Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Young Curler Reports on the Grand Match

Guest blogger Jayne Stirling (16) reports her experiences of the Indoor Grand Match.

"Having read Bob’s October Editorial, I felt that sending him some of my photographs to be included in the blog was something I’d like to do, but I decided that in a very busy year (at school), undertaking anything more than I already have wasn’t the best plan. Today however, I felt that spending the whole day at the Indoor Grand Match as a volunteer would be a good opportunity to do a one off blog post.

With Dad as the photographer, and Mum helping with registering teams, it was a family effort from the off at Stirling this morning, as early a start as it was. Complete with my volunteer’s badge I waved the groups of slightly lost looking curlers over to the registration table, separating them from the swimmers, gym users, and Boccia players who were all sharing The Peak with us today. As instructed, the teams assembled at the end of the ice fifteen minutes prior to their game, and after a quick burst of the pipes, were welcomed by Stirling Development Officer, Logan Gray. The games then went ahead as scheduled, complete with a break for a dram after four ends. After the first session, the victors were University of Dundee and Fossoway Ladies from the North, and Gourock Ladies, East Kilbride and Haremyres, Corstorphine, and Currie and Balerno from the South.

As the teams from the first session headed up the stairs for their buffet lunch, the registration process had already begun for the second session, in which Dad and I would be playing with Falkirk Curling Club. After we’d taken the photos of the other rinks, and roped in some almost willing volunteers to take the photos of ours, we exchanged pin badges with our opponents from Stewarton Heather Curling Club, and started our match on a strong note, taking a two. Our fortune was not to continue throughout the game however, and we were three down at our half way break. Despite our efforts, the Stewarton Heather team were too strong. If anyone feels the need to see the final score, it’s available on the RCCC website! (Find all the scores here)

The other winners from our session were Ardclach, Glamis, Glasgow XX and Balcaskie, with Glenfarg Ladies and North Berwick Do’cot peeling seven all. After the match I enjoyed a slightly (read 'very') late lunch with our opposition, and was excused photography duties at the start of the third and final session in order to do so.

I enjoyed taking a few photos after my mid-afternoon meal, and watching Lesmahagow, Duddingston, A.W.W., Helensburgh and Stirling and District Ladies win their matches, and another peel being posted between Buchan and Holywood. I was overcome with curiosity as I was looking at the scorecards on the end of the barrier. I had no idea what A.W.W. stood for, so I asked one of their players and the answer put a smile on my face. My new favourite club name is 'Another Whisky and Water'.

After the refreshments had been consumed at the half way point, the volunteers cleared away the tartan clad tables, and Dad and I packed up our makeshift photo printing station (on the bed in the First Aid room). I thoroughly enjoyed my first Indoor Grand Match, and I am very pleased that I got to take part in many of the aspects of it, not to mention one of the best parts of any competition: reading the Skip Cottage Curling blog afterwards.

Thank you to everyone who made the first Grand Match I’ve taken part in such a great experience."

(Thanks Jayne! I'm sure all blogallies will think that your first guest blog post is excellent. I do. Very well done. Below are a couple of Jayne's photos too. I'm definitely feeling redundant!)

Hollywood CC in action

Who is this skip from Buchan CC?

Dad in his 'office'!

Top photo is 'broomstacking' at The Peak. Photos are courtesy of Jayne Stirling.