Stranraer Academy 1 win Scottish Schools Championship
The Scottish Schools Championship was held at Murrayfield Curling, Edinburgh from Friday 13th to 15th March. Twenty four teams took part in the competition which saw some excellent quality of curling throughout.
In the Quarter Finals it was Forfar Academy, Stranraer Academy 1,Wallace Hall Academy and Perth High School which progressed to the Semi-Finals.
Stranraer Academy 1 took on Perth High School in the first of the Semi-Finals. After the first end was blanked, Forfar opened their account with a two in the second, before limiting Perth High School to a single in the third. Then in the fourth end with Stranraer Academy lying two, Perth High School skip Duncan McFadzean attempted a hit and stick with his last but it only just glanced the Stranraer stone before sailing through. This left Stranraer with a draw for three which they readily completed to increase their lead to 5-1. Perth managed to mount a comeback in the fifth end taking a two and reducing Stranraer’s lead to 5-3 and they put further pressure on Stranraer in the sixth end when lying two against, Euan Kyle, Stranraer Skip, was faced with a draw to the button to take the end. The draw though was inch perfect extending Stranraer’s lead to 6-3. Stranraer managed to steal one in the seventh end and with the score line at 7-3, Perth High School offered handshakes to confirm Stranraer’s place in the Final.
Forfar Academy took on Wallace Hall Academy in the second of the afternoon’s Semi-Finals. After Forfar were held to a single in the first end, Wallace Hall were lying two in the 2nd end at the edge of the 8ft when Forfar skip Hailey Duff attempted a draw with her last but it was heavy, leaving Wallace Hall free to draw for 3 and take a 3-1 lead. It looked as though Wallace Hall might extend their lead in the 3rd end when lying 2 in the 4ft but with Forfar’s last they played a lovely double take out to take a three and move into a 4-3 lead. After the 4th end was blanked, Forfar had the chance of a two in the 5th end but a hit and roll attempt with their last was just marginally heavy and they had to settle for the single. With Wallace Hall lying two in the 4ft in the 6th end, Forfar so very nearly achieved a raised double take out with their last but in the end only managed to remove one counter, allowing Wallace Hall to draw for two and tie up the game. Forfar then blanked the 7th to retain hammer going into the 8th end and after successfully keeping it clear were left with an open hit and stick for the single and the game. The shot was successful and Forfar secured their place in the Final.
In the final Stranraer were held to one in the first end as Forfar put pressure on from the start. After the second was blanked, Forfar Skip Hailey Duff clipped a guard with her first in the 3rd end to allow Stranraer to put up a guard. Then with her last she attempted the raised take out but it was unsuccessful and so Stranraer went into a 2-0 lead with a steal of one.
With Stranraer lying one in the 4ft in the 4th end, a lovely raised double take out from Hailey Duff with her first saw Forfar lying shot amongst a cluster of stones. Euan Kyle then played a shot into the guddle of stones to promote one of his own stones onto the button and leaving Forfar with a difficult raised take out for the end. The shot was successful and Forfar were straight back in the game with a score of two, tying the game at 2-2.
After the 5th end was blanked, Stranraer was forced to take a single in the 6th with a hit and stick with their last. Then with Forfar lying one on the button behind cover in the 7th end, Stranraer Academy attempted a raised promotion on their own stones but they did not get enough of it and only succeeded in disrupting one of the Forfar stones at the front of the house. This meant that Forfar now had the opportunity to draw for two and move into the lead but the draw was heavy and they only managed to secure the single going into the 8th end with a score of 3-3 and without hammer.
Stranraer went into the 8th end with the hammer and only requiring the single and in the end Stranraer Academy was left with a hit and stick on a Forfar stone at the front of the house for the win. Euan Kyle kept his nerve and Stranraer Academy 1 won the Scottish Schools Championship 2015.
Pictured top right. Winners Stranraer Academy 1 ( L-R Stewart Kyle, David Henderson, Euan Kyle, Katie McMillan and Brendan Todd)
Pictured above left. Runners up Forfar Academy (L-R Craig Paterson, David Henderson, Hailey Duff, Bruce Keillor and Ewan Maguire)
Photos: Calder Benzies