First it was cupcakes at Aberdeen, and now it is a special birthday cake at Inverness. Is this blog obsessed with food?
The cake had been donated by Asher’s Bakery in honour of the thirtieth anniversary of the Highland Junior Curling International competition.
Here is the cake being cut by the chairman of the Inverness Ice Centre board, Tom Pendreigh, watched by some of the competitors. On the right are the organizers of the competition, Innes and Rosemary Rankin, and on the left, Alex Barnet, who have been instrumental in the continued success of this event over the years.
Here are some of those who have taken part over the years. Recognise any of them? (Click on the image to see a larger size).
So how did this special thirtieth edition of the competition play out. Keith Petrie (who incidentally has made the ice for all thirty years) sends this report.
"The Highland Junior International - an event in the European Junior Curling tour - saw twelve men’s teams and ten women’s teams compete for their respective trophies.
At the end of the league play, Section A Boys was won Garry Cannell’s rink with a record of 5 wins 1 loss. In second place was Murray Young’s team. With the remaining teams each on two points, and a quarterfinal place at stake, a late night playoff over four end games saw Blair Fraser’s rink beating Roger Gulka by 7 shots and from Switzerland and Bruce Mouat winning against Sweden's Gustav Eskilsson by 6 shots. The Fraser team came through against Team Mouat 3-0.
Section B finished with Meico Oehninger winning all 5 games followed by Duncan Menzies on 4 wins and Stuart Marshall on 3 wins.
Back onto the Ice at 8.30am Sunday morning for the quarterfinals and Blair Fraser and his rink kept the good form going by winning 7-2 against Duncan Menzies. Murray Young's team swept aside the challenge from Stuart Marshall by winning 9-5. The men’s semifinals were close affairs. The Cannell - Fraser game went to an extra end and Cannell, with the hammer, took his one to win 5-4. In the other semi Meico Oehninger always seemed to be in control of the game and ran out 6-3 winners. In the final, Team Cannell gave the Oehninger team their first loss of the competition, on their way to a 3-2 win.
In the junior women's event, Jennifer Dodds went through the league play undefeated in section A with 4 wins, with Katie Murray on 3 wins and and Lesley Young on 2 wins. In section B, Gina Aitken also went through the league play undefeated with 4 wins with Maggie Wilson on 3 wins and Hazel Smith on 2 wins.
The Hazel Smith v Katie Murray quarter was a very close affair. Murray stole a single in the last end to force an extra which was blanked after Smith's hit rolled out. Skips stones were then played and Smith's draw won her team a place in the semifinal!
Maggie Wilson’s team proved too strong for Leslie Young winning 10-4. Wilson then came up against Jennifer Dodds in the semifinal. They looked and down and out at 1-5, but got back into the game by taking five shots in two ends. A one in the last end secued a place in the final. In the other semi, Gina Aitken's team, despite having played so well previously, was no match for the Smith team who took five shots in the second end.
The final was close. The teams were tied 5-5 after six ends but a three for Wilson in the seventh was decisive."
The results are all here.
Photos courtesy of Keith Petrie