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Moray curling latest: Fiona Steel's rink gain revenge in Ladies Knockout final to defeat Moray quartet

By Bill Jaffrey

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In a repeat of last year’s Ladies Knockout, the result was reversed as Nairn Ladies skipped by Fiona Steel, with Margaret Pottie, Janet Burns and Moira Clark defeated Fiona Ewen’s rink of Jodi Best, Anna Louise Fraser and Kirsten Mustard and got their hands back on the Rosebowl trophy.

Curling action at Moray Leisure Centre. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Curling action at Moray Leisure Centre. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Ewen was fast out of the blocks on her more familiar home ice as she opened proceedings with three shots at the first end and then a steal to lead 4-0 before the Nairn Ladies got in to their stride to score at each of the next five ends and cross the finish line as convincing 12-4 winners.

In the Province League East, the race for honours is still on in Division 1 as title contenders Alan Campbell and Charlie Watt junior both won to stay just two points behind leader Andy Cameron’s Aberlour rink, but with games in hand.

Campbell was never in serious trouble against Wilson Burnett, leading 4-0 after two ends, and although the Fochabers’ men rallied to win the next two ends, Campbell and co steadied themselves and picked up shots at each of the last three ends in a 9-3 win.

Watt’s win was a tight affair as he trailed Dave McPherson’s team 5-2 after five ends. McPherson had counts at four of those ends and skip Roy Thomson’s last stone skills looked as though they might see his team home but a late Watt rally of a sixth end deuce and then another double steal gave the Forres rink the closest of wins and another two-point haul in their league challenge.

In Division 2, Abby Douglas and Donald Ross are neck and neck leaders, albeit that Douglas' Fochabers rink have played one game less.

Duncan dropped a point in his 6-6 peel against his old mucker Alan Durno. Trailing 6-3 with two ends to play, Duncan could only manage a single shot in the seventh to trail by two against the hammer in the last end. Some canny defensive stones, however, and a few decades of tactical nous were enough for a two-shot steal and a share of the evening’s spoils.

Donald Ross’ game against Owen Watson’s juniors was no less exciting a contest as the hotel rink skipped by Angus Gunn led the youngsters 5-0 after three ends. Juniors’ skip Ben Rankin aided and abetted by twin Fraser at third powered back with six unanswered shots over the next six ends to lead 6-5 going down the last . Holding last stone advantage, Gunn kept the middle of the sheet open to pick up the two shots required for a Sunninghill win.

Spare a thought for Alan Douglas who has yet to pick up a point in this season’s campaign. A two-shot count at the last end was some sort of consolation for the Darnaway team who ran into an inspired Bob Stewart combo skipped by Rob Stenton who steered the Elgin team to a 10-3 victory.

Division 3 has a runaway winner in Jim Gault who handed out his latest thrashing to Janice Rankin’s Moray Firth Ladies. With their Olympic gold medallist missing, Julie Stewart was the lady in charge and led 2-0 after the opening end before the relentless Gault juggernaut churned into action to score in the remaining seven ends in a crushing 16-2 win.

Rankin now shares second place in the division standings with Andrew Allardyce and Katie Gordon and will inevitably be pipped for promotion as these latter two will play each other in the last round of fixtures, Rankin’s ladies having completed their own season.

Gordon kept her juniors in the promotion hunt with a terrific three-shot score and a share of the points in a 6-6 draw with Linda Hardie. The Forres team led the match the whole way until the last end as the young team turned the tables with a stunning trio of shots for the peel.


Ladies Knockout Final

F. Ewen 4. F. Steel 12

Moray Province East League

Division 1

W. Burnett (Fochabers) 3 A. Campbell (Buckie) 9

C. Watt jnr (Forres) 6 D. McPherson (Elgin Tennis Club) 5

Division 2

D. Ross (Sunninghill) 7 O. Watson (Moray Juniors) 6

A. Douglas (Darnaway) 3 R. Stewart (Elgin) 10

A. Duncan (Fochabers) 6 A. Durno (Fochabers) 6

Division 3

L. Hardie (Forres) 6 K. Gordon (Moray Juniors) 6

J. Gault (Aberlour)16 J. Rankin (Moray Firth Ladies) 2

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