AVONDALE HEATHER Six Rinks
Monday 13th January 2020 at 5.45pm L.I.R.
Every one's a winner this year
Mr Cannon's report will follow in due course.
By Mr Cannon
East Kilbride and Haremyres vs Avondale Heather
Inter Club Match Report LIR, 13 January 2020
Back in October the two sides couldn’t be separated, so everything was to play for in the
second leg. Match Secretary Margaret Brown had looked carefully at where the teams could
be improved, and so she promoted Wille Craig from lead....to watching from the bar!
President Brian and Margaret both took to the ice to lead us to a resounding victory,
or at least that’s what we all hoped.
As a small group of curling experts gathered in the bar to oversee events the players took to
the ice and started the proceedings. As the first end came to a close and the scores went
up, there was 9 for us and only a solitary shot against, courtesy of George Strang and his
band of Willie's (Cannon, King and Gibson). 8 up after 1, we were on a roll.
In the second end things turned on their head, George Strang's rink were the only one to
score for us, with every other team losing shots. 2 shots for and 7 against, we were now
only 3 up across the board.
Ok, so the third end was time for us to rack up some shots. Eric Richardson stepped up to
the plate with a 3, Jim Strang sneaked a 1 and everyone else capitulated 7 between them.
We were back to peels across the board and once again everything to play for.
So, if the 3rd end didn’t live up to expectations then surely the 4th would be our time to
shine again. Or maybe not! A worrying trend was developing, where once again we
collectively only scored 4 shots while the Heather picked up 7. This situation wasn’t helped
by Willie Cannon throwing two silent take outs while playing last stones for George Strang as
skip. This has some people thinking Willie was only picked to play so as he would write the
report! We were now 3 down!
End 5, our time surely. Try telling Alex Torrance, and his band of merry Margarets
(Richardson, Ferguson and Brown). End 5 doesn’t mean give the opposition a 5!! Too late,
the damage was done. For the third time in a row we scored 4 and lost 7, and were now
minus 6 on the night. Something had to happen soon, or we would be have to eat humble
pie for another year.
End 6, this one had to be our time. President Brian tried his best to lead by example, and
inspired Jim Strang to a 2. However, his inspiration wasn’t infectious as no one else got a
score! 5 for the Heather, 2 for us, another 3 shots against, minus 9 overall and the fat lady
was having a gargle in preparation to sing a song.
End 7, and we had seen 5 ends in a row go the wrong way, some form of miracle was
needed. It is at this point we remember that 12 months ago Lockhart Steel had asked Santa
for good ice and the ability to play well in the Heather game. Last year Santa was too busy
to oblige on either front, but undeterred Lockhart every Santa in the Clyde Valley and asked
for the same again this year. His faith was partially repaid, the ice was good! At this point in
events Lockhart was 6-1 down in his game, but to everyone's surprise Santa breezed into the
ice rink and said that while putting the sleigh away he had found something that might help, ?
a pair of kids stabilisers. Lockhart was desperate, so he put the training wheels on, and lo
and behold he scored. No one was more surprised than Helen as her smile from up in the
bar confirmed it was a good one. A 6, and against wee shuggie Neilson of all folk. Eric,
Willie Baird and George's rinks chipped in another 6 between them, although Jim Strang
gifted Alastair Smith a 3 and Alex Torrance was still on a slippery slope and gave away a 2.
But a 7 shot swing brought us back to minus 2 on the night. We were back in contention and
could believe once again.
End 8, keep up the pressure and victory could be ours. Alan Hall was one of the first to
crumble, with a well placed last stone forcing him into an error and a score of 1 for us. Hugh
Neilson was still in shock and gave up a 2, and Alex Torrance broke the spell imposed by Alex
Fleming and also scored a 3. Willie Baird, Eric and Jim all lost singles. But hold on, with 6
scored and 3 against, that meant we were one up on the night. Victory was ours, or was
END 9! On sheet C speedy gonlockhart had been whizzing up and down the ice and making
quick decisions. We could tell that by the high scoring game sitting at 9-6 after 8 ends!
So as the bell tolled for everyone else, Lockhart and Hugh were off on their 9th end.
As nearly everyone held their breath, and Willie Craig thought this was going to delay the meal,
the shots were piled into the house. Lockhart threw his last and nestled into the four foot,
but left a possible route in to the button, albeit not an easy one. The weight of Heather
expectation was on Hugh's shoulders, but his form returned, and victory was snatched out of
our hands as he scored a 1.
Peels after 6 games, peels after 12 games, who would have predicted that!
A hearty buffet was enjoyed by the teams, as everyone reflected on what could have been.
Some stories were shared before the Presidents wished everyone home safe.
Next year could be our one to shine!