Mouat and Aitken 2015 Scottish Curling Junior Champions
The 2015 Scottish Curling Junior Championships took place at Curl Aberdeen from 20-25 January with Team Mouat – Bruce Mouat, Duncan Menzies, Derrick Sloan, Angus Dowell (pictured with coach Colin Morrison (right) – being crowned junior men’s champions and Team G Aitken – Gina Aitken, Naomi Brown, Rowena Kerr and Rachel Hannen (pictured with coach David Aitken (below), junior women’s champions.
The junior men’s final was contested between Team Mouat and Team Waddell – Kyle Waddell, Callum Kinnear, Cammy Smith, Craig Waddell. After taking a single in end one, Team Mouat took the early advantage with a steal in end two to lead 2-0. Team Waddell blanked end three but were held to a single in 4. Team Waddell forced the 1 in the fifth end to make the score 3-1 to Team Mouat at the break.
Team Waddell made good use of the corner guard when they forced a miss from their opposition and then split the house to good effect to secure a two and tie up the game. After a blanked end seven Mouat had the chance to make a deuce in end eight but was slightly heavy and only took the single. An entertaining ninth end saw the second players Cammy Smith (Team Waddell) and Derrick Sloan (Team Mouat) trade freezes which led to an opportunity for Waddell to bite the button for two but was fractionally heavy and only managed the single to tie up the game going into the final end.
Craig Waddell kicked off the tenth end with two perfect centre line guards which Cammy Smith used to Team Waddell’s advantage with a clockwise draw which covered the pin. Third players Duncan Menzies (Team Mouat) and Callum Kinnear (Team Waddell) traded peels and centre guards, Kyle Waddell’s centre guard attempt with his first over curled leaving Bruce Mouat the opportunity to remove the two Waddell counters from the 4 foot. Waddell played a fantastic hit and roll to the edge of the button behind guards leaving Mouat needing to bite the button. Team Mouat made the inch perfect draw, marshalled by the front end sweepers, to secure the title.
The junior women’s final was contested between Team Aitken consisting of Gina Aitken, Naomi Brown, Rowena Kerr, Rachel Hannen and Team MacDonald who had Lesley Young at skip, Amy MacDonald, Louise Joiner and Beth Dandie.
The girls played an aggressive, yet entertaining game for the crowd, which saw them exchange singles for the first six ends and the score was tied at 3-3.
Team Aitken took advantage in the 7th end when Naomi Brown played a perfect hit and roll across the 4 foot behind guards, which was followed up by a raised take out with Gina’s last stone to score 3. A miss with the last stone in the 8th end gave team Aitken a steal of one shot and take a 7-3 lead.
The 9th end was set up well by team MacDonald, with a centre guard covering a single stone at the back of the 4 foot. Attempts were made by both teams to hit and roll from a stone on both wings throughout the end, but didn’t successfully get fully covered and with Lesley Young’s last stone she had an open draw to make 2 counters and got the scoreline back to just 7-5.
The final end was well played by team MacDonald to try to get their steal and the coveted Scottish Junior Championship title. There were many stones in play and Lesley Young played a lovely draw into the top of the four foot behind guards with her last shot. When Gina came to play the final stone, she was lying 3 against but calmly drew down the same line as Lesley had just played to rest against their stone and only give up one shot to therefore retain her title.
Both teams will now represent Scotland at the World Junior Curling Championships in Tallin, Estonia from 28 February to 8th March.
All photos: Tom Brydone.