Ayr Claim the Maxwell Trophy
Murrayfield Curling hosted the final stages of this season’s Maxwell Trophy on 14th March, 2017.
The morning semi-finals pitted Forfar against Stranraer and Ayr against Borders. In both semi-finals, play in the early ends was cautious, with all teams coming to terms with the challenging ice conditions and not wanting to make errors which could lead to game-losing large ends. At the halfway stage, Stranraer held a very slight advantage. Steals by two Stranraer teams in the later stages proved crucial in two games to one victory, guaranteeing progress to the final. After three very even first halves in the other semi-final, all three Ayr teams then exerted the pressure which resulted in a three-match victory.
The games in the final were see-saw affairs in the first half. Significant steals by two of the Stranraer rinks led to a situation where, with one end left in each game, Stranraer were one shot up with the hammer in two games and level without the hammer in the third; Ayr’s prospects looked distinctly bleak at this stage. Good set up play by the front ends of the Ayr rinks of Rab Clark and Billy Howat, combined with Stranraer being unable to find the correct angles to clear the fronts of the houses, led to the Stranraer skips having to draw against two and three shots respectively with their last stones to salvage the situation. Neither shot affected the positions and Ayr snatched the wins and the trophy. The remaining game, which was nearly an end behind the others, then declared an honourable peel, leaving the final score at Ayr 5 points, Stranraer 1 point.
All the games were conducted, as expected, with a fierce competitiveness and in the sportsmanlike fashion which is the true spirit of curling. RCCC Vice President Jim Cullen presented the Maxwell Trophy to Laurence Costello, President of Ayr Curling Club.
For all results from the competition, please visit The Maxwell Trophy.