AVONDALE HEATHER Six Rinks
Monday 7th January 2019 at 5.45pm L.I.R.
Match Report By Willie Cannon
The first leg of this tie was abandoned
due to unforeseen circumstances as Willie Craig fell ill.
For a few seconds it was thought Willie was over-excited
having just heard the menu for the after match buffet,
but it was unfortunately something more serious.
However three months on we were all delighted
to see Willie back on the ice for the second leg,
although it was tinged with sadness at the news
that despite numerous scans and tests
the doctors have been unable to verify the curling ability
he kept telling them about from his hospital bed!
So a one leg shoot-out, with Brian Cassidy's team selection
all that lay between President Willie and the Neilson trophy.
Who would put a smile on his face,
and who were the last of the Christmas turkeys!
On sheet A Alex Torrance lined up with
Margaret Richardson, Margaret Ferguson and Ryan Asher
against Don "the draw" Frame's rink.
Karen Torrance made a guest appearance as a spectator
and was able to confirm Alex's game
was as tight as his wallet at Christmas time.
Two blank ends, five ends with singles,
and a solitary end with a score of two.
The latter was however enough to tip the final score
in Alex's favour at 4-3.
On sheet B George Strang was returning to
the tragic scene of his last stone at the 2018 Farmers,
although you could probably say the same for sheet A
as his stone was that far off the brush.
Willie Cannon reprised his role from the Farmers
of holding the brush for George to ignore,
while the front end was made up of
retirees Willie King and Bill Gibson.
Graeme Allan skipped the opposition.
A great game unfolded, with every player
making some important shots.
Most notably George had rediscovered his mojo
and an eye for the brush,
and after back to back scores of three
the monkey was well and truly off his back.
Those ends proved decisive with a final score of 10-4.
Sheet C was a battle of the silver foxes,
Eric Richardson vs Jim Allan.
Eric's rink was William Boyd,
and the retirees of Alison Taylor and Brian Cassidy!
The main story of this game was that after 6 ends
and the score at 4-4, Eric decided to give Jim Allan
a 1 and keep the hammer.
That tactic might have worked had Eric checked the clock
and the bell hadn’t gone
as the final stone made its way up the ice.
So a defeat of his own making,
but the clock wasn't the only thing being cursed
in the ice rink on the night
as we will find out by the end of this report!
Sheet D saw Jim Strang,
James Baird, John King and Willie Craig
take on Alex Fleming's rink.
Jim lost a 3 in the first end, which proved decisive
as he went on to lose by 3.
In one end there were 15 stones in the house,
and one guard, but only a 1 was scored.
On sheet E Willie Baird,
Marion Craig, Emma Craig and Janet Leiper
took on a Heather rink skipped by David Stobo.
Things were going great until the fifth end
when Willie handed over a late Christmas present of a 5!
In his defence Willie explained it was only a 4
until he played his last stone.
The newly crowned singles champion couldn't save Willie's rink
and the final score ended up 9-6 to the Heather.
So across the first 5 games it was peels.
Lockhart Steel held the keys to success or failure,
ably assisted by Jackie Craig, James Strang and Stella Cassidy.
Alan Hall was skipping the opposition.
Prior to Christmas Lockhart took his grandchild to see Santa
at a garden centre down the Clyde Valley.
Once there he realised old Nick was a bit partially sighted
so he thought he would have a sit on his knee
and ask for something for Christmas.
As Lockhart sat down Santa said, you seem like a big boy
Lockhart said thanks!!
Santa asked what Lockhart wanted for Christmas
Lockhart explained that his requests were quite simple,
all he wanted was a good sheet of ice to play on
for the Heather inter-club,
and the ability to play some good stones.
Santa said he would try his best to deliver what he asked for.
To cut a long story short,
Lockhart is now having doubts as to whether Santa is real!
If anyone else had cursed the ice as much as Lockhart
they would have had their membership revoked.
The ice man was called part way through to witness the carnage,
and comparisons were being made with Crossmyloof
(whether it was when there was ice or since
it was paved over isn’t clear!).
Alan Hall was however unperturbed by the conditions
as he won with an eight shot margin.
As always the curling was followed by a great buffet,
and some stories were shared.
Jim Strang started sharing a great story,
and everyone hopes he will have remembered the punchline
by the time of the next game!
With the results collected
President Willie congratulated a delighted Alan Hall
and handed the trophy over into his safekeeping,
which he promptly dropped in the excitement.
While we would like to have won,
our prize this year is Willie Craig back on the ice.
Although despite George Strang
being the highest up skip in EKHCC
he declined to take Willie home!!
Archie Kerr closed the evening with some hope for us next year,
he proposes the second leg is delayed by a week
to allow Alastair Smith to be back from holiday!
We can only hope!