Avondale Heather Inter Club
First Leg – Monday 16 th October 2023
Report by, The Big "WC"
At 5:45pm it was the calm before the storm,
who was to know which side would be sweeping up
leaves and cutting up fallen trees and who would be
sitting on their sofa watching in comfort?
We all know the answer to the sofa question
no matter which side won,
that would be Tom Allan and Alistair Smith.
To be fair Alistair Smith was unavailable
for selection but Tom skipped into the ice rink
like a teenager with a spring in his step,
excited to once again be selected to play
against the best club in Hamilton Ice Rink.
Imagine his disappointment when the teams
were read out and his name didn’t feature.
Apparently Greg Allan asked him to play, but
forgot to put him in a team!
As it happened Graham Kerr was stuck in traffic
so Greg quickly made amends by putting
super sub Tom onto the ice.
So to the games,
and some controversy before a stone was thrown.
John King realised
he had been selected to play on Sheet A,
a place where it is difficult for him
to bring his best game, which is socialising.
He made the best of it, and regaled to Bill Gibson
and myself a story of when he met the
great sportsman Messi, and how he had used
his guile and skill to turn him one way
and then the other, inside out and upside down.
When was this we asked John?
It was the night before in the Punchbowl
where the fabled “Messi fae the Mearns”
was made to look more like Chic Charnley as John
cuffed him and showed him who was King of the hill.
Willie Messi Baird picked up where he left off
the night before, with a mis-firing stick turning his
stones in, no matter the hand. But newly made
Greg Allan wasn’t able to take much advantage
and was held to scores of 1.
Time for a tactical change and Greg subbed Tom out
to replace him with the now arrived Graham Kerr.
But as the change was made
Willie took the opportunity to lace his boots
onto the correct feet
and from there the tide turned. With a couple of
great shots along the way we came out on top
of a tight game by a score of 7 to 6.
On Sheet B was full time golfer
and part time Ice Rink Manager Lockhart Steele with
Katy McLeod, James Strang and President Margaret Brown,
playing against wee Shuggie Neilson.
Lockhart had some age related injury
so confirmed he would also play with a stick,
and lead before taking the head
where he would give James Strang plenty of guidance
on directional sweeping.
One shot I did see was Katy coming back from the hack
to tell Lockhart what she thought needed played,
and then she executed it perfectly. Unfortunately
this wasn’t enough and after another tight game
it was a win for the Heather by 8 to 6.
Sheet C saw Jim Strang,
Ryan Asher, Allan Brown and John Gilmour take on
Allan Hall. Another tight one, and nine ends too,
with Jim coming out on top at 7 to 6.
Sheet D was Alex Torrance,
George Strang, Marion Craig and Margaret Ferguson
against Alex Fleming.
This one ended up 7-5 to the Heather.
At this point we are 2 shots down overall.
It looked like Vice President Margaret
had made some good team selections.
What could go wrong on the last two sheets,
considering the first of those was the winner
takes it all Neil Fyfe and Margaret herself,
ably assisted by Fiona McGinnis and Alex Rennie.
The opposition was provided by newly made Graeme Allan.
It turns out to be true, becoming a made curler
does make you a better player. This one ended
with a 4 shot difference in favour of the Heather.
Lastly on sheet F was Messi’s brother James
along with Jackie Craig, Willie King and Emma Craig,
up against Don superstar Frame.
After this one we now know Messi’s brother
isn’t as good as the real thing,
and Don is indeed a superstar,
as this one ended up 10-4 against us.
So at the halfway point the minnows
hold a 12 shot advantage over
the best club in the Ice Rink.
It can be turned around next time
and a glorious victory can be ours.
After the games we were well cared for in the bar
and enjoyed another fantastic buffet in the restaurant.
John King continued his stories
with subjects including caravans,
needing directions to get to places he knows,
Sounds like John is planning a wild and exciting
mystery weekend away with Audrey!
As VP Margaret contemplated her team selection
she was consoled when she got home by finding
a very kind letter from Rangers Football Club.
The letter thanked her very much for her recent
application for the role of Manager,
and how the Board were very impressed
by her familiarity with Glasgow Airport
and the time she has spent in Europe,
which are things the club are very much
wanting to achieve again.
Unfortunately they were unsure she could
pick a winning team and so on this occasion
her application was unsuccessful.
However, the letter finished by saying
if she can lead EKHCC to overturn
the 12 shot deficit in January she should reapply,
as based on the normal duration of managers at Ibrox
there may well be another opening at that time.