It was an early start this morning for the road to Aberdeen. It was well worth it though, as I experienced a great day at the Curl Aberdeen rink. Sixteen teams lined up for the second U-14 competition in the Asham Slam, which is organised by the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. Fifteen of the teams had played in the first competition at Braehead last month.
The two teams which contested the final at Braehead met again in the final at Aberdeen, but this time it was Fraser Smith, James Craik, Ewan Maguire and Euan MacDiarmid (skip) who won through.
That's the winners above, with Judith McFarlane, the Slam organiser. L-R: James Craik (2nd), Euan MacDiarmid (skip), Ewan Maguire (3rd) and Fraser Smith (lead).
The MacDiarmid team beat Drew Thomson, Callum Kinnear, Kerr Sands and Finlay Campbell (skip) in the final, after a fifth (an extra) end.
That meant that both the MacDiarmid and Campbell teams had a win in one of the Slam events. A team draw shot challenge was made to find the Slam winners. Finlay's team players were closer to the button than Euan's.
Here then are the winners of the first Asham U-14 Slam. L-R: Finlay Campbell (skip), Kerr Sands (3rd), Callum Kinnear (2nd) and Drew Thomson (lead), with Judith who presented the team with individual trophies and new brushes courtesy of the sponsor.
A mention now of the other two teams which won their sections, but lost in the semifinals:
L-R: Emma Barr, Ewan Barr, Kirsty Barr and Adam Keron (skip).
L-R: Sorley MacDonald, Aine MacDonald, Rhys Smith and Sandy Scott (skip).
These two teams played off for third place, the game won by Sandy's team at the last stone.
Here again is organiser Judith McFarlane with the winner of the 'Draw Shot Challenge with a Difference', Harry Cormack. Good story this. Harry had played a couple of games as substitute in the Sandy Scott team above, helping them qualify for the playoffs. Not required for the knockout games, he played in the Challenge, and won it! Well done Harry.
And what was the 'Difference'? The kids played their stones wearing a blindfold! Brilliant.
What a great day. And now that I've seen the U-14s in action, I'm well convinced that this Slam will become every bit as successful as the U-17 has become.
Photos © Skip Cottage