Edwards wins the Edinburgh International
Teams Murdoch and Gray dominated the round-robin play winning all of their section games. It was a good weekend for the Scots, who took six of the eight quarter-final places. Team Hardie accounted for Tony Rantamäki’s Finnish team in one of the quarter-final games, while Logan Gray dealt with last season’s runner-up, Johnny Jahr in another. David Edwards just got the better of Stranraer’s Frazer Hare in the third match, but the real shock of the competition to date was the previously undefeated David Murdoch losing a really close one against Ross McCleary. Maybe we should not have been too surprised, mind you; Ross, James Stark, Craig Gudmundsson and Gavin Baird having been having a stellar season on the Goldline Scottish Curling Tour and recently won the Forfar Open.
Onto the semi-finals where David Edwards took decisive control of his match against Grant Hardie to run out convincing winners after seven ends. Meanwhile, Logan Gray was always on the back foot against a rampaging team McCleary. Ross made no mistake with his last stone to make his way through to the final.
In the final, the game hinged on the second end. Edwards had scored a nicely-controlled two shots in the first end with hammer. Ross faced three shots with his last shot of the end. He had two choices: either he could play the out-turn draw to the four foot, knowing that he just had to make the eight foot to cut two of the three Edwards counters; alternatively he could play a heavy draw / back twelve foot weight to the Edwards number one stone to count his one. He elected for the latter, but his stone ran agonisingly straight and sailed through the house. Result: a three to Edwards and a five-nil lead in the game.
And that, to be honest, was that. No matter how hard they tried the McCleary team could not get back into the game and eventually, after seven ends, handshakes were offered.
Many congratulations to David and his team third John Penny, second, Scott Macleod and lead Colin Campbell (pictured top with former European Championship Silver Medallist and immediate-past Chair of Murrayfield Curling Ltd, Marjorie Kidd presenting the Worlds Championship Trophy) This is the second time that David has won the famous old World Championships trophy – he last won it in 2005. The whole team played well, they controlled both their semi and final games and, if they take that form into the Scottish Championships, they will be hard to beat.
Congratulations too to Ross McCleary, James Stark, Craig Gudmundsson and Gavin Baird. They go home with the Berne Bear and again, they will move into the second half of the season with a spring in their step! Pictured from left, lead Gavin Baird, skip Ross McCleary, third James Stark and second, Craig Gudmundsson.
Full event details at Edinburgh International
Report: Robin Copland, Photo ©Graham Young