Sunday, February 27, 2011

Junior Challenge Division 3

It's 10.00 Sunday, and twelve teams of young curlers are waiting for the off at Braehead. Chief Umpire Leslie Ingram-Brown in charge! Representing Lockerbie, Perth, Braehead, Aberdeen, Stirling and Lanarkshire these are the teams which found themselves in Division 3 of the Royal Club's Junior Challenge after the reorganisation last season. I have already described what happened in Division 1 and Division 2, at Ayr early in January, see here and here.

What was at stake today was promotion to Division 2, this going to the top two clubs after a five session round robin over the weekend. Each club is represented by two teams, and clubs may put forward more than one set of two. Indeed, the Stirling side in Division 3 was Stirling 2, and the Lanarkshire side was the third of three pairs from Hamilton.

This was the position with one round remaining. Two points are available for each team's win, one for a draw. Perth was against Lockerbie. If Perth won both their games they would be top and gain promotion. Braehead was not out of it. If they won both games, and Lockerbie lost theirs, then it would be promotion for the home side too. And this is exactly what happened.

When the dust had settled this afternoon, Perth and Braehead were going up, the others staying in Division 3 for next year, to be joined by Kinross and Ayr who were relegated from Division 2 in January.

All the Division 3 results are here.

Here is a selection of photos from both sessions today to give a flavour of the action!

Firstly though a mention of all the parents without whom an event like this would never happen, and who watched anxiously from behind the glass!

Of course, some of the parents have passed on their curling genes... !

No, it's not Eve. But I predict a big future for this young lady!

Here's Mili Smith playing third with her brother Kyle for Perth. Their father is of course David Smith, multiple Scottish Champion.

Front end for this Perth team were Calum Kinnear and Kerr Sands.

Cammy Smith was skipping the other Perth side. Yep, same family! Cammy's team was Robin Brydone, Ewan Mitchell and Polly Lightbody.

Here's Robin.

Robin encourages Ewan and Polly.

Hannah Fleming skipped one of the unlucky Lockerbie teams. Here she is against Stirling's Alastair Mitchell.

Hannah delivers, with Hannah Beattie and Ellen Boomer ready to sweep

Here's another Lockerbie team hard at work. Alice Spence joins in to help Kirsty Sloan and Koren Boomer.

Kirsty Sloan

"Is it there, or isn't it....... "

Here's one from this morning. Robin Brydone is in charge of the head, with Carolyn Baird and George Ballantyne (Lanarkshire 3) behind.

Here's the rest of the Lanarkshire 3 team. Carolyn Baird and Eilidh Johnson sweep Mairi MacDonald's stone. Mairi's mum is Marion MacDonald (nee Miller, former Scottish Champion).

Now, here's a question. Eilidh's twin sister Kathryn was also playing today. Are there any other curling twins out there?

The Aberdeen teams were well turned out in their green tops. That's Maggie Wilson's stone with sweepers Alasdair Izat and Kirsty Lockhart on the right. Yes, it is the daughter of Jackie, Olympian and curling commentator! Her younger brother Scott was also representing Aberdeen today

No lack of enthusiasm on the ice today! And lots of good curling.

As I keep saying, these juniors are the future of Scottish curling and it is great to see them enjoying the sport.

Pics © Skip Cottage