Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Invergordon Success

On my travels to Inverness last week, it was great to run into Robin Wilson, curling reporter, and a steadfast contributor to the Scottish Curler during my tenure as editor. Robin continues to write about the sport for the local papers. He was telling me of the recent on-ice success of another friend, Allan MacLennan, ex Reform CC member and former Scottish Senior Champion. Last time I saw Allan, he was sidelined with a back injury, and wondering if he would ever be back on the ice. Robin writes:

"Invergordon Academy Curling Club, the infant club of the Ross and Cromarty Province, won its first Province A League Championship last week when they completed an eight game winning run to give them an unmatchable sixteen points with one round of matches still to play.

Invergordon could not have picked a better platform to celebrate clinching their momentous first title, a key fixture against the rink just below them in the table, the Province's most successful league club and skip since the Alan Moore Trophy was first played for in season 1963/64, Belmaduthy's Peter Fraser. Under the guidance of Allan MacLennan, the instrumentalist in getting Invergordon Academy pupils into curling and eventually forming a club in 2003 to join the Ross-shire Province and affiliation to the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, Invergordon became the first Ross-Shire club to deprive the Belmaduthy Club of holding the Allan Moore Trophy since Caberfeidh CC won in season 1997/98.

Invergordon served notice of their goal for this season's championship as early as last October when in the second round they beat the reigning champion, Iain Fraser. The win arrived during a period when skip Allan MacLennan was easing himself back into play after injury, taking the lead stones and the rink was skipped by Nigel Murray from Sutherland's Rogart club.

Before returning completely to the skips' stones there was a period he played lead and then went into the head to skip and that was the formation of play last week when with his two other regular curlers, Brian Batchen and George MacWilliam, they faced their final daunting challenge against Peter Fraser. MacLennan had the championship confirmed with a 10-7 win."

Top L-R: Nigel Murray (3rd), Allan MacLennan (skip), George MacWilliam (lead) and Brian Batchen (2nd). Photo © Robin Wilson.