Sunday, November 15, 2009

Inverness Sunday

Right, let's go with the junior men's competition first. Glen Muirhead, Greg Drummond, Thomas Sloan and Michael Goodfellow were up against Pascal Eicher's Swiss in the quarters. Tied after seven, Glen played an brilliant outwick to hide behing a bundle of guards, leaving his opposition little chance of removing it, and the Muirhead team advanced to a semifinal against Graeme Black, John Penny, Colin Howden and Dean Clark.

That was a great game too. Black tied up the game with a draw in the seventh - something of a controversy here, as most of the teams on the ice did not realise they were playing to the bell, and not regulation eight ends. So the eighth was the extra end, and this was won by Team Muirhead, Glen placing his last stone draw in the eight foot for the win.

Grant Hardie's team had Kyle Smith as skip, and Thomas Muirhead and Cammy Smith as the front end, for their quarterfinal against David Bartschiger's Swiss side. Kyle delivered the goods with a perfect last stone draw to a frozen Swiss counter for the win. That put them into a semi against the Norwegians, skipped by Steffen Walstad with Markus Hoiberg playing last stones.

This semi came down to the last stones too, although both teams thought there was another end to play when the bell went. Norway stole a shot for the win, Kyle just a little off with an angled-raise attempt.

The linescores for all the games are here. In the final, Walstad's Norwegians had their noses in front, 3-2 after six. With his eye on the clock, Glen blanked the seventh.

The eighth was as tight as they come. With plenty of shots in play and in front, there was lots of decision making to be done. With shot, but with a Muirhead stone part frozen to it, Hoiberg played a delicate guard with his last. More decision making. There was no easy shot. Glen elected to play the angled raise takeout. Executed perfectly! Game won. What a great final.

The winners: Michael Goodfellow, Thomas Sloan, Greg Drummond, Glen Muirhead

Runners-up: Markus Hoiberg, Steffen Walstad (skip), Steffen Mellemseter, Pal Mortem Fossen

Now the women. Anna Sloan, Claire Hamilton, Vicki Adams and Rhiann Macleod led 4-3 in the last end of their quarterfinal against Isabelle Maillard's Swiss. The Scots played the end well, and progressed to a semifinal against Lauren Gray, Claire MacDonald, Tasha Aitken and Caitlin Barr. Lauren played a key shot in the third, a long angled raise to the button and this set up a steal. She stole three more in the fourth when Anna was short with her last, and Team Gray always were in control.

Hannah Fleming, Becca Kesley, Alice Spence and Abi Brown were up against regular Swiss visitors to Inverness, skipped by Nicole Dunki. Hannah's first shot in the fourth end, an angled raise which removed the Swiss counter off the tee, set up a big five ender. Mind you, they only led by one in the eighth, but did not get into trouble and came safely through to a semi against the giant killers, skipped this weekend by Jennifer Martin, with Mhairi Baird playing last stones, Vicky Wright and Rachel Hannen. The young team had finished top of their section thanks to the defeat of Anna Sloan's Scottish Institute of Sport team on Saturday night.

Team Martin looked poised to pull off another notable win in the semi too against Hannah's team. There were 4-3 up in the last and made Hannah play a pressure takeout for the win, and her place in the final.

All the linescores are here. In the final, Gray was 3-2 in front after six. Time ran out on the teams when they were in the seventh. Team Fleming lay well, and Lauren faced a difficult double with her last. It didn't come off, and Hannah was the winner with no need for her final stone.

The winners: Hannah Fleming, Becca Kesley, Alice Spence, Abi Brown

Runners-up: Caitlin Barr, Tasha Aitken, Claire MacDonald, Lauren Gray

Photos © Skip Cottage. Presentation pics and more from Sunday tomorrow.