Twenty-six men's teams have signed up for this years Bruadar Scottish Men's Curling Championship, and they are listed here. The first rounds of the prequalifying competition are this weekend at the Lanarkshire Rink, Hamilton, beginning on Saturday morning. The results will be found here.
I don't expect that I will see much, if any, of the play at Hamilton. I plan to be at the Dewar's Rink in Perth to see who will be representing Scotland at the European Curling Championships in Champery, Switzerland, December 3-11. Three men’s teams and three women’s teams will play double round-robins to find our Euro reps.
Those who follow the elite end of the sport will be well aware of the controversies raised during the summer months. On the men's side, none of the top three teams in last season's Scottish Championship was eligible for entry to the European playdown, and so three teams have been specially invited to compete. And in an ideal fair and open world, two of the teams that are at Perth this weekend should really be playing in the Scottish prequalifying event but, because of their selection to compete for a Euro place, they get a bye to the next stage of the Scottish. Such is life in 2010.
None of which should detract from the prospect of top class competition and close and exciting games at Perth! David Murdoch, Warwick Smith, Glen Muirhead and Ross Hepburn are up against Ewan MacDonald, Peter Loudon, Graeme Connal and Euan Byers. Hammy McMillan, David Smith, Ross Paterson and Sandy Gilmour are the third team in the mix. Can't wait! The first game matches Murdoch and MacDonald at 3 pm on Friday.
In the women's Euro qualifying, Eve Muirhead, Kelly Wood, Lorna Vevers and Annie Laird, who won the silver medals at the World Championship last season, meet Gail Munro, Lyndsay Wilson, Kerry Adams and Alison Mather in their first game on Friday afternoon. Sarah Reid, Kerry Barr, Kay Adams and Barbara McFarlane are first up against Muirhead at 8.30 pm tomorrow. Find all the results here.
The website for the Le Gruyere European Curling Championships is here.