Lockhart and Drysdale are 2017 Scottish Senior Champions
The Women’s and Men’s Finals of the Scottish Curling Senior Championships took place at a packed Lanarkshire Ice Rink on Sunday 12th February with Team Lockhart (Jackie Lockhart – skip, Christine Cannon, Isobel Hannen and Margaret Richardson) taking the 2017 Scottish Curling Senior Women’s Championship title and Team Drysdale (Ian Drysdale – skip, Dave McQueen, Ronnie Wilson and Graham Lindsay) taking the 2017 Scottish Curling Senior Men’s Championship title. These teams will now go on to represent Scotland at the World Senior Curling Championships in Lethbridge, Canada from 22nd – 29th April 2017.
Going into the finals, 2016 Scottish Senior Curling Champions Team Lockhart (pictured left) were the only undefeated team. They found themselves up against Team McLaren (Jane McLaren – skip, Jackie Craig, Fiona MacFarlane and Marjorie McCulloch) in the women’s final. The two teams had already met in the round robin, where Jackie’s team had come out on top 7-2 after seven ends. Team McLaren had already proved their ability to play an impressive come back during the week; in the round robin, they managed to win a game 9-8 after being 7-0 down after three ends, stealing a five in the process!
Lockhart opened the final trying to keep the house pretty clean, however a miss with third player Cannon’s first stone gave McLaren the chance to draw a second into the house. Cannon was able to remove one with her second stone, McLaren responded by drawing another in. Jackie Lockhart hit and rolled with her first, finishing as second shot, Jane McLaren’s second draw was a bit heavy, but forced Jackie to hit and roll in with her last stone, taking a one in the first end. A draw that didn’t quite come off for McLaren bumped up the opposition stones, and Jackie drew in. McLaren clipped the one Jackie had just placed, then a mistake with her last caused McLaren to give up a 3.
There were lots of stones in play in the third, after her last stone Jackie was sitting three, forcing Jane to draw for one. In the fourth end Lockhart played an impressive double to sit three with her first stone, Jane came back to take out the shot stone and roll over close to the two opposition stones, but there wasn’t enough roll to stop Lockhart, who was able to hit and stick for three, giving Team Lockhart a 7-1 lead at the halfway point.
Facing four counting opposition stones in the fifth, Jane played a draw with her last, but connected with her front stones, tapping one up to take Jackie down to a three. The sixth end saw fewer stones in play than previous ends, Lockhart played a nice hit and roll with her first to lie shot, McLaren replied with a draw, but it was heavy and went through the back. Jackie played a stone to stop Jane trying the same again and sat top four, leaving Jane to hit and roll to count one. Handshakes were offered with the final score 10-2. Team Lockhart are Scottish Curling Senior Champions two years running!
Team Drysdale (pictured right) were paired against Team Hemming (Andrew Hemming – skip, Billy Johnston, Neil Murray and Steve Russell) in the men’s final. The two men’s teams had already met in the round robin, however it had been a very close affair, with the game going to an extra end and Drysdale eventually taking it, with the end score 6-5. Hemming made it to the final after a tight game against the 2016 Scottish Curling Senior Championships Team Muirhead, they made a comeback in the second half of the game, securing their place in the final with a steal of two in the eighth to win the game 6-5.
The first end of the men’s final saw a lot of stones in the house along the centre line, Hemming’s first skip stone settled in the top eight, protecting their shot stone and lying second. Drysdale’s first skip stone peeled out the shot Hemming had just placed, Hemming replaced the removed stone, although it finished slightly further over leaving the shot stone visible. A long discussion ensued, with Drysdale opting for the double with his final stone, he took out the top stone but just missed the second, leaving Hemming with a steal of one.
A more cagey second end saw only two stones – and no guards – in play by skips shots. With his first Hemming drew to the top eight, which Drysdale elected to take it out. Hemming tried to follow with the same but wasn’t able to stick, rolling out and leaving Drysdale the chance to blank. A yellow Hemming stone tucked away on the edge of the eight-foot behind two red corner guards proved to be an important stone in the third end. After Drysdale failed to remove it, Hemming placed another guard with his first stone, leaving Drysdale to draw to lie shot. Hemming removed it with his last but rolled out, forcing Drysdale to draw for one.
By the time it got to skips stones in the fourth the end was once again based around one stone, with each team hitting in turn. With his last Andrew Hemming hit the opposition stone and rolled out to blank and retain hammer in the fifth. Score 1-1 at the halfway point of the final. There were lots of stones in play in the fifth end, Drysdale tried a tap-up with his first, but wasn’t quite able to pull it off. Hemming was already sitting four and elected to guard the opposition stones to prevent the chance of another tap-up but was light and his stone didn’t make it over the hogline – Drysdale made a tricky double raise to sit back button – Andrew Hemming tried to get through the small gap but didn’t quite make it – giving Ian Drysdale a steal of one.
The sixth saw Andrew draw round two red corner guards with his first, sitting just in front of the house to lie one, Ian retaliated with his last by hitting one of the front reds onto the yellow, both rolled out, leaving Andrew the chance to throw through the house to blank and retain hammer. Team Hemming’s fifth stone of the seventh end was intended to draw round the red sitting at the top of the house but just made contact – still finishing shot but sitting in the open, leaving a straight-forward hit for Team Drysdale, who didn’t quite roll as far as they had hoped, leaving Hemming to hit and roll to the other side of the house, behind a guard and sitting one. A tap-back from Drysdale left him sitting shot but unguarded, and Hemming took the red out to sit two. Drysdale hit and rolled, almost on top of the yellow on the other side but just inching further out – to leave Hemming a straightforward draw for the first two of the game and putting him in the lead for the first time since the first end.
Going into the last end the score was 3-2 with Hemming in the lead but Drysdale having hammer. By skips stones the house was empty – Andrew played a draw behind the corner guard with his first, Drysdale followed his line, bumping the opposition stone back just a little and sitting shot, Andrew did the same with his last, once again sitting one. Drysdale nailed a take out for two, winning a very tight final and becoming Scottish Curling Senior Champions 2017.
Pictured below are runners up, Team McLaren and Team Hemming.
For line scores from the Championships, visit Scottish Curling Senior Championships
All photos: © 2017 RCCC