I enjoyed a visit to the rink at Ayr today, to see a couple of rounds of the qualifying playdowns for the Scottish Junior Championships. That's Michael Reid and Hamilton McMillan on Struan Wood's stone - skip Blair Fraser is in the head. Thomas Sloan is still recovering from the bad accident he had early in the season.
You can find how the teams are getting on here.
Blair Fraser and Ruaridh Greenwood. Ruaridh's team is Scott Fraser, Craig Waddell and Calum Greenwood.
You can follow Team Fraser's exploits on their own blog, here.
Robin Brydone was skipping his Perth team of James Hay, Callum Kinnear and Kerr Sands.
Craig Joiner delivers with Euan MacDiarmid and Ewan Maguire, his front end. Adam Flint in the head.
And here's one of Ewan and Adam sweeping!
Of course, what was different for me, and for the teams, today was the length of the games - ten ends! There was a fifth end break for a 'coach interaction'. Cameron Bryce's Kelso team didn't have a team coach today, but parent Murray Potts made sure the team was not left standing on their own. That's Callum Potts in the photo with his dad. Captions welcomed!
Murray Young and Fraser Davidson. Andrew Ballantyne and Cammy Smith are the other members of this team.
Jennifer Martin, whose team is Tasha Aitken, Fiona Telfer and Mhairi Anderson.
Gary Cannell in typical pose! Gary's team is Jamie Fraser, Daryl Russell and Fraser Thomson.
Kyle Smith and Gregor Cannon. Kyle has Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell and Kerr Drummond. Gregor is skipping the team entered in Scott Wilson's name, with Bobbie Lammie and Euan Kyle as the front end.
Here's Euan and Bobbie in action.
Stuart Marshall and Duncan Menzies.
Here's another of Stuart. The team is Thomas Halder, James Carswell, Grant Barr.
Angus Dowell and Robert Fawns, front end of the Menzies rink. Stuart Taylor is the other.
Claire Dagen and Dionne Clark from the Maggie Wilson/Lauren Baxter team. Maggie skips, Lauren plays last stones.
In the absence of skip Heather Morton through injury, Gayle Allan was skipping Jodie Milroy, Aileen Rennie and Lorna Shaw.
And here is Gayle.
Hazel Smith was skip of her team of Naomi Whyte, Louise Mansion and Eilidh Templeton.
Katy Richardson has stepped into the head because her skip Gina Aitken is injured. Rowena Kerr and Rachel Hannen were joined by substitute Naomi Brown today.
Rebecca Steven is in the head. This was her team this morning - Jennifer Marshall, Karen Munro and Heather MacDonald. Heather was substituting for Rachael Halliday who had an exam to sit today. Best red headed front end in the business!
Vicky Wright and Mhairi Baird, the front end of the Jennifer Dodds team. Becca Kesley is the other.
Katie Murray delivers, with Sophie Jackson and Lucy Morton. Lucy was substituting for Kirsty Morton who is injured.
Laura Ritchie is the other on the team.
Fiona Spain from the Kinross team of Kirsty Paterson, Fiona Spain, Heather Waddell and Emma Hair.
Here's Bruce Mouat. Derrick Sloan is the team's third ...
... and Colin Mouat and Ross Fraser are the front end. Serious stuff it was today, but it is always nice to see smiles on our junior curlers' faces!
I'm sorry that I've not been able to give every team a mention. The top seven junior women's teams will qualify from Ayr by Sunday to join the Hannah Fleming team in the Scottish Junior Championship finals at Curl Aberdeen, January 24-29. The top nine junior men's teams, three from each section, will also qualify for their event in Aberdeen.
One last observation. The Ayr rink now has a lift to allow access to the upstairs clubrooms for those not too mobile. What a fine thing it is too. I got to check it out today, and can testify to its effectiveness! I noted wheelchair curler Michael McCreadie watching some of the play too.
Photos © Skip Cottage. As usual please let me know if I've got any names wrong - quite possibly, as I don't have an up to date team listing and I wasn't able to check all the lineups on the ice today.