Monday, 12 February 2018

Midlothian Province Bonspiel

C&B Give a Spirited Account of Themselves!

The Midlothian Province Bonspiel is always a highlight of the curling year at Murrayfield with almost every club that plays in the rink involved throughout the day.  The format is simple; it's a good, old-fashioned bonspiel and the club with the highest shots-up total is the club that wins.  Originally, each club put three teams in, but as that became more difficult for some of the smaller clubs, the format was amended to let some clubs enter only two rinks.  There is an element of "pro-rata-ing" of the scores (if you see what I mean) - but the fact that allows the competition to be even more inclusive is a good thing and the basic format and philosophy remain in place.  All good!

So C&B had three teams entered with the 12 noon session being covered by Brian Fleming, Andrew Galloway, Betty Gibb and Morna Aitken, our 16.00 game looked after by John Steven, Dave Munro, Joe Barry and Donald Kennedy, leaving the 20.00 session with Niall Gunn, Robin Copland, Bob Barr and club president Lois Copland. 

John Steven takes up the story.

It is always hard for a club with three teams to win against a club with two teams.  When I arrived at the rink for our 16.00 game, I was met by Betty Gibb telling me that they had won their game by ten shots - a great start for C&B.  We won our game by nine shots, giving us an average score of 9.5 and leaving us in third place.  To put this in some perspective, C&B won the trophy two years ago with an average score of 6.67.  However, by the time Niall came to play his game, GPYC had set an awesome target of 14.5 average after their two games!  What did this mean for Niall?  He and his team needed to beat Duddingston by 24 shots - a near impossible task.

Well, from our game's perspective, our challenge wasn't helped by our going four shots down by end two!  We eventually went on to win our game but only by the odd shot. 
But it wasn't all bad news for C&B - oh no!  For a few seasons now, the Gogar Park Young Curlers Club has entered a team and taking part this year were three club members, Gavin Barr, Rowena Steven and Emma Barr.  Gavin Barr has written a report - let him take up the story in his own words.

GPYC Win Midlothian Province Bonspiel!

With some big scores posted earlier in the day by teams from Midcalder, Carrington and C&B, David Baird's rink of C&B member, Emma Barr, together with Andrew and Adam Keron knew they would have to be on top form to get their club into the running.  Facing a side from New Stones, they started off very strongly, picking up multiple scores throughout the fist half of the game.  This relentless pursuit of points continued in the second half of their game - even drawing a small crowd in end six when the team nearly pulled off a tricky in-wick to sit eight, albeit without last stone.  The final score was 18-3 - enough to put GPYC in the top half of the leaderboard with one game remaining for them.

The second rink of C&B members Gavin Barr and Rowena Steven, playing with Chris Morris and Holly Davis faced a strong-looking Midcalder team skipped by Stewart Barr, along with Scott Baird, Graham Wood and Allan Graham.  The GPYC team started strongly and was seven shots to the good after only three ends.  Midcalder fought back but the tricky ice made it difficult for both sides and a few lucky breaks helped GPYC to increase their lead - it finished 16-3 in GPYC's favour!  This was a result that surprised both teams, but gave GPYC a very strong chance indeed of at least a "podium" finish.  We had to wait on the results of the Carrington and C&B games to be absolutely sure of victory, but as both of their games were tight affairs, GPYC picked up its first win as a club in the Midlothian Bonspiel with a net shots difference of +14.

We all took home a bottle of Glengoyne single malt whisky, much to the delight of our respective fathers, all of whom reminded us of their upcoming birthdays!

We don't have a picture of Emma with the trophy, but here is one with Rowena and Gavin!  Congratulations from the older members of the club - much deserved and very well done!

From left: Rowena Steven and Gavin Barr, winners of the Midlothian Province Bonspiel

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