighted at Moray Leisure!
There were 3 games played this week in the Moray Province East curling League and on the keenest ice of the season so far, they proved to be high class contests.
In Division 2 it was good to see the return of the Gordon Castle gunslinger Abby Duncan to take charge of a team which up to now had been somewhat faltering. Duncan generally held the upper hand over his Elgin opponent Andrew Allardyce and scored shots at 4 of the mid 5 ends to lead 6-2 going into the last end. Allardyce could only score a single and the game finished with a 6-3 win for the Fochabers’ rink.
Bill Jaffrey’s Fochabers rink skipped by Wilson Burnett were also in sparkling form, albeit benefiting from the rub of the stones against Darnaway’s Eddie Milne. A particularly strong front end set up great positions for Burnett to nail a deuce in the third and sixth ends and a couple of single steals from well defended heads at ends 4 and 7. Poor Alan Douglas skipping the Darnaway outfit frequently found himself with near impossible last stones.
Hands were shaken on a 7-4 Fochabers victory.
The rearranged Division 3 game between Linda Hardie’s Forres rink and Georgia Clarke’s Juniors was an absolute cracker. Skip Carol Bennett plotted the Forres rink to a 4-0 lead before Georgia picked up a solid 3 shots and then a single steal to tie the score at 4 apiece after 5 ends. A 2 for Bennet and a single shot reply by Clarke at ends 6 and 7 respectively, gave the Forres team the closest of wins.
The talk of the rink this week was the outstanding form of both men’s and women’s Scottish teams at the European Championships in Lillehammer. Bruce Mouat and Eve Muirhead sitting at the top of their round robin standings.
- Match Report – 18th November 2021
There were matches in all 3 divisions of the Moray Province East League this week.
Division 1 is proving to be extremely competitive as previous League leader Andy Cameron found out in his game with Mike MacDonald. The Forres rink were never behind, opening the scoring with a 3 at the first end and outplaying their Speyside opponents with shots at 5 of the 8 ends played. Buckie’s Alan Campbell kept his title bid well on course with a convincing 11-1 victory over the Aberlour rink of Willie Cameron. The contest was as good as over early in the evening as the Buckie team raced to a 10-0 lead after 5 ends. Cameron’s team rallied somewhat to score a 2 and then a 4 in ends 6 and 7, but a 6-11 defeat was a pretty fair reflection of the form on the night.
Division 2 top dogs Durno and McPherson had brought their table top clash forward a week, and the Tennis club lads could do no wrong as they scored at each of the first 4 ends before Durno’s team came back strongly to trail by just a single shot going into the final end. Sitting 3 good shots against as he played the final stone,Tennis Club skip Roy Thomson held his nerve to throw a canny weight hit and roll to sneak a 7-5 win.
Division 3 juggernaut Charlie Watt jnr did what Charlie Watt jnr does, and gave Gordie Kennedy a lesson as he scored at 4 consecutive ends for a 7-1 lead. The canny Kennedy counted a 3 at the last end to put a touch of polish on a 10-5 loss.
The Elgin club contest saw Bob Stewart come back from 5-3 behind picking up a 3 and then a 2 at the last 2 ends for a good 8-5 victory.
Georgia Clarke’s Moray Juniors had an excellent 8-1 win over Lynn Roberts’s Wheels team and fellow Juniors, Owen Watson went a few shots better in their terrific 11-1 win over their Forres opponents. Many congratulations to both Junior teams whose form must be delighting their hard working coaches.
- Camerons’ Contrasting Fortunes.
In Division 1 of Moray Province East Curling,all three match ups resulted in convincing wins, and none was more convincing than Aberlour’s Andy Cameron who simply demolished his Sunninghill opponents. Winning 7 of the 8 ends and with counts of 5 and a couple of 3’s, the Speysiders finished 16-1 victors over the hapless hoteliers. Andy will have first dibs at the Sunday roast potatoes at the Cameron table as Dad Willie could only win 1 end,albeit picking up a 4 against Division pacesetter Kenny OswaId. 4-3 down after 3 ends,the Elgin rink scored 7 unanswered shots in their clear win. Alan Campbell and his Buckie rink casually accumulated single shots against their Forres opponents,and a deuce at the fifth end allowed them to pull away for a 7-3 win.
In Division 2, the evening’s most exciting game resulted in a good win for Andrew Allardyce’s team for whom Skip Mike Kemp skillfully engineered a decisive score of 5 shots in the sixth end . A further 2 at the last end gave the Elgin combo a closely fought 10-7 victory. A count of 5 at the last end gave Dave McPherson’s Tennis Club full points in a game that was tighter than the score might suggest. Their Fochabers opponents had opportunities for bigger counts than their 2 single shot ends and only Fiona Ewen at second could claim to be happy with her form on the night.
In the other game, Alan Durno came out on top of Fochabers clubmate Abby Duncan. The still absent Duncan had John Wilson at skip and, despite an opening end count of 3, the Durno rink rallied as Mike Watt took over from Skip Durno when the big farmer picked up a mysterious injury in the first end.
- 28/10 Match Report
Moray Province curling resumed this week following the October holiday break and in Division 2 East it was a tale of deputy skips as Gordon Fraser and Alan Douglas stood in for regular bosses Duncan and Milne. The Darnaway rink were 3-1 up after 3 ends before Fraser pulled off a perfect chip and lie for a 4 at the 4th end. This proved the high water mark for the Fochabers four, as Douglas racked up an unanswered 5 shots over the last 4 ends for his 9-5 win.Mike Kemp and Roy Thomson regularly skip Andrew Allardyce’s Elgin and Dave McPherson’s Tennis club teams and the latter outfit just sneaked past their Elgin rivals with 5 single shots in their 5-3 victory, whilst the Fochabers derby resulted in another close win for Alan Durno over Bill Jaffrey. Durno’s vast experience proved decisive but he breathed a sigh of relief as skip Wilson Burnett’s final stone picked up some debris and changed handles as he attempted a double take out which would have edged his team ahead of the Clochan farmer.
A rearranged match in Division 3 saw a win for Linda Hardie’s Forres rink. Lynn Roberts opened the scoring with a one at the first end, but Hardie skip Carol Bennett took over from there to open up a game winning 8-1 lead before 2 single shots gave the Roberts rink some cheer in the 8-3 defeat.
In the West, Division 1 had a couple of inter club games. Honours were even as Ardclach’s Ally Fraser picked up a count of 5 in the fourth end to dent the hopes of Nairn’s Larry Kerr in a 7-5 victory, but Nairn fortunes were restored as Mike McInnes had a great win over reigning champions Callum Greenwood. 5 shots each as they entered the final end set the scene for an exciting finish, and McInnes used his last stone advantage perfectly to pick up a 2 for his win. The other Division 1 game was,perhaps, the most exciting of the night, finishing in an honours even 8-8 draw. Mark Fraser had raced to a 7-0 lead before Nairn’s favourite baker woke up to take the next 3 ends and sneak ahead by a single shot. Fraser then managed to regain his composure to take a shot at the last for a share of the points.
In Division 2 ,Nairn’s Angus Forbes was victorious over clubmate Ricky Marwick and Jamie Cattell pipped Fiona Steel’s Nairn Ladies rink.
- Curling’s Covid Return
After the loss of an entire season, Province curling finally kicked off at both Inverness Ice Centre and Moray Leisure Centre this week.
It was difficult to remember who last won what, but in West Division 1, Ally Fraser just pipped Ali Asher in a tight match. 4-4 after 5 ends, the Ardclach lads blanked the sixth and picked up their single shot for the win in the seventh.
Newly promoted Mike McInnes was always in control against Larry Kerr,an opening end three and a single steal giving McInnes a clear lead and a further three and a single steal in ends 4 and 5 saw him run out a 9-3 winner.
Mark Fraser’s Dalcross rink chalked up a good win over defending champions the Greenwood rink. The Ardclach quartet outscored Fraser in ends won,but a pair of 3’s was enough for a close 6-5 Fraser victory .
In Division 2 Jamie Cattell was a 9-3 winner over Ian Thomson, a 3 at the opening and closing ends decisive in a slightly one sided contest.
Angus Forbes came out on top in his match with Fiona Steel’s Nairn Ladies, a couple of 3 shot steals giving him a 10-2 lead before Fiona picked up a 3 of her own at the last to at least give a Ladies some consolation.
In the East, Division 3 opened with a good win for Gordie Kennedy in what was largely a battle of the youngsters. Sons Charlie, Ian and Aunty Lynn skipped by a rusty old Dad running out 10-5 winners against Owen Watson’s Moray Juniors.
Georgia Clarke’s Juniors rink had a real ding dong with Helen Downey’s veterans. Fighting back from a 3-0 deficit, Georgia’s team picked up the shot they needed in the last for a 4-4 peel.
Charlie Watt jnr’s perfect form continued with an 8-6 win over Elgin’s Bob Stewart. The Forres team had a 100% record in the last League campaign and proved they are still a very tough nut to beat.
Next week sees the start of the East Division 1 and 2 campaign and we fervently hope that we will have a full,uninterrupted curling season.