Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dumfries Ice Bowl

With the Junior International due to get underway in the Dumfries Ice Bowl tomorrow with thirty-two teams, including eight from abroad, it has been a day of preparation at the rink. The rink's prizegiving is tonight too, and there was a finals' session, preceded by an informal 'official opening' of the rink. That's Patsy Gilroy above, Convener of Dumfries and Galloway Council, making a short speech of welcome to those attending the opening.

Rhona Martin did the honours in throwing the official 'opening stone', with local young curlers Fiona Telfer and Naomi Whyte in attendance.

And here we all were, with the question, "How much help would Rhona's stone need to get to the tee?"

Actually, very little. Pretty much right on the poppy, Rhona, well done, although the perfectionists would say that Ruaraidh Whyte must have given her a couple of inches too much ice!

Here is the winning team. L-R: Rhona Martin, Ruaraidh Whyte, Fiona Telfer, Naomi Whyte and Patsy Gilroy.

Now to tomorrow and we'll see how the young curlers enjoy the first Junior International in the six-sheeter dedicated curling rink.

Photos © Skip Cottage

International Junior Curling Club Bonspiel 2011

This weekend Murrayfield Ice Rink will be hosting the International Junior Curling Club (IJCC) Bonspiel. This is an annual competition which started in 2003 and which is held in different countries and clubs each year. Edinburgh juniors participated in the last two events in Italy and Switzerland and hence Murrayfield offered to host the event in Edinburgh this year.

The competition involves twenty-eight teams from seven countries: Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, England and Scotland. In all there will be nineteen international teams.

Now, I have to put it in writing that I think it is totally wrong that there should be multiple junior competitions happening in Scotland on the same weekend, although I do understand the difficulties of scheduling things in a busy season. The Junior International at Dumfries is also this weekend, as is the Royal Club's Newcomers event on Sunday. The Ladies' Branch Unders and Overs Competition has been cancelled. Much as I would like, I haven't yet been able to clone myself and be in more that one place at the same time! I will have more about Dumfries tomorrow.

The background to the Murrayfield event is that its aim is to bring together junior club curlers from across the globe to compete and socialise together. It is run by a small group of volunteers. The first event took place in Switzerland in 2003, and since then has been hosted by clubs in Germany, Scotland, and Italy. Teams have come from Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Italy, Netherlands, and Norway. The Rotary organisation provided support and sponsorships in the early years.

The vision of the organisers is to promote the sport of curling among the youth by offering junior club curlers the chance to represent their curling club in an international event, with all the benefits that such participation brings. The number of junior curlers of regional and national elite level standard is small in comparison to the overall number of junior club curlers. These elite curlers are becoming increasingly more dedicated and supported by extensive teams of coaches and rightly have many opportunities to represent their country. The IJCC Bonspiel in no way detracts from this but is instead targets those curlers who otherwise may not get the chance to curl internationally.

Entry is open to teams of four or five curlers from the same junior club. The Bonspiel is played in two leagues. League A is for the more experienced curlers, while League B is aimed at the less experienced players. This ensures that all club members are able to participate at some level.

The event starts tomorrow with an opportunity for practice and with a 'meet and greet' supper where teams introduce themselves and socialise. The curling starts on Saturday morning after the opening ceremony. During the weekend, all teams are guaranteed four games, with the top teams playing five. On Saturday evening there is a meal and entertainment. During the weekend all players will take part in a cultural visit in Edinburgh.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

English Schools Championship

I am sure I have said before that you can judge the health - and future prospects - of a country's curling programme by the young people who participate. With this in mind, and with my enjoyable visit to Fenton's Rink in Kent earlier this year still very much in my mind, I am pleased to pass on this press release I have received about the English Schools Championship. I think it is just brilliant to hear that seventeen (!) schools entered teams for the competition.

"The 2011 English Schools Curling Championships, the sixth year of the event, were held at Fenton’s Rink, Tunbridge Wells, last week.

Twenty-four teams entered for the competition from seventeen schools. It proved once again to be a hard fought contest with six teams battling it out each day throughout the week, which culminated in Tonbridge Grammar School, Weald of Kent, Judd and Mascalls qualifying for Friday’s finals.

Judd won their semifinal game (7-5) against Mascalls and Tonbridge Grammar School won their game (8-4) against Weald of Kent, which meant that Judd and Tonbridge Grammar School played against each other for the title, and Weald of Kent and Mascalls played for third and fourth places.

In the final game it was evenly matched after the second end, the score 1-1; then Judd, captained by the current English Junior Boys' skip, Ben Fowler, upped their game and stretched ahead, finally beating Tonbridge Grammar School 7-3.

It was also a tight game between Weald of Kent and Mascalls but eventually Weald of Kent came through to win 7-5, after having to play an extra end."

Final placings:
1st: Judd - Ben Fowler, Ollie Kendall, Harry Kendall, Miles Partridge, Alexis Parrinder-Nichols.
2nd: Tonbridge Grammar School - Hannah Jackson, Nicole Payne, Sophie Lawson, Sarah Decoine.
3rd: Weald of Kent - George Sparks, Bonnie Marsden, Luisa Madgwick, Lucy Sparks.
4th: Mascalls - Nick Blackman, Dan Garcia, Tony Cookney, Maisy Edwards, Lauren Gill.

The schools entered were Angley, Bennett Memorial, Bethany, Cranbrook, Hayesbrook, Heathfield, Hillview, Judd, Mascalls, Maidstone Grammar, Sevenoaks, Skinners, St Gregory’s, Tonbridge Grammar, Walthamstow Hall, Weald of Kent and Wilmington Grammar.

The top photo is of the winners from Judd School:
BACK: Miles Partridge, Ben Fowler (captain), Oliver Kendall
FRONT: Alexis Parrider-Nicolls, Harry Kendall

Photo courtesy of Ernest Fenton

Judy's Jug

I wrote about the Scottish Wheelchair Curling Association's Shot Maker competition back in October, see here. It was played out over the season and Judy's Jug was duly awarded earlier this month.

Rosemary Lenton sends this report:

"The top twelve final scorers in the new SWCA Shot Maker competition for Judy’s Jug were invited to the final at Kinross Ice Rink on Saturday, March 12. A fascinating series of tests involving six disciplines had brought twelve players covering six ice rinks to the final.

Mike McCreadie was the top scorer in the league with 34 points but he still had to take his chances at the grand final. The Shot Maker 2011 finalists’ scores ranged from 18 to 34.

Again inclement weather prevailed and there were three call offs on the day. The final was a very closely fought contest with two players tying and the tiebreaker rules had to be invoked. The overall winner of the Shot Maker was Aileen Neilson with Mike McCreadie runner up.

A good number of curlers took part in this, the first year of the event, and SWCA is certain the number of entries will increase next year."

In the absence of a photo of Aileen with the trophy, here is a pic of her delivering at the Scottish Wheelchair Curling Championship at Curl Aberdeen recently.

Photo © Skip Cottage

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Men's World Championship

The Ford World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Richardson, starts this Saturday (April 2) in the Brandt Centre at Evraz Place in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Tom Brewster, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow, Duncan Fernie (alternate) and Ron Brewster (coach) are already in Canada, and getting over the jet lag in preparation for the event. Twelve countries will take part: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Korea, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and USA, as well as Scotland.

Whereas Andy Kapp is making his thirteenth World Championship appearance as skip of the German side, it is the first time for Tom Brewster as skip of the Scottish team at a Men's World Championship, although he will know most of the other skips from competing in World and European Tour events over the years.

The Scots have a first round bye and play Sweden in their only game on Saturday. On Sunday they meet Korea and Switzerland. The full draw is here.


Fourth: Jeff Stoughton (Skip)
Third: Jon Mead
Second: Reid Carruthers
Lead: Steve Gould
Alternate: Garth Smith
Team Coach: Norman Gould

Fourth: Luan Chen (Skip)
Third: Guangxu Li
Second: Yansong Ji
Lead: Wenli Guo
Alternate: Dexin Ba
Team Coach: Hongchen Li

Fourth: Jiri Snítil (Skip)
Third: Martin Snítil
Second: Jindrich Kitzberger
Lead: Marek Vydra
Alternate: Jakub Bareš
Team Coach: Ellery Robichaud

Fourth: Tommy Stjerne (Skip)
Third: Per Berg
Second: Peter Andersen
Lead: Anders Søderblom
Alternate: Jan Elgaard Nebelong
Team Coach: Rasmus Stjerne

Fourth: Tony Angiboust
Third: Thomas Dufour (Skip)
Second: Lionel Roux
Lead: Wilfrid Coulot
Alternate/Coach: Jan Henri Ducroz

Fourth: Andreas Kapp (Skip)
Third: Daniel Herberg
Second: Andreas Lang
Lead: Markus Messenzehl
Alternate: Holger Höhne
Team Coach: Martin Beiser

Fourth: Dong Keun Lee (Skip)
Third: Soo Hyuk Kim
Second: Tae Hwan Kim
Lead: Yoon Ho Nam
Alternate: Ye Jun Lee
Team Coach: Doo Sung Lee

Fourth: Thomas Ulsrud (Skip)
Third: Torger Nergård
Second: Christoffer Svae
Lead: Håvard Vad Petersson
Alternate: Markus Snøve Høiberg
Team Coach: Ole Ingvaldsen

Fourth: Tom Brewster (Skip)
Third: Greg Drummond
Second: Scott Andrews
Lead: Michael Goodfellow
Alternate: Duncan Fernie
Team Coach: Ronald Brewster

Fourth: Niklas Edin (Skip)
Third: Sebastian Kraupp
Second: Fredrik Lindberg
Lead: Viktor Kjäll
Alternate: Oskar Eriksson
Team Coach: Peja Lindholm

Fourth: Christof Schwaller (Skip)
Third: Marco Ramstein
Second: Robert Hürlimann
Lead: Urs Eichhorn
Alternate: Sven Michel
Team Coach: Christoph Zysset

Fourth: Pete Fenson (Skip)
Third: Shawn Rojeski
Second: Joe Polo
Lead: Ryan Brunt
Alternate: Scott Baird
Team Coach: Ed Lukowich

The official website for the competition is here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

World Champions - Sweden

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Denmark:

Could Anette Norberg make it three World Women's titles for herself and a first for Cecilia Ostlund, Sara Carlsson and Lotta Lennartsson or would Amber Holland take the title back to Canada for the first time in three years?

The game opened with Sweden with the hammer and Anette Norberg, going for a blank end, hit and stayed in the house. Canada blanked the second and then gave up a steal of one to Sweden when, facing three, Amber Holland's draw was just not good enough.

In the fourth end with her first stone Holland split to lie two. Norberg opted for an attempted raise take-out when there was a possible draw round the guards to the four foot. Her shot failed and Canada's Holland drew for three and Canada were in a one shot lead.

Sweden looked for a pair in the fifth but had to settle for a single to tie the game 3-3 at the break.

In the sixth, Holland should have had a pair but she hit and rolled out. In the seventh Norberg, with only one Canadian stone facing her, hit and stayed in the house and, as in the opening end, failed to make the blank.

Eighth and Sweden lay one but, with no way in to the shot, Holland tried a double raise on her own stones which just failed. It was 5-4 to Canada.

Sweden ties the game up in the ninth when Anette makes a last stone draw under pressure.

The Swedish team hold their nerves. Misses by Canada's Schneider sisters and the Swedes were lying well as Canada failed to clear the guards. Holland faced three shots as she went to deliver Canada's last stone of the final, a draw fully into the four foot. She came up short and it is Anette Norberg's Swedish team which is the Capital One World Women's Champions.

Earlier China had beaten Denmark, after an extra end, for the bronze medals.

The event website, for all the linescores and galleries of action photographs, is here.

The Francis Brodie Sportsmanship Award was presented this year by Helena Lavrsen to Norwegian third Henriette Lovar.

Photos courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown

Scottish Mixed Final

This pic comes from the fourth end of the Scottish Mixed Curling Championship at Curl Aberdeen today. David Edwards (front in the photo above) was trying to steal with lots of stones in play behind a centre guard. It was looking good until his last stone swung too much and slipped past the shot stone. Neil Joss drew for a second and was ahead 3-1 after four.

The linescore is here.

David Edwards, Kerry Barr, Scott Macleod and Louise Wood were defending their title, with Scott new to the team in place of Dillan Perras. They took two at the fifth to tie the scores. Neil with Judith McFarlane, Gary Rutherford and Margaret Richardson were forced to take their single at the sixth, a little fortunate too not to give up a steal.

Down by one in the seventh, Dave had a decision with his final stone. He lay one and, rather than simply drawing for a second, elected to play a split on a short stone hoping to get the three. He played perfect back ring weight but his stone curled and slipped by the short stone and out the house.

A count of just one tied the scores going down the last end, Joss with the hammer. Team Edwards lay two as Neil went to play the last stone of the game. A hit on the nose was required, but it failed to curl enough and rolled away. Edwards had stolen the end, the game, and was Scottish Mixed Champion again. Congratulations to David, Kerry, Scott and Louise.

L-R: Louise Wood, Scott Macleod, David Edwards, Kerry Barr, Scottish Mixed Champions 2011.

Photos © Skip Cottage

Semifinals pics from Aberdeen

Many thanks to Laura Morris, and we now have pics!

That's Neil Joss and Blair Fraser in the first semifinal of the Scottish Mixed Curling Championship at Curl Aberdeen.

Here's the others in Team Joss. Margaret Richardson and Gary Rutherford are ready to sweep Judith McFarlane's stone.

Becca Kesley's stone, Abi Brown and Lindsay Gray the sweepers.

Neil Joss will take his team into the Final.

David Edwards and Alan Smith in the other semifinal.

The others in the Smith team - Gillian Howard delivering, with Nancy Murdoch and David Mundell.

Here's the Edwards front end, Louise Wood and Scott Macleod.

Third Kerry Barr.

David Edwards goes into the final against Joss.

Photos © Skip Cottage

Semis at Aberdeen

Apologies for the lack of images. An 'equipment malfunction' means that I have no photos from the Scottish Mixed today. So you will just have to imagine the scene. We're in the semifinals at Curl Aberdeen.

Neil Joss, Judith McFarlane, Gary Rutherford and Margaret Richardson were tied at halfway against the Blair Fraser team, and could have taken a two shot lead in the fifth. But Neil's raise for a second was just too long, and he had to settle for a single. Blair with Becca Kesley, Lindsay Gray and Abi Brown counted two in the sixth and put the pressure right on Joss in the seventh. He faced four stones when he went to play his last... and put it on the tee.

Tied game then into the eighth, Blair with last stone. He faced two, went for the chap and lie, it drew too much and Team Joss had stolen their way to the final.

Alan Smith, Gillian Howard, David Mundell and Nancy Murdoch fought out a close one against David Edwards, Kerry Barr, Scott Macleod and Louise Wood. David stole a single in the seventh to take a one shot lead coming home, without the hammer.

This game also came down to the last stone. With David lying two in the four foot behind a front stone, Alan needed to cut the button to force the extra. His attempt was just too long and Team Edwards were in the final too.

The linescores are here.

Quarterfinals at Aberdeen

The quarterfinals of the Scottish Mixed Curling Championship at Curl Aberdeen this morning were as follows:

David Edwards, Kerry Barr, Scott Macleod and Louise Wood were against Paul Stevenson, Louise Soutar, Fraser Watt and Rosemary Arkley who had come through a tiebreaker against Glen Muirhead last night, stealing in an extra end, the fifth. Edwards held a one shot lead coming home in the eighth with last stone advantage. He needed just a piece of a partially hidden Stevenson stone for a place in the semi and he was right on target.

Neil Joss, Judith McFarlane, Gary Rutherford and Margaret Richardson played Jay McWilliam, Lauren Gray, Struan Woods and Jennifer Dodds who had also won a tiebreaker against Jim Cullen. The quarters were a step too far for the McWilliam four. Joss always looked the stronger team and when they took a big six in the sixth it was all over early.

Colin Hamilton, Susan Kesley, Ian Keron and Catherine Dodds faced off against Alan Smith, Gillian Howard, David Mundell and Nancy Murdoch. Alan's team were in command this morning and it finished after seven, Team Smith 7-3 ahead.

Blair Fraser, Becca Kesley, Lindsay Gray and Abi Brown matched up against Ewan MacDonald, Kim Brewster, Euan Byers and Karen Strang. This was a close match for five ends. Then Ewan was just too long with his final draw in the sixth, gave up four against the head, and it was all over bar the shouting.

The quarterfinal linescores are here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

International Curlers Gathering

Christine Stewart sends this report from Murrayfield:

"So you thought is was all happening in Denmark, twelve women’s teams from all over the world playing in an International Event?

Meanwhile the big one was happening at Murrayfield Curling Rink this weekend. This international event attracted twenty-eight teams, some from Scotland, eleven from all over Europe and one from Canada. Yes it was the Seventh International Curlers Gathering.

The teams were interesting, you wouldn’t recognise many country or club names, for example where on earth did Team Yoda come from? Cocktail International had probably arrived straight from the bar, the Corriefisters was a bit of a giveaway, The Queens looked as good as the name sounds, a bit worried though about the Barbarians.

Anyway everyone was having lots of fun, the twenty-eight teams divided into seven sections of four, play three games in the section, then place each team on results, next all the first placed teams set out to play each other, same for the second, third and fourth placed teams, another three games in each group, so everyone is still there at the end for the prize giving.

And all those games over three days could explain why some teams featured more than four players, one listed 15! One team even boasted the President of the European Curling Federation, Andrew Ferguson-Smith!

You can find all the information, scores etc at the event website, here."

Top photo is all those who ended up in the fourth division in the second half of the competition. Above: Andrew Ferguson-Smith. Photos courtesy of Hugh Stewart.

More from Aberdeen

Here are some more photos from the Scottish Mixed at Curl Aberdeen today. Young Hamilton was on one sheet. That's Murray Young, Jo Fletcher, Ian Young and Lorraine Grieve against Colin Hamilton's side.

Colin has Susan Kesley, Ian Keron and Catherine Dodds.

Michael Yuille gives a blessing to his team...

... and here they are. Delphine How is delivering with Lyn Black and Donald Forbes ready to sweep.

Neil Joss and Glen Muirhead

Here's Glen

Playing with Glen is Lynn Cameron and Colin Campbell. "I bet I can keep a straight face longer than you!"

Michelle Silvera is the other member of Glen's team.

Here's another of Colin 'still pretending to be serious' Campbell.

Here's a mother and daughter competing against each other. Louise Wood is delivering her stone, and in the background is her mum Barbara.

Barbara took a nasty fall this afternoon, and has asked that I thank all those who helped her.

Barbara was playing for Mike Dick (above) with Michael Wood and Alison Dick.

Here's Karen Strang, playing with Ewan MacDonald, Euan Byers, and Kim Brewster.

Here's Ewan.

Here's another of Team Joss. And congratulations to those who guessed that it was Margaret Richardson was the other pair of legs!

Phew! Thank goodness the sweeper's broom got in the way in this shot of Judith!

Greig Henderson has eschewed the pink trousers from his spell as Scottish Coach at the World Juniors at Perth, and he's back to normal attire playing for John Penny, with Claire Milne and Kate Henderson.

So where have the pink pants gone. Well it would seem the girls have stolen them!

That's Hannah Fleming and Alice Spence looking after Billy Morton's stone. Colin Dick's team.

Becca Kesley and Blair Fraser. "You know Becca, your mum can still throw a mean takeout!" Becca and Blair were playing with Abi Brown and Lindsay Gray.

Adrian White. Adrian's team was Jill Macdonald, Craig Johnston and Linda Ruxton.

Ian Copland was playing with Grant Hardie, Mhairi Baird and Rowena Kerr.

Good to see Nancy Murdoch on the ice again. She is playing for Alan Smith with Gillian Howard and David Mundell.

Steven Eddie delivering, Andrew Dolman and Sarah Anderson sweeping. Lianne McGregor is in the head.

You can find all the results here, and also who has qualified for tomorrow's playoffs.

Photos © Skip Cottage. Let me know if I've got names wrong.

WWCC: Semifinal

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Denmark:

"Sadly this was not the exciting match as the Page 3 v 4 game this morning and only really came to life in the tenth end.

With the hammer China opened the brighter and better team and Bingyu Wang collected two shots with Canada then blanking the second. Canada's Amber Holland hit for a single in the third and with Canada lying behind a guard Wang tried the raise take-out but left Canada in the house to steal the shot and it's 2-2 after four.

In the fifth end misses by China leaves Wang facing a pair with her last stone draw which slides too long and it is 4-2 to Canada at the break.

Sixth end and Wang draws for her one shot and in the seventh Canada again takes control with a further two shots with Holland dropping her last stone draw on the tee. Eighth is blanked.

China is buried in the house in the ninth. Holland cannot see the shot nor can she see a line to draw into the four foot. Option, like this morning, was to use an outside stone but she throws it wide, gets totally the wrong contact and Wang draws for two. The game is alive at last.

Tenth and with stones out front Canada makes a full-time job of keeping it clear. Wang, with her final stone, draws round the Canadian stone in the house to lie shot. But Holland was up to it and threw a controlled weight raise to win 8-5, and advances to the final to play Sweden tomorrow afternoon whilst China will now play Denmark for the bronze medal in the morning."

The official website is here, and all Mike Haggerty's reports can be found on the Royal Club website here.

WWCC: Page 3-4

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from the Capital One World Women's Curling Championship in Denmark:

"For the Page 3 v 4 game everyone was again entertained to a wonderful game of curling between Canada and Denmark which went down to the last stone of an extra end.

With Denmark holding the hammer at the opening end it was skip Lene Nielsen who made good use of that last stone to hit for one. Second end and Amber Holland (photo above) played the same shot for two. Third and Nielsen balanced the books with a hit for two and in the fourth out came the famous Holland draw against two Danish stones hidden behind guards to tie the game 3-3.

The first steal of the game went to Canada who took the lead at halfway, 4-3. Sixth and a rare mistake by Holland allowed Nielsen to draw for two. Canada blanked the seventh to keep the last stone in the eighth and used this purposefully in tapping back for a pair.

Ninth and the tension is mounting. Canada lie behind a long guard. Nielsen opts to throw the inturn from wide ice round the guard and hopefully tap back the Canadian shot for two. With most of the home crowd now on their feet she plays perfect weight for the ice taken and the shot is perfect! Denmark leads by one shot 7-6 into the tenth end.

Looking at last stone Holland sees two Danish stones lying against her. Canada has no guards of their own colour (yellow) to help and there is no draw to the four foot to win the game. Holland decides to use a Danish guard and try to raise it on to a Canadian stone in front of the Danish first counter and raise that on to the shot rock for one and into the extra end. It works!

Extra end and Canada lie shot guarded behind a mountain of granite. With no way into the centre for a draw Nielsen is forced to try an outwick raise of some twelve feet at about seventy degrees. She soled the stone on the brush and sweeping started almost immediately. The stone was just too thick on the target stone which passed the outside of the shot leaving Canada game.

The Canadians progress to the semifinal this afternoon where they will play China. Denmark will return to the ice tomorrow morning for the bronze medal game against the loser of the semifinal."

Final score: Canada 10 Denmark 7.

The official website is here, and all Mike Haggerty's reports can be found on the Royal Club website here.

Lene Nielsen

Photos courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown

Scottish Mixed Championship Saturday

Right, I've made it to Curl Aberdeen to enjoy the colourful and exciting spectacle that is the Scottish Mixed Curling Championship. You can find all the results here.

Did I say colourful? Well, Graeme Black (with Cathryn Guthrie, Colin Morrison and Jennifer Morrison) was against Adrian White (with Jill Macdonald, Craig Johnston and Linda Ruxton).

Last years winners are back. David Edwards, Louise Wood, Kerry Barr and new to the team Scott Macleod - that's Scott's trousers in the pic.

Now, which young curlers do you think would be having an adventure with these Loudmouth skirts?

Yes, it is indeed RCCC Development Manager Judith McFarlane. Can you guess who the other is? (Answer later).

Judith is playing in the Neil Joss team, here against the family team of Ruaraidh Whyte, Maggie Wilson-Whyte (adopted for the weekend), Ross Whyte and Naomi Whyte.

Here's Ross, the youngest on the ice. I'll seek out the oldest later!

Helen King's team was against Jay McWilliam this morning. That's Lauren Gray wearing what looks like my granny's curtains in the back, but they are definitely my favourite of all the colourful pants (Lauren made me say that). Struan Wood and Jennifer Dodds are the others in Jay's team. Helen is playing with Brian King, Hazel Smith and John Tait.

More to come later today!

Photos © Skip Cottage