Well, that’s it for another week – and indeed for this season! It seems almost no time at all since we were donning our curling shoes and taking hold of our brushes for the trials and tribulations of season 2015-16 and now it’s all over. Although not without a scare and no doubt with grateful thanks to Archie McGregor, his substitute skip on the final night, Jim Nelson managed to hold on to the leading spot which he has occupied for the past several weeks and at the same time retain the title he won last year. Many congratulations to him and his rink of Maureen McVey, Allan Chapman and Pat MacLeod. After starting the night 2 points behind Jim and with a 9 shot deficit Charlie made a determined effort to nick the title from the absent Jim and whilst he did win his game and Jim lost the shots differential at the close had been cut to 3 but still in Jim’s favour. In 3rd spot one point adrift was Neil. Although Neil couldn’t win the title his one shot victory on the night over Jim’s rink certainly made for an interesting conclusion and I’m sure Charlie was keeping a close watch on the scoreboard two sheets away as the evening progressed. Carol pipped Ed for 4th on shots difference. At the other end of the table matters were no less interesting. With Alan and Bella “protected” their results would not determine their fate – though neither wished to finish last – so the game between John and Milly was pivotal in determining which skip would be in line for demotion. In the end a peeled game meant they finished level on points and as with the top two places it came down to points differential with Milly just edging John out by 4 shots. Exceedingly close therefore at both top and bottom.
The closing night saw some crucial games, not least those between Jim and Neil and Charlie and Ed. In Jim’s absence on holiday (obviously quite confident in his team’s ability to cope without him!) Archie McGregor deputised and with Neil leading by 4 shots after 5 ends and Charlie up by 8 shots after 4 ends a possible reversal of fortunes was on the cards. However a crucial gain by Archie of 4 shots in the 6th end and gains by Ed of 3 and then 2 shots in the 5th and 6th ends brought matters back to favouring Jim and thus it remained. Neil managed to win the final end to secure a 7-6 victory and inflict a first defeat of the season on Jim’s rink whilst Ed’s brief resurgence on the night had ended and Charlie closed out his game with a win by 10-5. A case of very nearly but not quite! Meantime Carol steadily pegged back an early lead which Geoff had established and their peeled game at 5-5 meant that she was able to overtake Ed and secure 4th spot in the table, again on shots differential. In the other games David prevailed by 10-8 over Alan in a game of some fluctuating scores; Ronnie came from behind against Bella to finish his season with a 8-3 victory and thus consign Bella to the bottom spot; and John and Milly fought out an engrossing game with demotion at stake for one or the other. Milly’s early lead was wiped out when John scored 4 in the 4th end but by the time they entered the last end Milly held a narrow 1 shot lead. A single to John in that final end ensured a peel at 7 shots apiece and safety for Milly!
So that is it. Another season over and hopefully everyone has enjoyed their curling. It was good to welcome some new members this year to both the Reserves list and also, in Murray Hutchison, direct into a rink. I hope that you have found us to be a friendly and sociable club with, at times, a decent level of curling. Next season hopefully we shall be able to welcome back some members who had to miss all or part of this year through injury or surgery. More new members however will always be very welcome and even as reserves you are still likely to get quite a few curling opportunities during the season so please let the Secretary know if you know of anyone who might be interested in joining.
Meantime we look forward to the Prizegiving Dinner and Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 16 March at the Abbotsford Hotel to which I hope most will be able to attend and all that remains for me now is to wish everyone a good (and healthy) summer.