Saturday, March 31, 2012

World Men's: Game 2 v Norway

Scotland beat Norway in their second round game at the World Men's Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland, this evening. After fighting back from the loss of a big end early in the game, Team Brewster was tied 6-6 in the ninth, with the hammer. With lots of shots in play, Thomas Ulsrud was too heavy with his first, and could not get hidden with his last. This left Tom a hit to count five, and the game was over.

The scores, standings, and shotmaking percentages are here. Mike Haggerty's reports are on the Royal Club website here. Our own Richard Gray is the World Curling Federation's photographer at the event. See his photos here.

Photo of Tom Brewster is © Leslie Ingram-Brown

World Men's: Game 1 v New Zealand

Tom Brewster, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and Michael Goodfellow defeated Pete de Boer's New Zealand side of Sean Becker, Scott Becker and Kenny Thomson in their first round game at the World Men's Curling Championship in Basel today. The Scots were two up without in the tenth. When Tom cleared Pete's nearly frozen first stone, the game was Scotland's.

Find all the results here. Mike Haggerty's reports will be on the Royal Club website.

It was interesting to listen to Kenny Edwards and David Murdoch (!) commentating on the USA - Germany game on the Eurosport Player. That's when the feed wasn't stuttering, or throwing up error messages. Then it was good to be able to follow the play-by-play on the CurlIT site, here.

Here is the New Zealand team. L-R: Pete de Boer, Sean Becker, Scott Becker, Kenny Thomson and Phil Dowling. Photo © Leslie Ingram-Brown.

World Championship Results

I note that my old friends at CurlIT are providing the results for the World Men's Championship in Basel. Find the results here, or mirrored here.

There's a live 'shot-by-shot' of the games, in diagrams, on the CurlIT site too, if your frustrations with Eurosport/Eurosport Player get too much!

The draw remains here.

Eve Wins Sports Personality Award

Eve Muirhead has won the Sports Personality of the Year award at the Perth and Kinross Sports Awards dinner. The award was presented at the Salutation Hotel by Alison Lowson, editor of the Perthshire Advertiser which sponsors the award. The story is here.

Photo of Eve from the Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish Championship final is © Skip Cottage.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Olympic Points

The final ranking of teams at last week's Ford World Women's Championship go to deciding which nations will be in the Olympic curling event at Sochi, Russia, in 2014. The same applies to the World Men's competition in Basel which is about to get underway. Nine countries, plus the host nation, will take part in the Olympic curling event. Seven countries with the highest points at the world events in 2012 and 2013 will get an automatic pass to Sochi, together with Russia. Note that this is a change from the last Olympic cycle where it was the points over three years which decided who would play. There is a twist to this, so read on!

Here are the Olympic points awarded at Lethbridge: Switzerland 14, Sweden 12, Canada 10, Korea 9, USA 8, Scotland 7, Germany 6, Denmark 5, Russia 4, Italy 3, China 2, Czech Republic 1.

Russia, as host, has guaranteed qualification. Great Britain’s qualification points are gained by Scotland at World Championships.

So, the top teams over two world championships will be competing in Sochi. However, the World Curling Federation has come up with a very clever idea, which will ensure that every country that makes it to world championships still has an interest and involvement in the Olympic race, even if they don't do very well. An additional two nations will have the chance to win their ticket to Sochi at a new World Curling Federation Olympic Qualifying Event to be held in December 2013. Every nation which competed at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Championships will be eligible to compete in this event if they have not already secured their spot at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. So, even if a country only appeared in one world championship over the three years, and finished bottom of the ranking, their Olympic hopes are kept alive.

Note that secure Olympic qualifying points can only be gained this year and next. But last year's world participation comes into play in securing a place in the Qualifying Event.

Now, I must admit, that the significance of this had passed me by until I read the article by Larry Wood, in the EyeOpener, Issue 8, March 24, 2012, from the Ford World's at Lethbridge. Larry interviewed the WCF's Keith Wendorf about the qualifying tournament innovation. Keith is quoted as saying, “What this does is it keeps the dream alive and, maybe, it keeps the funding alive. I mean, everybody here can go back to their funding arm, whether it be their national Olympic association or curling association, and say, ‘Listen, we’ve already qualified for this tournament, there should be some funding available. Up to early December (11-15), 2013, we still have a chance to get to the Olympics’. This could mean more funding for training or for national curling programs. Without the tournament idea, if we just cut it down to the pointgetters from the 2012 and 2013 Worlds, a lot less widespread interest would be generated and a lot of lesser programs could slide and maybe even die.”

Good idea? Absolutely.

There's no indication yet as to where the Qualifying Event will be held. I presume the men's competition and the women's event will be played alongside each other. Wendorf indicates that he hopes to receive bids from countries who find themselves in the qualifying competition, but which countries this will be, or how many, will not be known until after next year's world championships are over.

What does this mean for GB and Scotland? Hopefully, nothing. The Eve Muirhead team came through a bad patch at Lethbridge and finished strongly to be in sixth place to pick up seven Olympic points. The same, or better, result for Scotland's representatives next year in Riga, should ensure that GB women will be in Sochi.

Next week, Tom Brewster's side may well be hoping to do even better than their runners-up place at last season's Worlds in Regina. But, it is this year in Basel that the men are looking for the Olympic points necessary to secure a place for a GB team in Sochi.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

On the ice this weekend

The final national title of the season will be decided this weekend at Curl Aberdeen. Twenty-two teams play in the Scottish Mixed Championship. The draw, team list and results can be found here. The winners will represent Scotland at the European Mixed Championship in Erzurum, Turkey, early next season.

The Dumfries Ice Bowl hosts the Junior International, with thirty-two teams, including visitors from Poland, Norway, Denmark and Holland. The event has a new website here, and this will have a results service.

The two Stranraer teams which won the Royal Club's Junior Challenge (see here) are on their way to Stockholm today to compete in the Bill Ross Trophy. There was just £600 prize money for winning at Murrayfield, and this just provides a start to the fundraising necessary for the trip. The Swedish experience has been made possible by the generosity of parents, grandparents and the Stranraer Ice Rink CC to make up the shortfall. The link with the Bill Ross competition at the Sundbyberg Curling Club is a longstanding one, and over the years many Scottish juniors have had their first taste of travelling abroad to curl in this competition.

The twenty-first Rotary World Curling Championships take place next week (April 1-6) in Maryland at the USA National Capital Curling Centre, the Potomac Curling Club, see here. Rotary Club teams from Ayr, Inverness, Perth, Leith and Aberdeen St Fittick are taking part. The last of these is set to host the next such Rotary Championships at Curl Aberdeen in 2014 and so John Bremner, George Esson, Tim Stevenson, Ronnie Caird and Ken Irons are going out to play and also to assess the requirements for two years time.

And of course I've already mentioned the World Men's Championship, and the World Lefthanders Championship!

Did I say that things were running down as we get to the end of the season?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Heading for Basel

Tom Brewster, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow, and alternate David Edwards, fly out to Switzerland today to compete in the World Men's Curling Championship in Basel. Aside from Scotland, the lineup includes Switzerland, Canada, China, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany, France and USA. The Scots' first games are on Saturday, against Pete de Boer's New Zealand side, and also Thomas Ulsrud's Norwegians.

There's a preview of the event here.

The event website for the draw and results is here. The teams are all shown here. The schedule for television and webcasts is here.

GB Gold at World Transplant Games

Two GB teams competed in the curling competition at the World Transplant Games in Anzere, Switzerland, alongside two teams from France, one from Germany and one from Switzerland. The team skipped by Mark Brown, with George Lebon, David Lilley and Mike Hanking-Evans captured the gold medals, and Jo Matthews, Edward Dodd, Simon Rendersan and Musa Ncube won bronze.

I don't have much more information on this, but it seems to me very worthy of a mention today! Congratulations are certainly in order. There's a story and photo of the medallists here.

WCF rules applied, except that the games were five ends.

The World Transplant Games Federation exists to visibly demonstrate the benefits of successful organ transplantation, work to increase public awareness of its success and thereby increase organ donation rates, as well as promote the full rehabilitation and wellbeing of participants.

The Anzere event website is here.

(Thanks to blogally Glenda Barrowman for the heads up on this.)

A Long Serving Secretary

I was rather taken with this wee curling stone, a presentation made to the retiring secretary of Argyll Province, Jimmy Brown.

Jimmy has been in the job for thirty years! On Saturday, after speeches by Douglas Currie and Royal Club President Pat Edington, he was declared to be an Honorary and Honourable Member of the Province, and was presented with the wooden curling stone adorned with the badges of those Province clubs which were obtainable. What a splendid idea!

Jimmy plans to retire when a suitable volunteer can be found!

Top: The wee stone, made by Sandy Morton. Above L-R: Sandy Morton, Jimmy Brown and Pat Edington. Photos courtesy of Sandy Morton.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

End of the Season at Forfar

Forfar Indoor Sports ran a very successful Top Ten competition on Sunday last, with ten clubs from Area 9 participating. Mike Ferguson reports, "The format of rinks, triples, pairs and hotshots worked really well combining to make fast, energy packed competition lasting all day (and into the night). A special mention needs to go to Banchory CC for making the trip down from North Eastern province, hopefully more will make the effort next year. All in a really great end of season atmosphere with super curling and loads of social activity. Well done to all the teams who passed on the brilliant spring sunshine to support the competition."

The competition was won by Evenie Water CC, with Dundee CC second, and Forfar CC third. Photos are here.

I was interested to see that Forfar is hosting an Ice World 'Dancing on Ice' extravaganza on April 7 on the four-sheet rink with staged seating on the ice, and VIP tables in the lounge. There will be a curling demonstration as a warm up to the main skating event. With around 400 tickets sold, the hope is that the demonstration might attract new curling recruits.

Corriefisters World Championship

The 39th Men’s and the 33rd Ladies' World Lefthanders Championships will take place from March 29 to April 1, 2012, at the Oakville Curling Club, which is about twenty-five miles west of Toronto.

David Edwards explains, "There are usually around 44 men’s rinks and 16 ladies rinks competing for the championship. These teams are from USA, Canada and Scotland. Scotland will again be represented by David Edwards (Merchiston & Corstorphine curling clubs), Ian Parkinson (Heart of the Highlands CC), and Ian Mackay (Dornoch) and newcomer Wilson Mitchell (Carnell CC). Ian Mackay’s wife Maureen will also be playing in the ladies' section with three other Canadians.

All players must deliver the stone with their left hand. Over the years there have been I think two 'righties' who have played using the left hand. All handshakes are given with the left hand and there can often be penalties such as payment for a round of drinks for forgetting this.

Canadian participants travel from places as far afield as Winnipeg, Nova Scotia and Quebec and Americans from Boston, Chicago and Detroit. One of the recent US tour members, Paul Badgero, plays in this competition.

David Aitken was the first Scot to take part at a time some years ago when he was working in the USA. During the 2002 US tour of Scotland I played against Sam Williams from Broomstones Curling Club, Boston, who suggested that I come over to the 'Lefties'. I was able to enter as an individual and skipped a rink of three Canadian lefties. The following year and each year subsequently a Scottish 'Corriefisters' rink has gone to Oakville to participate."

This will be David’s eleventh appearance in the World Championship. Ian Parkinson will be making his tenth appearance in 2012.

The Royal Caledonian Curling Club, in its wisdom, does not recognise this World Championship 'because there are no playdowns to establish which team should represent Scotland'. David Edwards’ response is that he has been unable to find another lefthanded rink to challenge him!

In 2011 the Corriefisters achieved their highest ranking of twelth out of forty-four men’s rinks.

It all sounds great fun! Hopefully David Edwards (Corriefisters) and his namesake David Edwards (alternate in the Tom Brewster rink) will have success in their respective championships in the days ahead.

The Oakville CC website is here.

Photo of David Edwards is courtesy of himself.

Monday, March 26, 2012

All Blacks at Greenacres

With the Ford World Women's Championship now behind us, next up is the Word Men's which gets underway in Basel, Switzerland, on Saturday.

One team has been travelling for a while already and the 'All Blacks' were in Scotland at the weekend, getting in some ice time. That's the New Zealand squad above. L-R: Peter Becker, Peter de Boer (skip), Sean Becker, Scott Becker, Kenny Thomson and Phil Dowling.

As Pete de Boer and Kenny Thomson are Scottish expats, we wish them well in Basel!

Photo courtesy of Hugh Stewart.

Well done, Carolyn Morris

I mentioned that former Scottish Senior Champion Carolyn Morris was in the final of the Canadian Seniors Championship, see here. Well, she's now Canadian Champ too, as third in the Cathy King team, representing Alberta, with second Lesley McEwan and lead Doreen Gares.

Read the story here.

World Women: The Final

Switzerland's Mirjam Ott (skip), Carmen Schaefer, Carmen Kung and Janine Greiner (L-R above) won the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta, yesterday, defeating Sweden's Maria Prytz (fourth), Christina Bertrup, Maria Wennerstroem and Margaretha Sigfridsson (lead and skip) in the final.

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports that it was a super final, with Prytz playing a magnificent last stone hit through a long port for a pair and a 6-5 lead in the ninth, and Ott making a fantastic angled tap for two in the tenth for the win.

Canada won the bronze medal game against Korea.

The linescores are here. The game reports are here and here. And you can watch all the final here. Or just the highlights here.

Scotland's Eve Muirhead received the World Curling Federation Frances Brodie Award, voted by the players at the event to the curler 'who best exhibits sportsmanship and ability'.

Royal Club Ladies' Branch President Claire McLaren presents the Frances Brodie trophy to Eve.

Photos © Leslie Ingram-Bown.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

World Women: The Semifinal

Switzerland beat Korea in the semifinal at the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta, and now will meet Sweden in the final.

Korea will face a rematch against Canada for the bronze medals.

The linescore is here. The game report is here. And you can watch it all here.

Top: Ji-Sun Kim directs her sweepers as Carmen Schaefer and Mirjam Ott watch behind. Photo © Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

World Women: Page 3-4

Korea beat Canada in the Page 3-4 game at the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta, and now will meet Switzerland in the semifinal. One down with hammer in the tenth, Korean skip Ji-Sun Kim lay one with her last to play. She confidently promoted another of her own stones two feet to count two and win 4-3. Exciting to watch!

Canada will contest a bronze medal game with the losing semifinalist.

The linescore is here. And there's a full report here.

You can watch the TSN broadcast of the whole game here. Or just jump to the tenth end. The Korean coach, Min-Suk Choi, knows his stuff. Neither Bob Kelly on the Eurosport commentary, or Russ Howard, for TSN, had picked up on his suggested play for Korea's third Seul-Bee Lee, a stone which turned the end. Great stuff!

Top: Ji-Sun Kim follows her stone which is being swept by Seul-Bee Lee and Un-Chi Gim. Above: Ji-Sun Kim. Photos © Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Airleywight 8-Ender

Airleywight CC has three new junior members this year and they decided to enter the Tummel League (Atholl Province) to give them experience and more club game time. Robin Brydone skipped some games with successful results, alongside Callum Kinnear, Andrew Brown and a responsible adult.

Fast forward to the last league session of the season and Airleywight will have won the league if they win the game. The season plan was to give twelve year old Callum his first taste of skipping the team in that game and the decision was made to keep to that plan.

As can be seen from the scoreboard the young lads plus Derek Bridie were holding their own against the older heads (names deleted to save embarrassment) until the sixth end. Andrew and Derek had put stones in the house. The opposition second put one into the centre but there was a narrow port to get it out but it needed a hack-weight inturn to slide narrowly past a centre guard and tap it out. Robin at third did this perfectly. The opposition skip played his last stone to try and freeze onto the stone at the back of the two foot (as the tee is at Perth). His weight was good but the stone stayed out slightly. Callum had a barrier weight inturn to come slightly across the front of the stone to get it out and not move any of his and he played it perfectly!

Handshakes were offered by the opposition who were gracious in their praise.

For the record, the team was Callum Kinnear (skip), Robin Brydone (third), Derek Brydie (second) and Andrew Brown (lead). Ages? 12, 15, over 21, and 13 respectively. That's them above, L-R. The stone placement is in the photo below.

Thanks to a proud father, Tom Brydone, for the story, and to Dave Brown, equally proud, for the photos.

World Women: Page 1-2

Sweden is through to the final of the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta, after defeating Switzerland in the Page 1-2 game, in an extra end.

The Swiss now wait to meet the winners of the Page 3-4 game between Korea and Canada, the latter having beaten the USA in a tiebreaker. The winners of that semifinal will face Sweden in Sunday's final.

All the results are here, and the WCF reports are here and here. Video highlights of the Page 1-2 are here.

You can watch the full USA-Can tiebreaker here, and the full Page 1-2 game here.

Photo © Leslie Ingram-Brown

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cheering for Carolyn

It was in 2007 that Carolyn Morris won her fourth Scottish Senior Championship title with her team of Margaret Robertson, Trudie Milne and Linda Lesperance. Carolyn already had won world gold (in 2005) and silver (in 2003) as skip of Scottish teams. It was Scottish curling's loss when she relocated back to Canada.

Gone, but not forgotten. Many who remember Carolyn will already know that she's competing for Alberta this week, as third in the Cathy King team, in the Canadian Senior Championship in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Twelve men’s and twelve women’s teams have competed in the national championships this week, the first place teams advancing directly to Sunday’s finals with the second and third place teams meeting in semifinals on Saturday. The event website is here.

Alberta is already through to the women's final. I'm cheering for Carolyn, who, you may know, is Scottish Champion Tom Brewster's mother-in-law!

Note though, were Carolyn and her team to win, they would not be in Taarnby next month for the worlds. The winners of the 2012 Canadian Seniors represent Canada at the 2013 World Seniors, at a site and date to be announced.

Photo (from 2007) © Skip Cottage

World Women: Day 6 v Italy and Canada

Scotland defeated both Italy and Canada in yesterday's games at the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton finished the round robin in sixth place in the rankings, on six wins and five losses, and not involved in the playoff stages.

The Page 1 v 2 game is Sweden v Switzerland. In the Page 3 v 4 game Korea will meet the winner of a tiebreaker between the USA and Canada.

All the results are here, and Mike Haggerty has his reports on the Scottish games, with quotes from the Scottish skip, on the Royal Club website here. The WCF Day Roundup is here.

Top: Canada's Heather Nedohin, with Anna and Eve behind. Photos © Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Geising Bound

When Murrayfield hosted the International Junior Curling Club Bonspiel last season, the organisers made a profit, thanks to all the financial support the competition garnered from sponsors, clubs and individuals. This legacy has allowed two teams from Murrayfield to travel to this year's competition in Geising, Germany. A girls' team (Karina Aitken, Sophie Sinclair, Laura Barr and Hannah Findlay) and a boys' team (David Baird, James Baird, Gavin Barr and Callum McLean) fly out tomorrow.

There's another Scottish team in the draw from Ayr - Aileen Rennie, Shaun Rennie, Andrew Maitland and Robert Alner.

There's two English teams among the sixteen in the event, skipped by Ben Fowler and Lucy Sparks.

What a great opportunity for these young curlers to play in this fun and friendly event which began in 2003 with the
aim of bringing together junior club curlers from across the globe to compete and socialise together.

The competition website is here, where you can also find photos from last year.

World Women: Day 5 v China and Sweden

Scotland beat China at an extra end, but then lost to Sweden at the last stone, in yesterday's games at the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton still have Italy and Canada to play, but with four wins and five losses have only the slimmest of chances of reaching a tiebreaker even if they were to win both of these games. Standings after 14 sessions: Canada, Korea, Sweden 7-2; Switzerland 6-3; Denmark, USA 5-4; Russia, Scotland 4-5; Germany 3-6; China, Czech Republic, Italy 2-7.

All the results are here, and Mike Haggerty has his reports on the Scottish games on the Royal Club website here. The WCF Day Roundup is here.

Photo of Anna Sloan © Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wheels Update

One of the great characters of our sport, Judy Mackenzie (above), has stood down from the committee of the Scottish Wheelchair Curling Association. Judy chaired her last AGM during the Scottish Championship at Curl Aberdeen last weekend. She has been involved with wheelchair curling for ten years and her commitment and enthusiasm was recognised by a specially commissioned award, which was presented by Sheila Swan on behalf of all SWCA members.

Judy has been succeeded in the chair of SWCA by Freddie Cumming of Stirling WCC.

As reported already (here), the championship was won by the Gregor Ewan team. That's them above (L-R) Jim Gault, Jackie Cayton, Gregor Ewan (skip) and Mike McKenzie. There's a full report here.

Mary Bell (on the left) from the Lockerbie wheelchair curling club received the Sportsmanship Award, as voted by the players, from Rosemary Lenton.

What's this above? Could a little bit of colour be creeping its way into wheelchair curling. Well done to the Angie Malone team!

Photos are courtesy of Isobel Cowan. Thanks to Margaret Cathcart for the information.

World Women: Day 4 v Switzerland and Czech Republic

Scotland lost to Switzerland then beat the Czech Republic in yesterday's games at the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Scotland now has a record of three wins and four losses, with four games still to play in the round robin, against China, Sweden, Italy and Canada.

All the results are here, and Mike Haggerty has his reports on the Scottish games on the Royal Club website here.

For the armchair fan, you can watch full games involving Canada on video-on-demand on TSN here.

The event daily newsletter, the Eyeopener, can be downloaded from this page.

Listen to an interview with Eve Muirhead on Dean Gemmell's The Curling Show here, taped before the Worlds got underway.

Top photo is of Eve Muirhead.

Claire Hamilton delivers with Anna Sloan and Vicki Adams ready to sweep.

Anna Sloan is in the head with Kamila Mosova and Linda Klimova behind, in the game against the Czech Republic.

Photos © Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

World Women: Day 3 v Korea and USA

Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton lost to both Korea and the USA at the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge yesterday.

All the results are here, and Mike Haggerty has his reports on the Scottish games on the Royal Club website here. The WCF Day reviews are here and here. Check out Michael Burns' photographs here.

Top: Korean skip Ji-Sun Kim. Above: Eve Muirhead delivers. Photos © Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend Catchup

Congratulations to Gregor Ewan, Jim Gault, Mike McKenzie and Jackie Cayton who won the Scottish Wheelchair Curling Championship at Curl Aberdeen yesterday, beating Aileen Neilson, Michael McCreadie, Mo Simpson and Seamus McCardle in the final. The linescores are all here.

George Heriot's won the Scottish Schools Championship at Murrayfield. Well done to Bruce Mouat and his team of Rowena Kerr, Daneel Miney, Andrew McGowan and Rachel Dakers. Arbroath High's Robert Fawns, Thomas Halder, Craig Cameron and Ben Bremner were the runners-up. Find all the results here, and Colin Hamilton's report here.

World Women: Day 2 v Germany and Denmark

Scotland lost to Germany and then beat Denmark at the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge yesterday.

All the results are here, and Mike Haggerty has his reports on the Scottish games on the Royal Club website here. The WCF Day reviews are here and here. Check out Michael Burns' photographs here.

In the absence of Andrea Schoepp through injury, Germany is skipped by Melanie Robillard, and last stones are played by Imogen Lehmann (above). Photo © Leslie Ingram-Brown.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Scottish Pairs Championship

Congratulations to Ayr's Neil Kennedy and Richard Goldie who won the Scottish Pairs title today beating Frazer Erskine and Andrew Campbell (Harvies) in the final.

L-R: Richard Goldie, Neil Kennedy, David Henderson (RCCC), Janet McMillan (presenting), Frazer Erskine, Andrew Campbell.

Photo courtesy of Gail Munro.

World Women: Day 1 v Russia

Scotland beat Russia in the opening round of the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge yesterday.

All the results are here, and Mike Haggerty has his report on the Scottish game on the Royal Club website here. The WCF Day 1 review is here. Check out Michael Burns' photographs here.

The CCA-supported event daily newspaper, the Eyeopener, can be downloaded here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

World Women: Scotland's Alternate

Kelly Wood (above) is Scotland's alternate at the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Alberta, which begins today. Kelly practised with Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton yesterday.

Kelly's been resident in Canada for eighteen months or so, and, let's face it, she was a controversial call as Scotland's fifth player. Whatever the rights and wrongs of it - and who knows what goes on in the collective minds of our sport's performance director and national coaches - I personally think it's great to see Kelly back wearing Scottish colours.

Kelly's job will be to support the team in every way possible. Her 'local knowledge' may well prove useful. In late night sessions at the Enmax arena she will be helping team coach Gordon Muirhead match stones. She will warm up with the team, and join them in pre-game practices. She's unlikely to be used as any sort of 'tactical substitute', as Eve's four are a well established team, with, of course, a European Championship title to their credit already this season. The test will come should illness or accident affect any of the four. Vicki has already been warned to take extra care around stairs! (She missed the final games at the World Juniors after a fall some four years back.) It can happen. Let's hope it doesn't.

First game is against Russia. Look for the results here. To see when Scotland features on Eurosport or the Eurosport Player go here.

Coach Gordon Muirhead with Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Claire Hamilton and Kelly Wood.

Photos © Leslie Ingram-Brown

Scottish Schools Championship

I spent a very pleasant day yesterday at the Murrayfield rink, watching the first day's play in the Scottish Schools Championship. Fifty-four teams, representing some forty-four different schools, started out in the competition. Colin Hamilton, the Royal Club's competitions' manager, confirms that's an increase over last year's entry, an encouraging statistic. After local playdowns, twenty-four of them are competing at Murrayfield in four sections. You can follow all the results here.

I've tried with a few photos to give a flavour of the championship. Top photo is of the Stranraer Academy team in action, from left, Scott Wilson, Euan Kyle and Bobby Lammie.

Ross Whyte skips the Wallace Hall Academy team.

Beth Dandie and Hayley Duff, Forfar Academy.

That's Zak Stewart, skip of the St Joseph's College team, in front, with Stewart's Melville Ross Kwok and Andrew Johnston behind.

Zak's front end - Darcy Howat and Natalie Doidge.

Perth Academy in action. Callum Kinnear and Mili Smith are on Cammy Smith's stone.

Here's another of Cammy.

Mhairi Paul, in front, is skip of Lockerbie Academy, here with Naomi Brown, skipping the Mary Erskine team.

Here's Mhairi again.

And here's the rest of Naomi's team. Karina Aitken is delivering. Sarah Morris and Kirstin Munro are the sweepers.

Here's Naomi's delivery.

Robin Brydone, skip, Perth High.

Strathaven Academy's Katie Scott and Lucy Fleming on Luke Carson's stone.

Here's Luke.

Lockerbie v Wallace Hall. Lynn Paul is in charge of the head for Lockerbie, with Heather Morton and Ross Whyte behind. Trevor Dodds, at back, is chief umpire for the event.

Jayne Stirling is skip of the Dollar Academy team.

Fraser Kingan (Dumfries Academy) and Bruce Mouat (George Heriot's).

Cameron Bryce, skip of Kelso High, with Garnock Academy's Peter Dagen and George McConnell behind.

Two thirds. Karina Aitken and Lynn Paul.

Fiona Spain (Kinross High) and Ross Whyte (Wallace Hall). Caption time?

How about, "Here's looking at you, kid!" (See here)

Here are the other members of the Kinross High team. Alison Wood has delivered the stone, and Finlay Campbell and Linzi Sim are ready to sweep.

Ben Bremner and Craig Cameron on Robert Fawns' stone. Arbroath Academy.

Fraser Kingan, Dumfries Academy.

Photos © Skip Cottage. As usual, let me know if I've made any mistakes with names.