The Border Ice Rink hosted the Scottish Curling Senior Mixed Championship the other weekend. The most prestigious curling competition to be held in the Borders for a few years. The region was well represented with 5 rinks out of the 16. Section C was of particular interest to the local spectators as it pitted three Border rinks against each other with particular interest in the brother vs sister grudge match when George Whiteford’s Rink took on Colin Martin’s rink. Colin came out on top with a comfortable 11-7 win as he continued on to go unbeaten in his section, also beating Jim Cullen’s rink.
John Stevenson and his rink struggled in a tough group unable to make it through to the next round while Gwen Prentice and her rink skipped by Lockhart Steele topped their group with 2 wins and a peel. Taking them into the quarter final.
Colin Martin convincingly won his quarter final against the Murrayfield rink of Mike Dick 10-6 and the Prentice rink came back to beat Jim Hogg. Unfortunately the Border representation in the high road ended in the semi finals with Steele’s final stone to force an extra end finished agonisingly short putting Stuart Wilson into the final and Colin Martin’s rink never really got going in their game against Neil Murray’s rink from Stirling.
The low road final was contested by Ken Horton and the final remaining home rink of George Whiteford. The first six ends were decided by single points but Whiteford gave up a 3 in the 7th end to mean they were a point behind in the 8th with the hammer. The 8th end was tight with Whiteford taking a single point forcing the extra end but a misplaced draw meant Ken Horton won the low road in a thrilling tight game. It must be noted that the Whiteford rink was pulled together at very short notice and it was quite an achievement to do as well as they did.
The high road final was between Neil Murray and Stuart Wilson, Wilson pulled away quickly but was pegged back a couple of times meaning they went into the final end with a shot in it. However they managed to take a two to take the trophy back to Stranraer.
Icemen Graeme Baxter and Josh Hogarth produced excellent ice throughout the competition and the Border Ice Rink did exceedingly well in hosting the competition. With the only real issue being keeping up with the consumption of tonic at the Saturday meal with emergency trips to the local supermarket. Just proving what a sociable sport curling is! It was also fantastic to see how many spectators turned up to watch throughout the 3 days which hopefully bodes well for hosting this event again in future
A big thank you to Browns Catering for providing all the food over the weekend and a fantastic meal on the Saturday night which they worked tirelessly to provide.