Mouat and Jackson Win Scottish Junior titles
Bruce Mouat has retained his junior title, while in the women’s section Sophie Jackson triumphed in her first season as skip at the Scottish Curling Junior Championships, which were again held at Curl Aberdeen.
The young Team McNay met Team Whyte in the semi-final and faced it with a mature and professional approach beyond their years. Team McNay; Cameron McNay, Finlay Campbell, Ryan McCormack and Angus Bryce had a fantastic week, finishing the round robin with 5 wins and 2 losses. Team Whyte who have a rotating 5 man team lined up with Ross Whyte, James Baird, Euan Kyle and Gavin Barr (alt David Baird) for the semi-final game. Both teams played aggressively in the initial ends with the score 2-2 after 4 ends. The fifth end of the game saw Team McNay applying lots of pressure until Ross Whyte lifted a triple to clear the house with his first shot. Cameron McNay then got half hidden around a centre guard and with Whyte just clipping the shot stone, Team McNay stole 1 to go ahead for the first time in the game. Single shots were exchanged in the sixth and seventh ends but it was the eighth end that was to prove crucial after an attempted hack weight tap back from Ross Whyte over-curled and bumped up a 3rd counter, giving Team McNay a 7-3 lead. The ninth and tenth ends were clinically played by Team McNay who weren’t going to give up their 4 shot lead and hand shakes were offered when Team Whyte ran out of stones. Final score 7-4
The Junior Men’s Final saw team McNay up against Team Mouat; Angus Dowell, Gregor Cannon, Bobby Lammie and Bruce Mouat, a team who were unbeaten in the round-robin. This hugely experienced team were on top form from the start, taking a 4-0 ahead after 2 ends. Team McNay got onto the leaderboard with a well executed draw to the four foot by Cameron McNay with the final stone of the third end. The fifth end saw Team Mouat continued to pile on the pressure and skip Cameron McNay faced 4 opposition counters with his final hit which he made perfectly to limit Team Mouat to a 3 shot lead. The tables turned in end 6 and a great drawing end from Team McNay saw them lying 3 shots but opposition skip Bruce Mouat kept his composure and played a triple take-out with his first shot and a hit and roll with his final shot to blank the end. Having retained the last stone for the seventh end, Team Mouat ensured they took advantage and took a score of 3 and a 6 shot lead of 8-2. The eighth end was kept simple by Team Mouat and although Cameron McNay drew the four foot to score 1, his team decided the hill was too steep to climb and offered hand shakes with a final score of 8-3.
The Junior Women’s Semi final saw Team Murray; Katie Murray, Rebecca Morrison, Hailey Duff and Mili Smith matched against Team Aitken; Karina Aitken, Amy MacDonald, Sophie Sinclair and Laura Barr. It was a tentative start with both teams keeping the game simple. The fourth end saw Team Aitken applying pressure and lying three shots at one point however a couple of shots turned the end around and Katie Murray drew the four foot with her last stone to score a duo and go 4-1 ahead. Team Murray didn’t look back and with a 2 shot lead going into the final end and with last stone advantage, they played a perfect end to soar into the final with a 7-5 final score-line.
Team Murray went on to meet Team Jackson; Sophie Jackson, Naomi Brown, Rachael Halliday and Rachel Hannen in the final and it was a tight affair from the start. Team Murray narrowly missed a hit and stick opportunity for a score of 2 in the third end, scoring just 1 to level the game at 1-1. In the fourth end, skip Sophie Jackson executed her final draw perfectly to score 2 but Team Murray fought back, scoring 1 in the fifth end and securing a steal of 1 in the sixth end when Katie Murray played a perfect draw around centre guards which opposition skip Sophie Jackson just couldn’t beat. The seventh and eighth end saw duos exchanged and the score level at 5-5 going into the ninth end. Team Jackson made good use of a corner guard in the ninth end and scored 2, giving them a 7-5 lead going into the final end. The tenth and final end saw Team Jackson clearing stones until they ran their opposition out of stones, final score 7-5.
Team Mouat and Team Jackson will represent Scotland at the World Junior Curling Championships being held in Taarnby Curling Club in Copenhagen, Denmark from 5-13 March 2016. Event information about the WJCC 2016 is available on the World Curling Federation website.
All line scores from the championships can be found on the Scottish Curling Junior Championships event page.
Photos: Brian Batttensby