Semi-final Nerves!The report on the Swan Trophy first round match against the previous season's beaten finalists, Midcalder CC can be read here. This set us up for a semi-final clash against the strong teams representing Penicuik.
Robin Copland, Andrew Galloway, Morna Aitken and Lois Copland found themselves up against a seven shot deficit after four ends! On the adjoining sheet, Brian Fleming, John Steven, Dave Munro and Betty Gibb were in a scrap as well though they at least were still in touch.
Robin and co's game was one of two halves. They got on the board in end five and then stole in ends six and seven to go into the eighth and last end three down. Meanwhile, a big steal in the sixth end in the other game had perhaps swung things C & B's way. The Penicuik skip decided that playing a shot with his last stone was too risky; he gave away a stolen two - but probably with half an eye on Robin's game which was still very much in Penicuik's favour.
Playing the last end, Robin, Andrew, Morna and Lois knew exactly what they had to do. Brian, John, Dave and Betty had finished their game three-up and they were currently three down in their game. A steal was imperative. The team played an immaculate end until Robin's last stone. He needed a guard to effectively tie it up and make Penicuik's last stone well nigh impossible. So he let it go. Lois and Morna start sweeping but their skip knew best and was more concerned about line. He called them off because he is an expert. Anyhow the stone came to rest in the perfect position as you would expect - but with just one minor problem. It was straddling the hogline! Cue a nervous wait for what was still a really tricky stone which just hung wide and a huge sigh of relief from a chastened C & B skip!
Great Team Win in the FinalBoth teams came to the party in the final and won their games against strong Haddington teams skipped by weel-kent curlers Willie Kerr and Morgan Nicol. They had both come off the ice early in their semi-final clash against Corstorphine CC, so they were well rested and confident. C & B, meanwhile had 15 minutes to grab a plate of soup and take to the ice again!
Brian, John, Dave and Betty had a real struggle against Willie Kerr and his team. There were chances for both sides, but Brian eventually pulled through towards the end of their game and won two-up.
In the seventh end of their game and two up, Lois, Morna and Andrew had set things up really well, leaving Robin with an open hit with his first stone to leave Haddington with a really tricky shot to try and save the end. The delivery was technicolour but to his credit, he had played the correct handle. Morgan then played a really nice angled raise on the shot that Robin had missed which, had it not gone about six inches further than perfect, would have been perfect and would probably have resulted in a steal. A wee hack-weight tap round a tight guard attoned for his earlier miss and the resultant score of four effectively sealed the game.
Edinburgh Curling Club president Colin Baxter presented the team with the magnificent 100-year old trophy and C & B president, Lois spoke on behalf of the club at closing ceremony.
|Swan Trophy Winners 2018|
From left: Club President Lois Copland, Andrew Galloway, Morna Aitken, Dave Munro,
Robin Copland, Brian Fleming, John Steven and Betty Gibb