Sunday, January 31, 2010

Columba Cream Tiebreaker

The tiebreaker for fourth place in the Columba Cream Scottish Ladies Championship was won by the Kay Adams team. That's Kay above.

Gillian Howard throws the last stones for the team, and she was in fine form tonight. You can find the linescore here. It was a good tight game, tied after nine.

Here's the winning four. L-R: Kay Adams, Sarah Macintyre, Linsey Spence, Gillian Howard.

Sarah and Linsey. The Adams team will now meet Sarah Reid's side in the Page 3-4, March 5-7.

All credit to Anna's team who have had a good competition. That's Rhiann Macleod delivering, with Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton ready to sweep.

And now Anna and her team can concentrate completely on the Scottish Junior Championships which begin on Tuesday at Curl Aberdeen. I'm looking forward to it already!

Pics by Bob.

Last Bruadar for the road

The top four qualifiers for the Bruadar Scottish Men's Curling Championship look to have been decided, to judge by the leaderboard prior to the last round of play this afternoon. But there was the small matter of who would end up in the Page 1-2, and of course fifth place is significant. Should Glen Muirhead win the Scottish Junior Championship next week in Aberdeen, his side would be representing Scotland in Flims, and not available to play in the final stages of the Bruadar, March 5-7.

So, who was playing who this morning? Muirhead was against Loudon, and Glen's team finished off a great week with another victory.

Hammy McMillan faced up to David Murdoch, and Team GB was the stronger today.

Brewster against Smith was a great game, Tom drawing the four foot with last stone for his win.

Graeme Black's team always looked in charge against Scott Hamilton, until Scott posted a four in the eighth to go one ahead. Still, going down the tenth, it all went to plan for Black and he had a draw for two for the game. He played it perfectly. The loss put Hamilton out of any tiebreaker for fifth place.

Sandy Reid was against Neil Joss, with the latter getting the win today.

The final positions: Smith, Muirhead and Murdoch all finished with seven wins. On ranking, it will be Smith v Muirhead for the Page 1-2 in March. Murdoch will play McMillan (6 wins) in the Page 3-4. Tom Brewster is in position 5, waiting hopefully that Glen Muirhead wins the juniors next week.

You can check all the results, linescores and rankings here.

And here are a couple more smiles for down the road:

Team McMillan. This is just crying out for a caption!

Team Loudon plus coach, Bob Kelly. "Bob, I know we've been playing like balloons, but there was no need to emphasize it!"

Photo of the week. Team GB's Graeme Connal with his son Rory.

Pics by Bob

Last taste of Columba Cream

The fourteenth set of games of the marathon double round robin in the Columba Cream Scottish Ladies Championship went ahead at the Dewar's Rinks this morning. The rankings are shown above, prior to the start of play. The top two teams, skipped by Eve Muirhead and Gail Munro, had no need to play, and didn't.

Gillian Howard (aka Kay Adams team) was against Hannah Fleming, and it went to last stone, Gillian playing a hit and roll in for the win, and moving her team to eight wins.

Sarah Reid beat Lauren Gray, and Team Read was on eight wins too.

Find the standings and linescores here.

That just left the key game to be decided. Claire Milne's team were on six wins, Anna Sloan on seven. Anna needed to win to be in the mix for the top four. What a game it turned out to be!

That's Claire Hamilton (21 today) and Rhiann Macleod doing the hard work in the pic above.

Milne played a great double in the sixth end to count two and go 4-2 ahead. But the juniors fought on, and led by a shot in the tenth. Claire Milne got the single to force the extra end, but she did not get cover in the eleventh. Anna had a hit and stay for the win and she played it perfectly!

That meant that three teams, Adams, Reid and Sloan, were all on the same record. Who had beaten who could not decide the rankings, which then had to be made on a Draw Shot Challenge. The winner of the DSC was Team Reid, and they were ranked third overall. The other two teams, Sloan and Adams, will now contest a tiebreak this afternoon.

Pics by Bob

More Wheels

The Wheelchair International has been running alongside the Scottish Championship AB games at Perth. A round robin is the simple format for this inaugural event. Above are the top-of-the-table Norwegians.

The scores and standings are here.

Ian Donaldson. Angela Higson is his buddy, and Jackie Cayton is watching.

Germany in action

Gregor Ewan, and two of Team Germany

Germany v Norway

Team Switzerland surveys a full head of granite, with Jim Gault coming down the ice.

A Swiss mascot, appropriately named, 'Blue Elephant'. Coo would be thrilled!

Pics by Bob

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Second last Bruadar

Glen Muirhead against Hammy McMillan. The top juniors against the wisest of the old foxes. Hammy and team already through to the last four, but Glen needing the win in this second to last round of the Bruadar Scottish Men's Curling Championship tonight. It was thrilling stuff!

Here's Sandy Gilmour and Ross Paterson working hard.

And the McMillan team. Glen played a great hit to pick up two in the ninth, and Hammy drew for a single to tie in the tenth. The game went to an extra end. Glen drew to the four foot for his win. Team Muirhead = six wins. McMillan, the same record.

In other games, the battle of the Davids, Murdoch and Smith, both on six wins and definitely qualified for the last four, went the way of Smith whose team was three up coming home. Smith goes to seven wins, top of the pile, Murdoch stays on six, with just the one round remaining to play.

Tom Brewster against Pete Loudon could not have been tighter. Tied 6-6 coming home, Brewster with the hammer. Tom was perfect with his last stone takeout to give his team the win, and a record of four wins.

Scott Hamilton beat Sandy Reid to move to four wins, the same as Brewster, and stay in with the slimmest of chances of qualifying, see below.

Neil Joss beat Graeme Black in the battle between the two teams in ninth and tenth positions.

Standings after eight rounds:
Warwick Smith 7
Hammy McMillan 6
Glen Muirhead 6
David Murdoch 6

Tom Brewster 4
Scott Hamilton 4
Peter Loudon 3
Neil Joss 2
Sandy Reid 2
Graeme Black 0

So it's all over - we have our top four for March 5-7. Well, sort of. The problem - if I can call it that - is that if Glen and his team were to win the Scottish Junior Championship next week in Aberdeen, then they could not compete in the Bruadar final weekend, and the fifth place team would be invited. Who will be fifth will be decided tomorrow, as will the rankings for positions 1-4. Who will finish in the Page 1-2, and who in the Page 3-4. The draw for the ninth round is here. It's your bet!

Pics by Bob

Penultimate Columba Cream draw

As many of you know, I'm not a big fan of women in black. Or navy, or even men's teams dressed in funereal colours. But with apologies, I have to post the photo above of the Sarah Reid team in this evening's draw. That's Barbara McFarlane and Laura Kirkpatrick at work on Kerry Barr's stone in the photo above. A well taken two in the eighth end saw Team Reid move to 4-1 in front. But they lost two in the ninth and Sarah faced two opposition stones when she went to play her last. A perfect draw to the tee sealed it, and Team Reid's hopes are still alive.

Eve Muirhead and Gail Munro had already qualified for the finals on March 5-7. But this round tonight and tomorrow morning's last game in the double round robin were/are all about deciding the 1-5 rankings, given the nature of the Page playoffs. Then there is still the possibility of the fifth place team getting a wild card entry to the top four, dependent on how the Junior Championships are decided next week in Aberdeen, assuming Anna Sloan is in the top four, and wins in Aberdeen.

In other games today, Claire Milne took three from Gail Munro in the first end, and Munro was always on the back foot thereafter.

Eve Muirhead were 6-3 in front of Anna Sloan in the tenth, and ran their opposition out of stones.

Hannah Fleming, Becca Kesley, Alice Spence and Abi Brown finally got to post their first win in the event, having been so close in a number of games. Their victims were their junior rivals skipped by Lauren Gray.

So here are the standings after thirteen games:

Muirhead 11 wins
Munro 9
Adams 7
Reid 7
Sloan 7
Milne 6
Gray 4
Fleming 1

So, who plays who tomorrow. Munro is against Muirhead; Sloan v Milne; Reid v Gray; Fleming v Adams. Work it out!

All the results and official standings are here.

Pic by B0b

Bruadar Scottish Men's Championship

In this game, it obviously helps if your name is Muirhead! This was the leaderboard at the beginning of the seventh round of the Bruadar Scottish Men's Curling Championship, and after the twelfth round of the Columba Cream Scottish Ladies Championsip. Eve Muirhead and her rink were top of the women's standing, and Glen Muirhead, her brother, and his team were on the top of the men's rankings.

So, did the men's standings change this afternoon?

David Murdoch and his team were up against Neil Joss. That's Gavin Fleming looking threatening on the left above, with David in the house, and Neil behind.

Here's the Murdoch machine in action, David joining Euan Byers and Ewan MacDonald on the sweeping of a Pete Smith stone. This was a good game for five ends, until Murdoch landed a big six and it was all over. Murdoch is now on six wins.

David Smith was against Glen Muirhead. The old heads prevailed in this one, putting Muirhead down the rankings but still with five wins. Smith and company are on six wins, the same as Murdoch.

McMillan v Hamilton was an important game too. After four blank ends McMillan posted a three in the fifth and they were on their way. McMillan is on six wins, the same as Murdoch and Smith. Hamilton's team remain on three wins.

Tom Brewster had a straightforward win over Graeme Black's young side. Team Brewster is now on three wins. Pete Loudon was 6-5 up against Sandy Reid in the tenth, with last stone advantage. He had to get a piece of a Reid stone part hidden behind a long guard, and did so! Team Loudon is now on three wins.

Two rounds still to go!

Pics by Bob

Eve on top

Eve Muirhead played Claire Milne in the twelfth round of the Columba Cream Scottish Ladies Championship this morning. New Team GB alternate Annie Laird was in the team for this one, replacing lead Lorna Vevers.

Here's Annie

Here's Eve.

And here's Annie and Kelly in action on their skip's stone.

So, how did the game go? A three at the sixth gave Team Muirhead a 6-3 lead, and they ran out 9-4 in front. The win gave the team ten wins from twelve games played.

Gail Munro and her team were off this ice first this morning, 9-3 up against Anna Sloan after six. Team Munro now has nine wins from twelve games. Anna stays on seven wins.

Kay Adams and her team were dominant against Lauren Gray's juniors this morning, and the Adams team, with Gillian Howard throwing last stones, moves to seven wins.

Hannah Fleming, once again, had the advantage over her opposition going into the final ends of a game. On the rack this time was the Sarah Reid team. Reid though stole a two at the ninth to tie the game. In the tenth, with the time running out for both teams, Hannah was left with a tapback sqeezing past a guard. She made the shot, it went to a measure. It was the Reid team's counter! Heartbreak again for the Fleming team.

All the results, linescores and standings can be found here. Note that all the games will be played since it is important to establish the ranking as when the Scottish Championship reconvenes in March, the top two will contest the Page 1-2, and the teams ranked third and fourth will play a Page 3-4.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bruadar men fifth round

Philip Wilson and Hammy McMillan look at options in their sixth round game of the Bruadar Scottish Men's Championship tonight. The McMillan team were up against Graeme Black's side. It was 2-2 after six ends, then McMillan counted two. Black was kept to a single in the eighth. The game went to an extra end, but McMillan didn't need to play his last stone. Team McMillan = five wins.

All the results, linescores and standings are here.

David Murdoch's team beat Sandy Reid this evening, and is on five wins from six games, the same as McMillan.

David Smith beat Pete Loudon, a three at the eighth being the key here. Smith's team move to five wins, the same as Murdoch and McMillan.

Scott Hamilton beat Neil Joss 7-5. Team Hamilton is on three wins.

Brewster versus Muirhead was tight, 6-6 after eight. Glen kept the last stone into the tenth and had an open hit for the game. Team Muirhead is now on five wins from six games, the same as McMillan, Murdoch and Smith.

Three rounds to go! Top four teams qualify. Lots yet to be decided.

Pic by Bob

Friday's women

It's a tenth end timeout at Perth, in the Columba Cream Scottish Ladies Curling Championship. Coach Debbie Knox is with Hannah Fleming and her team.

This is Becca Kesley, third in the Hannah Fleming side, flanked here by Abi Brown and Alice Spence. Hannah was always ahead against Anna Sloan in their match this afternoon. Anna had the chance to tie the game in the ninth, but her takeout rolled too far and she only got a single to trail by a shot in the tenth end. Anna worked to get a shot on the tee, well guarded. The Fleming team cleared it all.

With seconds remaining on the clock, Anna swung her last stone round the guards to the tee. Hannah was just too heavy in trying to follow. Extra end! This time Hannah and co couldn't keep it clear. Then disaster. In attempting the clearance a Sloan stone was jammed onto a Fleming counter in the four foot. Hannah had a difficult come around tap back for the win and was just a fraction wide.

After that battle, Team Sloan moves to seven wins, in third place in the rankings, with three more rounds still to play.

All the results of the eleventh games in the double round robin Columba Cream Ladies Scottish Championship, and the standings, can be found here.

Kay Adams finished ahead of Claire Milne. The Adams team is on six wins now, with Milne on five.

Gail Munro fell to Sarah Reid this afternoon. Here Kerry Adams delivers with Lyndsay Wilson and Alison Mather ready to sweep. Team Munro is now on eight wins, with Reid on five.

Eve Muirhead's team beat Lauren Gray and are now alone on top of the table with nine wins from eleven games.

Pics by Bob

More International Wheels

Sweden v Switzerland in the international wheels event today. The results are here.


Murray Cran skipping Scotland 2.

And tonight's caption competition! Aileen Neilson and Michael McCreadie from Team GB. "Now Aileen. How many fingers do you see?"

Pics by Bob

Friday afternoon men at Perth

It's the fifth round of games in the Bruadar Scottish Men's Championship. Peter Loudon was against Hammy McMillan. One up coming home in the tenth, Loudon was facing two McMillan stones and had to cut the four foot fully to win. But his draw picked up in spectacular fashion, McMillan stole two, and the game.

The results, linescores and standings are here.

By the way, the connectivity problems that caused teething problems with the new timeclocks seem to have been ironed out. I should have mentioned before that the purchase of this equipment was made possible thanks to legacy funding from the World Ladies Championship at Paisley in 2005.

Tom Brewster v David Murdoch was a rematch of last season's final. Great game too. Murdoch one ahead in the tenth, and facing two when he went down to play the last stone of the game. A delicate tap back was called for, and played perfectly. Another win to Murdoch.

In the absence of his skip Glen Muirhead because of a university exam this morning, Greg Drummond skipped the first few ends of their game against bottom of the table Neil Joss.

John Dunn substituted, playing third stones. Glen was able to get in to the game after five ends, but had to play third of course. It was a close one, Joss drawing the button with last stone of the game. There are now no undefeated teams.

Sandy Reid beat Graeme Black.

Warwick Smith v Scott Hamilton. David Smith calls the game and Warwick plays last stones. This one went to an extra end. Scott couldn't get hidden with his last stone, and Warwick didn't need to throw the hammer.

So after five of the nine games played, Glen Muirhead has four wins, as has Hammy McMillan, David Murdoch and Warwick Smith. Tom Brewster, Scott Hamilton, Peter Loudon and Sandy Reid all have two wins. Neil Joss has one point, and Graeme Black's team have still to post their first win.

Pics by Bob

Columba Cream on Friday morning

It was the tenth game of the double round robin of the Columba Cream Ladies Championship. Sarah Reid was against Claire Milne this morning in a key encounter for both teams. Sarah really needed to win this one to keep her hopes alive of a top four finish. She did. You can find all the scores and standings here.

Above, Kerry Barr is saying to Sarah, "If we just wiggle it past the pink, play the cannon off the brown and ram the red into the hole."

Eve Muirhead's Olympic squad was up against Hannah Fleming's junior side. They led 8-6 into the tenth, without last stone, but Fleming constructed a good end, and hit and stayed with her last for two. The game went to an extra. Four stones to come. Hannah lies two in the four foot. Her sweepers just could not get her guard over the hog! Eve promptly removes both opposition counters, and Hannah had nowhere to hide with her last. Team Muirhead now has eight wins from ten games.

In the battle of the other juniors, Anna Sloan prevailed over Lauren Gray. Anna now has a record of six wins from ten games, and her team is very much in the mix, third place in the standings.

Kay Adams (above), with Gillian Howard playing the last stones for the team, took on the other leaders in the standings skipped by Gail Munro. One up playing the tenth with the hammer, Kay set up the last end to steal. But she left Gail a possible double takeout, and with seconds left on the clock, the 2008 champion made that, counted two, and moved to eight wins from ten outings.

The eleventh round coming up later!

Pics by Bob

International Wheels at Perth

It was a busy morning at the Dewar's Centre as the International Wheelchair competition got underway alongside the Columba Cream Scottish Ladies' Championship. Above, Team Norway's skip Rune Lorentsen delivers.

Aileen Neilson was playing last stones for Team GB, here with Angie Malone as her 'buddy'.
Find the results here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bruadar men fourth round

This was the significant game to watch tonight. Could Glen Muirhead (back right with Greg Drummond) keep his undefeated record by beating Scott Hamilton's side? That's Scott calling the line in front.

In the sixth end, with Muirhead 4-2 in front, Glen went for a skinny double takeout, and slipped between the two Hamilton stones. Scott drew for three and it was game on again. But in the eighth, Muirhead with Greg Drummond, Thomas Sloan and Michael Goodfellow, posted a big four to go 8-5 in front and, despite giving up two in the ninth, ran out the winners.

All the linescores and standings are here.

In the other games tonight, Warwick Smith beat Graeme Black 10-3 in seven ends.

Pete Loudon and David Murdoch battled it out for nine ends, until Pete missed completely when trying to remove two of three Murdoch stones in the house. He gave up four, and shook hands.

Tom Brewster beat Neil Joss in a low scoring game and Hammy McMillan carved out a win against Sandy Reid.

So, after four rounds, Glen Muirhead is on four wins, and is still undefeated. Hammy McMillan, David Murdoch and Warwick Smith are all on three wins. And tomorrow is Friday!

Columba Cream women

This was the position after the first of the second cycle of games this morning in the Columba Cream Scottish Ladies Championship.

This afternoon's games saw Eve Muirhead and her team beat Kay Adams and her team, with Gillian Howard playing the last stones. All the results, linescores and standings are here.

I've caught Gail Munro in a serious pose in this pic, talking to umpire Christine Shaw! But the Munro team were in good form today, and they kept their position on top of the rankings by beating Lauren Gray's juniors 8-2 this afternoon.

Here's Gail again. In the background is Lynn Cameron, third for the Claire Milne team which came from 5-2 down to win a tight game against Hannah Fleming's side.

And Sarah Reid's team defeated Anna Sloan in the remaining game.

So, after nine games, Munro and Muirhead have won seven, and three teams have won five - Adams, Milne and Sloan. What has tomorrow in store?

Pics by Bob