British Open Wheelchair Championships 2011
The British Open Wheelchair Championship which was played at the Galleon from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November was a truly British affair. Peter Knapper and his team from Wales, and Stewart Pimblett and his team from England, along with two National squad teams skipped by Aileen Neilson and Gregor Ewan were part of a field of 10 teams.
In the round robin, there was a mixture of close and one-sided games. Both National squad teams suffered a defeat which made the last round robin games very interesting as to who would qualify for the semi finals. Rosemary Lenton and her team of Jim Sellar, Robert McPherson and David Morgan finished the round robin undefeated to meet Paul Webster and his team of Alex Harvey, Gordon Rainey and Angela Higson. Gregor Ewan, with Jim Gault, Ian Donaldson and Gill Keith, topped his section to meet Aileen Neilson and her team of Tom Killin, Bill Masterton and Angie Malone, a National squad team clash.
Team Lenton against Team Webster was a very close game which came down to the last stone when Rosemary Lenton’s draw was just a touch too heavy, allowing Team Webster a place in the final. In the other semi final, Team Ewan was impressive and in command all the way against Team Neilson and comfortably won the other final place. In the 3rd/4th playoff game Team Neilson gained revenge over Team Lenton for the defeat in the round robin.
In the final Team Webster stole a single at the first end but Team Ewan kept up the impressive play and took the next four ends and a comfortable lead to secure the British Open title. Gregor and Jim, sporting their trademark ‘Blues Brothers’ trilbies, were delighted to be taking the trophy back up the road to Elgin, having been part of last year’s winning team.
As always at wheelchair curling events the atmosphere was friendly and all games were played in the true spirit of the sport.
SWCA Chair Judy Mackenzie presented the Kate Caithness Trophy and prizes and thanked all the on ice helpers, the ice and catering staff of the Galleon and umpires Robin Shand and Colin Melrose for all their help. On behalf of the winning team, Gill Keith thanked all those involved in running the event.