Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Inverness Skins

Here are the winners of the Inverness Skins at the weekend. L-R: Sandy Reid (skip), Jacqui Byers, Vicky Sloan and Fran Drummond. Kay Adams has a summary of the competition in her weekend review here.

Joan Macarthur with runners-up Graham Shaw (skip), Ewen Macarthur, Graham Black and Robin Niven.

Neil Hampton has kindly sent this report of the competition: "The 7th Inverness Skins was hailed as one of the best ever as a result of some great curling matched by some great socialising. All teams entered into the 'spirit' of the event and the bar had its best event weekend. That is not to say that the curling playing second best with many of Scotland’s top players showing just how they gained their reputation. Pick of the bunch was the Ewan MacDonald rink with a huge total of £231 from their five games in their section of the round robin. Only two other teams out of the 24 managed to break the £200 barrier with Scott Hamilton on £213 and Andrew Craigie making it by just £2!

Other notable stories from the round robin were last year’s winner Lee McCleary finishing 5th out of 6 in his section and Logan Gray failing to qualify by just £2 even though he amassed £166 from his five games. The greatest escape was from Bob Kelly and his aging warriors who took all the money in their final game against Alan Campbell to rise from 5th to 2nd with Campbell dropping out of qualification from 2nd to 4th.

With the top two in each section decided the quarter finals beckoned on Sunday morning but not until after the Saturday night party. Several bleary faces were apparent on the ice but the curling didn’t suffer as the biggest shock of the day was the 3 girls and a boy that was the Jacquie Byers rink seeing off the heavyweights of Ewan MacDonald who conceded with an end still to be played. Bob Kelly had Andrew Craigie right where he wanted him for six of the seven ends but poor play down the stretch saw the semi finals disappear. Scott Hamilton did everything right against Graham Shaw who didn’t have a shot but contrived to make an outrageous fluke inwicked raise after clipping the guard! The last quarter final was a more sober affair as Adrian Meikle saw off Neil Sands with no drama whatsoever.

The semi finals provided more drama for Graham Shaw when for once Team Craigie were in control but Graham identified an outside stone that could be knocked into the middle and this time it was no fluke and he was in the final. Jacqui Byers and her team, ably skipped by brother Sandy, were going about their business with Adrian Meikle not capitalising on the few mistakes they made and it was a slip up by the welsh team who tapped in a Byers stone which remained for the duration of the last end to secure the final skin and the win.

In the final the ice didn’t perform and wasn’t allowing the curlers to play the attacking game that they had enjoyed earlier in the event. Not that the straight ice ruined the spectacle as the Byers team made no mistake and controlled the game from the start. Indeed in wasn’t until the penultimate end that Shaw finally won a skin. Graham could have made it a very exciting finish if he could make one more final stone crowd pleasing shot but this time the curling gods decided against him and the Byers rink were the 2010 Inverness Skins Champions. They took a total of £456 for their three games on Sunday and coupled with their round robin takings made away with £625 from Inverness."

Many thanks to George Macarthur for sending the presentation pics, and to Neil Hampton for the report.