Ayr Wins the Maxwell Trophy
The Maxwell Trophy was held on Tuesday 10th March at Murrayfield Curling. The semi-final and final stages of this season’s competition brought together Murrayfield versus Lockerbie and Ayr versus Forfar ice rinks. Early exchanges in both semi-finals were careful and considered, with no-one wanting to make the sort of early mistakes that might be difficult to rectify at a later stage.
Mid-game steals by Lockerbie 1 and 3 led to these teams gaining the sort of control that, with accurate tactics and play, prevented Murrayfield from building up the types of head which might have got them back into the tie. Not even a dominant display by Murrayfield 2 (10-2 winners of their game) could prevent Lockerbie teams winning the other two games and advancing to the final.
The Ayr – Forfar clash was equally cagy in the early stages, and it wasn’t until the fourth end that Ayr 2 made the first significant breakthrough with a score of 3. Again, careful play ensured that Forfar didn’t get back into the game. Late steals by Ayr 1 ensured a win for that team and a victory in the tie by two matches to one, ensuring that Forfar 3’s late surge from behind, scoring five shots in the last two ends, was to no avail.
In the final, both teams again left it till the latter stages before making any significant moves. Lockerbie 1 came from behind to score four shots in the last three ends for a 7-3 win. Ayr 2 went 5-1 up after five ends, whereupon Lockerbie replied with two singles to leave the tie delicately balanced. In the final ends, Ayr held a one shot lead, with last stone advantage and Skips’ last stones to come, while the last game was tied at 3-3. With the last stone of the end, the Ayr Skip had to draw to the four-foot circle with two shots lying against him. He made the shot – by an exceedingly slim margin! – to level the tie at one game each. With the Lockerbie 2 Skip not improving on his one shot advantage with his last stone, the Ayr Skip declined to play his last stone, ensuring a 5-4 win and overall victory for Ayr by two games to one.
Report by Calder Benzies