Team Dodds Scottish Curling Senior Mixed Champions
Twelve teams entered the competition this year and were divided into three sections of four teams, with the winners progressing straight through to the semi-finals, to be joined, after the abacus had worked things out, by the highest-up runner-up, based on points scored, then ends.
Three fairly tough looking sessions provided some great curling on keen ice carefully prepared by Gail Munro, with some upsets along the way. The reigning champions, skipped by Archie Craig, found themselves up against Ken Horton’s strong looking rink of Dot Moran, David Ramsay and Liz Horton in their very first game in section A. The Horton rink got to grips with the ice and stones just a bit quicker than Archie and co; they sailed away to a 15-6 win which set them on the road for the semi-finals, though not without a tight scoreline against Jim Cullen in one of their other section games.
Meanwhile in section C, Trevor Dodds, with Catherine Dodds, Robin and Lois Copland (pictured) also managed a full six points in their matches against Dave Hamilton, Sandy Nelson and Rae Graham.
Section B was the tightest and it was no surprise that it produced not only a winner but also the highest-up runner-up. Local favourites, team Cannon (Jim and Christine Cannon with Peter and Anne Wilson) came back from the dead against Gary MacFarlane (Kate Adams, Billy Johnstone and Fiona MacFarlane) to secure an unlikely win from 2-4 down after six ends. Had that game gone according to the MacFarlane plan, team Cannon would have been on their way home, having also peeled their first game against former champion Alison Petrie’s team, skipped by Scott Lumsden.
So, the Sunday morning semi-finals pitched top qualifier, Horton against Gary MacFarlane and Dodds versus Cannon. The Horton v MacFarlane game was over before it started with Gary conceding after four ends (umpire Graham Lindsay claimed that was the most difficult decision of his otherwise quiet weekend!) and Trevor Dodds eased past Jim Cannon with a couple of big ends helping his cause.
In the Final, Ken Horton raced to an early lead of 4-0 after Trevor Dodds’ draw against two over-curled and ended up promoting a Horton guard into the house for a three. Some great curling from both teams followed with a couple of really exciting ends to which each and every one of the curlers contributed. Trevor and his team fought back from their early deficit and the last end was played with the scores tied and Horton holding the hammer. Come Trevor Dodds’ last stone, Team Horton were lying shot at the back corner of the four foot with second and third shots as well. Trevor Dodds’ attempted freeze overcurled ever so slightly but wicked off the Horton counter to lie semi-protected behind a corner guard. Ken Horton elected to half-hit it, but his stone ran straighter than expected and that was that. A great game, played in the right spirit between old friends – not many better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon!
There is a reason why teams and players return year after year to the South-west of Scotland in mid-October for the Scottish Senior Mixed Curling Championship. Why do they do this? Because it is a great competition, played in the right spirit, with plenty of time for the social shenanigans, that those of our generation enjoy getting up to.
If you are over fifty, enjoy good competitive curling in a social atmosphere with a national title at the end of it, get yourself down to Stranraer next year!
Report by Robin Copland
Photo courtesy of Gail Munro