Well, after a busy festive period it’s great to be back in Scotland – just 30 days until the Winter Olympics now!
Here’s what was happening over the weekend along with some news of other events.
First off, the Yichun International Ladies in China was won by Canada’s Tracy Horgan who defeated Yilun Jiang 8-5 in the final.
Bingyu Wang picked up bronze after a 10-7 win against Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni – this game was perhaps more one-sided than the scoreline suggests as Wang was leading 8-1 after six ends.
All the scores and stats from Yichun are here.
The Curling Champions Tour was making its second stop in Scotland with the City of Perth Masters from Thursday to Sunday.
The lineup was arguably one of the best ever but it was one of the local teams skipped by Logan Gray who won the event – a fantastic achievement for Logan and his team of Glen Muirhead, Ross Paterson and Richard Woods. Well done boys!
Team Gray beat the talented Swedish junior team skipped by Oskar Eriksson 5-4 after stealing a single in an extra end in Sunday afternoon’s final.
Scores and pictures can be found here on the event website.
Some notable upsets and great scalps were seen in Perth over the weekend not least the disappointing display by David Murdoch and his team who are bound for Sochi in a matter of weeks.
Having lost their first two games they dropped to the C Road where a win against Moray Combe put them into Day 3 of the tournament but they went out of the event in the next game when they lost to David Sik and his Czech team.
Not ideal preparation before the biggest event of them all.
One of the best scalps of the weekend was seeing David Edwards beat Swedish World Champion Niklas Edin 6-1 on the Friday but that was trumped by Kyle Smith’s outstanding 7-0 victory over the Swedes the next day in just four ends.
The Scottish Junior Curling Club Challenge was being played at Murrayfield over the weekend.
When the play came to an end on Sunday, here’s what the results meant:
Champions – Forfar
Relegated – Hamilton A and Hamilton B
Promoted – Gogar Park B and Borders
Relegated – Stirling and Greenacres
According to the scores (found here) the Greenacres team lost every game 6-0 and by the same linescore. I think we can safely assume that their team was a no-show – what a shame to be relegated in such a manner.
It was also in Division 2 where the most impressive scoreline of the weekend was to be found. Stirling’s youngsters had a morning to forget on Sunday when they lost 23-3 to Borders in eight ends. Twenty of Borders’ points were stolen and they picked up an impressive 93 shots in ten games over the weekend – a worthy team to step up to Division 1.
Finally, an update from Lohja, Finland where the 2014 European Junior Curling Challenge is taking place.
This event began on Friday and is now approaching the final stages. Two places at the World Juniors are up for grabs – one for the boys and one for the girls.
England have two teams in Finland skipped by Ben Fowler and Hetty Garnier and they have been doing pretty well.
Ben and his junior men’s team came fourth in their group on three wins and three losses which earned them a quarter-final berth against the undefeated Czech Republic. True to form, the Czechs won 7-5 despite England being 5-1 up after five ends.
Denmark play Austria in one semi-final while the Netherlands and the Czech Republic play in the other.
Hetty’s junior women’s team finished the group campaign in second place on four wins and one loss which got them a quarter-final spot against Norway which they won 8-2. They now face Italy for a place in the final against either Poland or Hungary.
England’s women have never been to a World Juniors before – two wins and Hetty and her team will make history.
Best of luck girls!
Event information can be found here on the Finnish Curling Association’s website.
Images are © CCT, RCCC and WCF