The AGM this year took place in Forthbank Stadium for a change. Refreshments were provided, with tea and coffee as well as juice and water.
The fixtures for next season have been put together in rapid order this season thanks to the agressive scheduling by ActiveStirling to get all the ice requests in by the beginning of June and agreed before the end of that month. We have once again been given Wednesday evening slots for most of our curling. On the plus side, we have no late nights. A good result overall thanks to ActiveStirling efforts.
Sadly short of players due to bereavement, holidays, illness etc the 6 who did turn up had a great game with the ice being perfectly laid out and large draws possible at almost any weight. We continued to rotate the teams through the positions after each end and got through all eight ends on the night. The game was finely balanced with 6 shots each going into the final end with skips Joan and Graeme. Graeme's side had the hammer, but the opposition built up a four stone advantage. Graeme played a fine draw to lie in among the opposition stones and lie shot with his first stone. Joan somehow managed to chip it out and lie for five shots, the best shot of the night. Graeme couldn't repeat his first shot and so Joan's wonder shot won the game.
The very first coaching / practice night held by the club took place on Wednesday the 2nd of September and was voted a success by the five hardy souls who turned up to listen to the Club Development Officer and trainee coach Joe Kincaid help them improve their delivery. Each one of the group had a different objective on the night and there was enough to keep the one coach very busy. After about an hour of trying various changes out, a trial game was played to see the effects. Star pupil on the night must be Derrick Douglas, who went from swing delivery to slide so well, it was hard to believe he had played any other way. The game also allowed everyone to try different shots and talk about the way they were playing and share advice that is not possible during a real match. Well done everyone.
Our team won their first round tie against Falkirk 8 v 4 in an aggressive match where both teams tried to out draw the other and had lots of stones in play. Kilsyth were the opposition in the semi-final on 13th October and most of the British Open winning side turned up. We lost 10 v 3 in a very tactical and challenging match.
The McWattie Trophy league got under way on the 9th September with the first set of games. The second and final round of matches went to a title decider in the last match with Graeme's rink coming out eventual winners. Details can be found here.
Our team won their match against Druids at Greenacres by 10 stots to 7. See the photo on the right. Players left to right at the back are Norman Ainslie, Jim Marshall, Derrick Douglas and Dougie McKenzie. The club funded part of the cost of the event by paying the initial deposit.
Both of our teams won their matches against Denny and Borestone and Stirling in the Stirlingshire Province Dunn Trophy on the 16th and 17th November. In the Monday game, John Brisbane's team won 6 ends in total and scored 9 shots to 3, making a +6 shot difference.
The next night Murray Collins' team followed that up with a 6 shots to 0 score for another +6 shot advantage and 5 ends won. 2 ends were blanked. This gave the club a total of 11 ends and +12 shots. Kilsyth could only manage 10 ends and Grangemouth 9 ends. So we have another season with at least one Province trophy to our name.
The teams were : Skip John Brisbane, Derricjk Douglas, Alan Watt and Anne Kane.
Skip Murray Collins, Rory MacKenzie, Jim Marshall and Joan Anderson.
This season Jim Marshall skipped the second team as Anne didn't manage it. The game was tied at peels of 6 and the skips drew a shot to the button to decide. Jim won.
Having won the Murray Trophy last season we were picked to send a team to represent Stirlingshire Province at the RCCC Waldie Griffith Trophy event in Greenacres on Sunday the 10th Janury at 12:30pm. It was a tough match which we lost 6 v 10. The Province had a better scoring ratio over Renfrewshire
due to a no show from one of their teams.
It went down to the last stone and the current skip Norman Ainslie drew round the guards and several stones lying in the centre circle to sit on the button and score two to win the match. It was a dramatic end to a close encounter which had a few high scoring ends in it. After the game, 10 members sat down in the restaurant for their christmas dinner and celebrated the match.
Two teams tied on 5 points each in the league so the decision had to be be made on shots up and Murray Collins team had by far the better scoring record and so win the trophy for this year. Well played Murray, Rory MacKenzie, Joe Kincaid and Norman Ainslie.
A match of swings and roundabouts with a 5 lost at one end and a chance to square the other match missed as well. So we have no one else to blame but ourselves for not winning it for another year. Total aggregate score was 11 v 14 over the two rinks. As usual we all socialised in the bar afterwards.
Having won a major trophy last year in Province competitions, the Murray Trophy we were chosen to represent the Stirlingshire Province in the above trophy competition. It was volunteers only as it was a Sunday and the team put on a good show against stiff opposition losing 6 v 10.
The final of the Hope Pairs competition took place on the 20th January between Jim Kerr and Jim Marshall and Murray Collins and Norman Ainslie. The two Jims got off to a good start with a three in the second end but Murray and Norman kept plugging away and with a couple of twos scored managed to scrap a peeled score of six shots each. However, Norman had won the toss and so with seven ends to play, they had a slight advantage and ran out winners with four ends to three.
Well done to the winners, well played all of you.
On Friday 5th February we played Borestone & Stirling in the annual Polmaise Trophy match. Our opponents pressed us all the way and won a majoroty of ends against us but they were singles mostly. Both of our teams managed to score an end with 4 shots and that proved to be decisive in winning the trophy as it is shots up that counts.
The three teams involved in the Corrieri Cup had all won a match each in the first round of play so no one was undefeated. In the final round the teams skipped by Derrick Douglas and Joe Kincaid have each won their matches against Team 1 and so the final game against each other would decide where the trophy goes this season. Derrick's team had a slight advantage in terms of shot difference, so it was a keen game on the 16th March. Graeme Anderson skipped instead of Derrick and he played a clinical game, keeping the opposition to single shots while making a big three in the third end wicking off an opposition stone to lie three behind a wall of granite. In the final end, he had to draw through a gap to the button to lie one with two counters against waiting for any mistake. Well played.
The 5 players a side format was properly tested in the closing bonspiel and rotating the playing positions in the teams certainly kept it interesting. The two people 'resting' had the chance to blether and so made it a more sociable night. It was a close game at 7 v 5. A quirk in the ice allocation this year means that this will not be the last game as the Muirhead will be decided after this. As we always have a meal after the closing bonspiel, we had to go with the last suitable date given for Friday 6:15pm ice.
With a fine display of hitting stones in very tight situations Murray Collins ensured his team won the Muirhead at a canter by 11 shots. Take outs and tap ups of technical complexity were executed in almost every end by Murray to ensure the opposition didn't really get started and once shots had to be won, he quickly went on the defensive to ensure it was never going to happen. Muirhead competition details.