Aitken and Smith Secure Junior Championship Titles
The Scottish Curling Junior Women’s and Men’s Championship finals were played out at Curl Aberdeen on Sunday 26th February. The junior women’s title was won by Team Gina Aitken (right) and the men’s by Team Kyle Smith (bottom).
The junior women’s final was contested between Team Gina Aitken and Team Murray (Katie Murray, Sophie Jackson, Laura Ritchie, Jodie Milroy, Heather Morton (5th) and Barbara McPake (Coach)). With the opening end blanked, Murray successfully played the hit and stick to take one in the second.
In the 3rd end Aitken evened the scoreline when she was unable to take full advantage of last stone and scored a single when her draw for 2 was heavy. Aggressive play from both front ends in the 4th end led to four stones lying fully in the red paint but attempts to add another left no path into the scoring zone and Murray elected to throw away her last stone and take 1. In the 5th end, Team Aitken edged into a 3-2 lead thanks to the sweepers dragging Gina’s final stone into the rings for a score of 2.
After the break both Teams played defensively and with her final stone Murray cleared a biter to maintain hammer. Team Murray was unable to take advantage of last stone in the 7th when forced to take a single, by successfully playing a hit and stick against multiple counters, to tie the game. In the 8th Aitken played a perfect 8 foot tap to score 2 and head into the 9th end leading 5-3.
The 9th end brought errors from both teams, with only skips stones to come Gina attempted to freeze on her own shot stone, but was a little heavy and created a nest for Katie to draw into. Sweeping was required to keep Murray’s freeze attempt off the centre guard but unfortunatley this resulted in the stone finding the port and leaving Team Aitken still lying 3. Gina’s last stone came to rest on the top 12′ covering 1st and 2nd shots leaving Murray a difficult tap back, but with the cruellest of fates the stone picked up and curled toward the sidelines leaving Aitken lying 3 shots and a lead of 8 – 3, to which Team Murray conceded.
Congratulations to Gina Aitken, Naomi Brown, Rowena Kerr, Rachel Hannen and David Aitken (Coach)
Report: Brad Askew.
The junior men’s final was contested between Team Smith and Team Taylor (Stuart Taylor, Gregor Cannon, Ross Fraser, Alasdair Schreiber and Alan Hannah (Coach)). Team Smith took advantage of hammer in the first end with Kyle Smith drawing for 2. Team Taylor was forced to take a 1 in the following end, playing a slash double in the process. The 3rd end saw the Smith Team add one shot to lead 3-1 when Kyle nosed when trying to blank the end to keep last stone advantage. Attacking play in the 4th saw Taylor facing 3 with his last; Stuart made a great attempt at a tap back raise which killed 2 shots but still saw him go 4-1 down.
After a blanked fifth end and break, Taylor was forced to take a 1 to make the score 4-2 to Team Smith. The Taylor team came back strong in 7 after an excellent tap back by Ross Fraser and good guarding thereafter which saw Smith forced to hit and lie against 2. Taylor then capitalised and took his 2 in the 8th end, after forcing Kyle Smith into a difficult slash double which locked and Taylor had the draw for the second point.
After good play by Schreiber and Fraser in the 9th end, Taylor failed to get hidden round a a stone at the top 12′ with his last stone, Kyle Smith snatched the opportunity to raise his own top 12 stone onto Taylors counter for a 2 and to re-established his 3 shot lead. Team Taylor fought valiantly in the 10th end but Team Smith retained their Scottish Junior title by running the opposition out of stones.
Congratulations to Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell, Cammy Smith and David Ramsay (Coach).
For full line scores, results and tables click Scottish Junior Championships
The Jim Aitken Memorial trophy for sportsmanship was awarded to Robert Tait (pictured below).
The Scottish Curler -Edinburgh Crystal sportsmanship Trophy for junior women was won by Karina Aitken (pictured below).
Both awards were voted on by the players during the Championships.
All photos courtesy Tom Brydone.