Saturday, January 07, 2012

A Blogger's Saturday Night

My travels took me to the Greenacres Rink today, just to check up on the Scottish Seniors Qualifiers. This was a good game, above. Mike Dick, skipping the Colin Hamilton team, was against John Stevenson, and it went to an extra end. In the pic above, John and third William Byers discuss options, with Trevor Dodds and Mike Dick behind.

Colin has stepped aside after a health scare recently. Still, he was at the rink, with Elaine, keeping the Royal Club's results service up to date, see here. Keep well, Colin, and I hope you will be back on the ice with an 'all clear' soon.

Actually, I was really at Greenacres to give my old friend and Behind the Glass blogger, Robin Copland, some support, as he was standing in for Colin in Team Hamilton. Here he is, ready to sweep with Colin Baxter on Mike Dick's stone.

Robin wasn't the only old friend at Greenacres today. I should say that I'm defining 'old friend' as those whose curling roots are in the Crossmyloof rink in the 1960s and 70s. Willie Jamieson above has always been one of the sport's biggest characters. He was keen to point out that he's beginning to catch up on 'new' technology and has embraced split-timing, and also, if you look closely, the fancy specs that allow you to peer over your nose at the broom.

And here is Willie's team. Gordie Kennedy has thrown, another 'old friend' David 'The Trousers' Kelly is next to the stone, sweeping with David McGann.

So are any of 'my' teams going to qualify for the finals? It's a bit early to say, both Team Hamilton and Team Jamieson having lost some and won some. Follow the tables here.

Of course, the first thing I had to do tonight when I got home was to check how other 'old friends' were doing in the other qualifying sections at Forfar, see here. Current champions, skipped by Ken Horton, had played two, won one, lost one, and in a small section of five, really have to win their two remaining games. Watch this space.

My old skip, Graeme Adam, having teamed up with Bob Kelly this season, seemed to be going well, undefeated after three.

A blogger's curiosity is never satisfied, so the next stop was to the Mercure Perth Masters' website. I found that the Claudio Pescia and Brad Gushue teams were through to the playoffs from the A Road. Thomas Ulsrud, Niklas Edin, Tom Brewster and Mike McEwen were fighting it out from B. The David Murdoch and David Edwards teams were clinging on to their last lives in the C Road. It will be an interesting evening at Perth as tomorrow's quarterfinal lineup is decided.

If you go on to the Masters' website check out the little news features on the menu bar on the left.

Clare Carswell, who blogged the Perth Masters event last year, has switched her allegiance to Twitter these days, and has been tweeting away from Perth. Because of Clare I now know a little about (Do keep up, Bob!) I live and learn. Click here to listen to young curlers Kyle Smith and Thomas Muirhead being interviewed by Clare this morning. Great stuff.

And talking of young curlers, you can find the progress of the Junior Club Challenge at Murrayfield here. It looks as if Forfar YC, Division 1 winners last year, won't be making it two in a row, and indeed are in the relegation zone as I write this. If all goes well, I might just make it to Edinburgh tomorrow to see what happens.

I was pleased to see that the English girls made it to the playoffs at the European Junior Challenge in Taarnby. They play Denmark to see who will face Italy in the decider. The Challenge all winds up tomorrow with one men's team and one women's team going forward to the World Junior Championships in Oestersund, Sweden. The results are all here.

Who will have home country advantage in Oestersund? I had my tea watching a webcast of the last couple of ends of the Swedish Junior Ladies' Championship, on Curlingkanalen, screenshot above. Wonderful. I find (reliable) webcasting really is a bit of modern magic.

A curling blogger's work, it seems, is never done. Fun though!

Photos © Skip Cottage