What a great day it was at Curl Aberdeen yesterday! As always with the juniors, there was passion aplenty. I congratulate the winners, and feel for those who came second. When you put your heart and soul into your sport, it IS hard to lose.
Anyway, enough of the philosophizing, here are some more photos from yesterday's semifinals and finals. I never managed to make a 'Team Post' of the Hazel Smith and Kyle Smith sides, but I hope the eight curlers in these teams will find themselves somewhere on this post and in yesterday's after the semifinal (here). All the other teams should find themselves somewhere in the archive from the past three days. Searching for a name should find pics of individuals - a register of who was present and correct at the Scottish Junior Finals 2012!
Team Blair Fraser between ends. Good team this, finished third, and could have gone all the way.
I seem to have known Struan Wood the longest of any of this year's junior finalists. Sadly, he now graduates from the junior ranks, as he 'ages out'.
Jennifer Dodds. I think this is some sort of secret language! The script said that a Fleming - Dodds final was on the cards. But Hazel Smith had other ideas, and Jennifer and her team finished in third place.
Becca Kesley, third player in the Jennifer Dodds' team, who I inadvertently missed out in the photos after the semis.
Eilidh Templeton. (Special secret note buried in the blog to Helen King - 'Your girls did you proud!')
Sarah Wood swept her heart out for the Hazel Smith team, here with Eilidh on Naomi Whyte's stone.
I liked this photo of Naomi in 'serene' mode.
Hannah was thanking me for posting 'nice' photos of her this year. So, just to balance things up, here's one of her classic poses!
I don't think the umpire who was keeping an eye on the hogline perhaps realised what a picturesque spot he had picked!
Grant Hardie, fourth player in the Jay McWilliam side. Playing last stones for a team is a hard job, and I saw some outstanding shotmaking from him this week.
Keith Prentice is coach to the Jay McWilliam team. I'm sure the team will agree that he has been a great coach for them. A salute then to the 'Raging Bull' as he is affectionately called by his charges, whose team blog is here.
Young fans in the stands!
Rhiann Macleod (double Scottish medallist last season) models the required accessory for all hard core curling fans.
Abi and Lauren on Alice's stone in the final.
Kerr Drummond encourages Kyle Smith and Thomas Muirhead in the men's final.
The teams got piped into the lounge by Calum Brown for the presentations.
Pat Edington (Royal Club President), Claire McLaren (Ladies' Branch President) and Bruce Crawford (Royal Club CEO) took care of the proceedings efficiently.
There were two sportsmanship awards to present. Here Claire McLaren presents the Scottish Curler/Edinburgh Crystal award to Lauren Morgan, third player in Team Katie Wright. See Lauren in action here. I was pleased to see that the magazine still lives on in the name of the sportsmanship award.
Euan Kyle, lead of the Gregor Cannon team (see here) was voted to receive the Jim Aitken trophy.
Here's the winning team with coach Robin Halliday. Nice birthday present from the team to their coach (see here)!
Debbie Knox has been with these girls through thick and thin. Well done to all.
Keep your eyes on the Royal Club website for the announcement of who will travel with each team as the alternates for the World Junior Championships in Oestersund, Sweden, March 3-11.
Well done to all at Curl Aberdeen. Great rink, great facilities, great ice, friendly welcome. I understand that the Junior Finals are back here again next season, with the qualifiers at the Dewar's Rinks in Perth. Actually, I'm back here next weekend, all being well, but more about that later.
That's a wrap for now.
Photos © Skip Cottage