Our entry into the Province Knockout
had fought its way to the final,
only to find it was scheduled immediately after
the second leg of the Avondale Heather inter club.
Jim Strang motivated his team of
Willie Cannon, John Gilmour and Bill Gibson by
highlighting that playing back to back games
and having no dinner was actually better
than a hearty buffet and having to sit through
Alastair Smith’s trophy acceptance speech.
Good point, well made there Jim!
We had to hope his shot making would be just as good.
Lanark had brought a modest sized crowd in support,
and they were rewarded from the outset
with a strong performance.
Stone after stone found its intended target,
every player in their rink at a high standard.
In comparison, we were doing ok,
but it felt like we were facing an uphill battle.
By 9pm we had played 3 ends and the score was
2-1 to Lanark. I queried Jim whether the game
was 8 ends or the bell. On finding out it was 8 ends
Jim took note of this situation and phoned
for someone to start the morning milking
as he might be late.
Another end later it was 4-1 to Lanark.
Maybe the relief milker wouldn’t be needed after all.
We needed something to change,
and just then into the gallery came a vision.
Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No, it was Willie King
full of buffet to offer his moral support.
You may have heard of Bruce Mouat’s hat
and how it often adorns his napper as he shows off
his incredible curling skills.
What we had here was Jim Strang in a woolly bunnet,
it would have to do.
But now we had a fellow woolly bunnet wearer
in Willie King up in the gallery.
Maybe the power of the bunnets could combine.
Well as if by bunnet magic
the game turned on a toorie.
A blank in the 5th, score 2 in the 6th,
give up a 1, and score 2 in the 8th
to end up with a peel.
Of course this was a final, and a winner was needed,
so an extra end was in order.
And at 10 past 10 at night
Willie Cannon and Bill Gibson
looked like burst baws at the prospect
of an 18th end of back to back curling,
although Jim and John shared the same look
with it being 17 ends for them.
This far in the game Lanark had largely pursued
an approach of guards and drawing in behind.
The extra end was the same,
with a rake of short stones
and a Lanark coloured one in shot position.
But on the edge of the group of short ones was the
slightest chink of our yellow stone poking out.
If only we could throw the next stone on the brush,
at back T weight,
and deploy our sweepers at the right time
then the bunnetted one said we would draw
around the guard by a cigarette paper’s width
and catch enough of our stone
to promote it onto the button.
Well if this was fitba
we might have seen Willie King
tearing his shirt off in celebration in the stands.
Thankfully for all present it was curling,
but the outcome to celebrate was that
a great team effort had indeed put our stone into
shot position behind the aforementioned guards.
Lanark managed to give the shot stone a wee scare
by coming off a winger, but subsequent attempts
couldn’t get close.
So after nearly 5 hours of curling
the EKHCC team had a hard earned victory.
Jim Strang said
he has played this competition for years
and never won it, he was chuffed!
A mention to John King
who organises the rink for this competition,
then books his holiday to NZ
on the assumption he won’t make the final.
some of the events above
may or may not have happened,
except the win, that bit is true!???