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Junior stars are hottest property in Moray Province Curling league

By Bill Jaffrey

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In this week’s Moray Province curling, Owen Watson’s Division 2 East Moray Juniors team are the league’s current hottest property.

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

Skipped by Ben with twin Fraser at third - the Rankin boys - team boss Owen Watson and lead Gwyn Edwards are simply putting opponents to the sword. This time the hapless victims were Bob Stewart’s Elgin rink whose single score at the second end merely lit the blue touch paper as Watson and co raced to a 14-1 win and now sit atop the division.

Abby Duncan slipped a little to lose his top spot after a hard-fought 5-5 peel against a fighting Sunninghill crew for whom Mike Kemp skipped the hoteliers to a point with a last end two-shot steal.

Alan Durno returned to winning ways with an 8-6 win over Alan Douglas. The game turned on ends four and five as the part-time Clochan farmer snared a count of four and then a two-shot steal to ease to victory.

In Division 1, Andy Cameron has climbed to joint top with the closest of wins against Wilson Burnett.

Whilst the Fochabers rink won the ends count 4-3, Cameron’s three counts of two were the difference, no count more impressive than the deuce he recorded in the final end with a last stone draw to the button.

Mike McDonald pulled his Forres team in an upward league direction with a comfortable win against Alan Douglas who led 4-1 after three ends. That was to be the last scorecard entry for his Darnaway rink as McDonald powered away to a 10-4 win.

In the West, Ardclach’s Ally Fraser remains in his perennial position at the top of Division 1.

Levelling up the game in the second end after an opening end loss of three shots, the defending champions wobbled once again in the sixth as stand in Dalcross skip Tom Pendreigh mastermind a three-shot count to tie the game before a deuce at the last gave the Ardclach rink their two-shot win.

Ruaridh Greenwood picked up both points in his win over Nairn’s Mike McInnes. In an otherwise tight contest the Ardclach counts of two in the fourth end and then a three-shot steal were enough to snuff out the McInnes challenge.

Nairn’s Jamie Cattell is the only rink in the Province with an unblemished League record after a 9-6 win over Division 2 opponent Ian Thomson. An opening count of three and another trio of shots in the sixth end were the decisive factor.

Fiona Steel’s two single-shot scores at the first two ends were her only counters in a 6-2 loss against a short-handed Ricky Marwick and Gus Forbes kept his promotion hopes alive with a comfortable 9-3 win over Ernie Nicholson.

In the ladies' knockout, a couple of cracking semi-finals resulted in the closest of victories and a replay of last year’s final.

Fiona Steel’s Nairn Ladies will be hoping for a change of fortune after their final disappointment last time around after a terrific game against Janice Rankin’s Moray Firth Ladies. The Rankin rink could only count four single shots whilst their Nairn opponents managed a couple of deuces in a 5-4 victory.

Holder Fiona Ewen had a bit of a nail-biter against Linda Hardie who found herself 7-0 down after five ends. The Forres lady is nothing if not a fighter however, and a sixth-end count of four and then a two-shot steal gave Ewen and co a real scare as they just held on for a 7-6 win.


Moray Province Ladies Knockout, semi-finals:

Linda Hardie 6 Fiona Ewen 7

Fiona Steel 5 Janice Rankin 4

Moray Province League

East Division 1

A. Cameron (Aberlour) 6 W. Burnett (Fochabers) 5

M. McDonald (Forres)10 D. McPherson (Elgin Tennis Club) 4

East Division 2

A. Douglas (Darnaway) 6 A. Durno (Fochabers) 8

O. Watson (Moray Juniors) 14 R. Stewart (Elgin) 1

D. Ross (Sunninghill) 5 A. Duncan (Fochabers) 5

West Division 1

A. Fraser (Ardclach) 9 M. Fraser (Dalcross) 7

R. Greenwood (Ardclach) 7 M. McInnes (Nairn) 2

West Division 2

J. Cattell (Nairn) 9 I. Thomson (Dalcross) 6

F. Steel (Nairn Ladies) 2 R. Marwick (Nairn) 6

A. Forbes (Nairn) 9 E. Nicholson (Dalcross) 3

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