Well, that’s it – all over for another season but what an exciting final series of games! At the start of the night the only thing certain was that the leading four rinks would occupy the first four places – but in which order? Geoff was in the lead and playing Peter who was at the very opposite end of the table – but Peter’s only previous victory had been over Charlie, Geoff’s nearest challenger. Was another upset to be on the cards? Charlie obviously was hoping so but he would need to beat Milly. Meanwhile the other two contenders, Jim and David were in direct opposition. What transpired was probably not what was envisaged. Peter did the double on the two leading skips; Charlie could only peel with Milly; and Jim came from behind against David to seal not just victory in his own match but more importantly to overtake Geoff and Charlie and claim the league title. Congratulations therefore to Jim and his rink of Alan Richmond, David Scott and Jean Austin.
With all eyes on the game between Geoff and Peter it was perhaps surprising to see a scoreboard mounting clearly in Peter’s favour from the outset and establishing a 7-1 shot lead after 4 ends. What was not surprising was to see a fightback from Geoff and as the game entered the final end there was only a 2 shot difference. As the final stones were thrown, and with many interested spectators watching, not least Jim, Geoff could not overturn the deficit and Peter emerged a worthy winner by 9-5. Despite losing the opening end to Milly Charlie gradually got into his stride and with a 4 shot lead with 2 ends to play he perhaps fancied his chances given the score in Geoff’s game but with Milly scoring 2 shots in each of those 2 ends to force a peel at 6-6 Charlie’s title hopes were dashed. All this time at the other end of the ice rink Jim was engaged in battle with David and his chances of success looked slim after losing 5 shots at the second end. For David however that was as good as it got. Jim’s rink played well and steadily pulled back the deficit before closing with a well deserved win by 9-5. Before too long Jim would soon realise just how important his victory over David would prove to be! The remaining games would have no impact on the prizes but for each skip there was pride at stake. After some disappointing results in recent weeks Neil bounced back to form with a resounding victory over Alex by 14-1. With Alex possibly undergoing knee surgery in the coming months and therefore missing out on a good part of next season he will just have to wait a little longer for revenge! The other two games were much closer affairs. In his game with Carol, Ronnie gained an early lead but Carol pegged him back and held on for a 6-5 win. The game between Bella and John finished with a similar scoreline. Bella’s early lead was soon eroded but she regained the initiative and eventually prevailed with another 6-5 victory.
Another season over and it was good that everything transpired to produce a decisive final night with several teams involved right to the end. It couldn’t have been scripted better – or for Geoff, perhaps it could!! For everyone there is always the prospect of success next season. As has been said often – and will continue to be said – we are a friendly and sociable club but as age takes its toll we are always on the lookout for new members. Even if regular weekly curling is not feasible, or even desired, reserves are still likely to get quite a few curling opportunities during the season so please let the Secretary know if you know or can think of anyone who might be interested in joining.
Meantime we look forward to the Prizegiving Dinner and Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 11 March at the Abbotsford Hotel to which I hope most will be able to attend. Until next season therefore all that remains is for me to wish you all a good and healthy summer.