Muirhead and Lockhart claim Scottish Senior Titles
The Men’s and Women’s Finals of the Go Coco Scottish Curling Senior Championships took place at a packed Lanarkshire Ice Rink on Sunday 28th February with Team Muirhead (Gordon Muirhead – skip, Norman Brown, David Hay, Hugh Aitken) taking the 2016 Scottish Curling Senior Men’s Championship title, and Team Lockhart (Jackie Lockhart – skip, Christine Cannon, Isobel Hannen, Margaret Richardson) taking the 2016 Scottish Curling Senior Women’s Championship title. These teams will now go on to represent Scotland at the World Senior Curling Championships in Karstad, Sweden, 16th – 23rd April 2016.
Going into the finals, Team Lockhart (pictured top) were the only undefeated team. They found themselves up against Team Prentice (Gwen Prentice -skip, Marion Craig, Helen Drummond, Rhona Fleming).
In the first end of the women’s final, Jackie had the chance for a two if she could hit and stick, but rolled out, leaving her with a score of one in the first end. Although Gwen was in a strong position by skips stones in the second end, a missed take-out resulted in a steal of one for Team Lockhart.
With her last stone in the third Jackie draw behind the centre guards to lie one, Gwen just missed a tap-back, resulting in another steal of one for Team Lockhart. Prentice had to draw the button for a one in the fourth, making the score 3-1 to Lockhart at the halfway point.
Prentice looked strong in the fifth, lying two and with a third stone in the house against Lockhart’s one, by the time Gwen played her last stone. Although her last stone was slightly heavy and tapped back one of her own, Team Prentice were lying three when Jackie played her last – she managed the hit and took one.
Although Lockhart had four stones left in the house by the end of the sixth, Gwen managed a draw for two with her last, lessening the gap between the teams with the score now 3-4 to Lockhart. It looked like Team Prentice were again putting pressure on Team Lockhart in the seventh, but a miss with Gwen’s last left Lockhart the opportunity to draw for two.
The final end saw Team Lockhart keep the house as clear as possible in order to maintain their lead. Handshakes were offered after Jackie’s first stone, with the final score 6-3 to Team Lockhart.
Team Muirhead (pictured left) and Team Howat (Robert Clark – skip, Billy Howat, Dougie Templeton, Alex Torrance) had already faced each other in the round robin, where Gordon Muirhead’s team had come out on top 5-2 after seven ends. In the final Gordon managed to tap back for a two in the first. The second was blanked. In the third there was a chance for Team Howat to take two, however they were limited to one when Robert’s last stone picked up.
The fourth end saw Muirhead play a runback on his own stone to sit shot with the first of his skips stones, Clark managed to hit it out but didn’t sit so the final stone of the end was thrown through in order to blank, with Muirhead retaining hammer for the fifth end. It turned out to be a simple fifth end which was kept clean, and resulted in another blank.
With his first in the sixth, Team Howat skip Robert Clark tried to draw behind the opposition stone which was biting on the centre line, it was a touch tight and rolled into the open, leaving Muirhead an open hit to lie two. Clark hit and rolled to lie one, after Muirhead’s take out rolled out, there was a measure to determine that Muirhead had one.
The seventh end was kept pretty clean, but then a straight hit for two from Robert Clark left the teams neck and neck with three each going into the final end.
After Gordon’s first stone of the eighth end Team Muirhead were sitting two. After a lengthy discussion, Team Howat’s Robert Clark attempted the double, it wasn’t to be, and with two Muirhead stones in the house and two still to play, handshakes were offered.
For line scores from the championships, visit Go Coco Scottish Curling Senior Championships
Photos: Richard Gray