THE PUNCHBOWL FINAL
Report by Eric Richardson.
With the 2nd biggest club in Lanarkshire contesting
the final of the Cameron Cup on the same night as
the final of our recently sponsored L S Smellie Punchbowl,
a near capacity crowd was in attendance.
It was also ladies’ night
with 12 ladies and only 4 gents between the 2 games
and 3 lady skips out of 4.
Jim Strang’s team of
Jill Strang, Janet Leiper and Fiona Argo
picked up the speed of the ice quicker
than Margaret Richardson’s team of
Allan Brown, Helen Drummond
and the ever-present finalist Elisabeth Downie.
Facing 5 when she came to play her first stone,
Margaret drew beautifully round 2 stones into the 4 foot circle.
Jim’s attempt to follow was very close but
his stone narrowly clipped a guard
leaving Margaret a draw to the 4 foot for a 2.
Perhaps knowing they would need to save some
sweeping energy for the final end, Helen and Elisabeth
didn’t quite get the stone far enough
so an opening single to Margaret.
The turnaround of the first end sparked a momentum swing
as Margaret’s team took control of the game
with the whole team
seemingly having draw weight in their back pockets.
Jim’s hit against 3 in the 2nd end over-curled rolled out
leaving Margaret lying 2 for a 3-0 lead.
A single to Margaret in the 3rd end made it 4-0.
Margaret’s team again controlled the 4th end but this time
Jim’s final hit against 3 stayed in play for a score of 1.
Singles for Margaret in the 5th and 6th ends had
Jim facing a 6-1 deficit but things were to turn round
in the 7th end as Fiona, Janet and Jill all found draw weight.
Lying 4, Jim tried to drop a 5th shot at the front of the house
which would have blocked Margaret out.
His stone however slid slightly too far and Margaret followed
with what looked like a perfect freeze to kill the end.
With the experts in the bar agreeing
that Jim’s only option was a draw for a 1,
Jim showed why he was in the final
and they were in the bar
with a hit shaving just past the guard and moving
Margaret’s freeze enough for a score of 3.
6-4 and game on for the final end.
The good draw weight by Jim’s team from end 7
continued and, with 2 stones remaining,
he was lying the 2 shots he needed for the peel.
Jim’s guard had perfect weight but slightly over-curled
leaving Margaret a shot through a tight port for the win.
With the experts in the bar all calling
for the draw round the open side,
it was Margaret’s turn to show why she was in the final.
With the Heather final already finished,
all eyes from the busy bar were watching as Margaret’s shot,
assisted by some powerful directional sweeping from Helen,
squeezed past the guard to hit the shot stone
on the nose for a 1 and a well-deserved 7-4 victory
to Margaret, Allan, Helen and Elisabeth.