Borders ice queens stay cool in Henderson Bishop finals

High Road silver medallists, Border 2 - Fiona Hodge (Ayton Castle), Helen Forbes (Duns), Anne McAuley (Teviotdale) and Maggie Wright (Lees).
High Road silver medallists, Border 2 - Fiona Hodge (Ayton Castle), Helen Forbes (Duns), Anne McAuley (Teviotdale) and Maggie Wright (Lees).

The undoubted highlight at Border Ice Rink last week was the successfully-run Henderson Bishop Ladies Challenge Trophy, which brought rinks from Aberdeen, Ayr, Borders, Braehead, Dumfries, Forfar, Kirkcaldy, Kinross, Lanarkshire, Lockerbie, Murrayfield, Perth, Stirling and Waterfront to Kelso for the second time in the space of six years.

Two very tough finals took place on Thursday afternoon, between Low Roaders Dumfries and Lanarkshire for the Cherrystone Trophy, which went to the Doonhamers, while the High Road winners were Murrayfield, defeating Borders Two (photographed from left), Fiona Hodge (Ayton Castle), Helen Forbes (Duns), Anne McAuley (Teviotdale) and Maggie Wright (Lees).

Members of the Galashiels based Focus Judo Club show off the medals they won at the Grand Prix Judo competition held at Meadowbank Sports centre in Edinburgh.

Members of the Galashiels based Focus Judo Club show off the medals they won at the Grand Prix Judo competition held at Meadowbank Sports centre in Edinburgh.

Both games kept the audience in high states of apprehension throughout.

To ladies’ gaffer Nina Clancy and the entire and indefatigable committee, is forwarded the highest of praise for the smooth running of the event from go to whoa.

See full report below.

Sports digest

Archery

Ettrick Forest Archers

The club’s AGM will be held at 3.30pm on Sunday, March 15, at the indoor range, Riverside Mills, Dunsdale Road, Selkirk. All members are requested to attend.

Badminton

Jedburgh

The club held its annual Jed Tyre and Exhaust Tournament, a knockout competition in which all matches are the best of three without seeding.

A total of eight couples played, with the final being closely contested between Gordon Yule and Myra Younger against Craig Pollock and Violet Livingston. Yule and Younger were the eventual winners by 21-13, 21-15.

Curling

Border Ice Rink

Eighty lady curlers and their supporters from all over Scotland, decended on Kelso for the national finals of the Henderson Bishop Trophy.

As well as 46 games keeping the ice busy from Monday to Thursday, several successful social functions also took place, in keeping with the true spirit of curling.

Competitors included several previous Scottish champions and an Olympic gold medallist (Margaret Agnew, nee Morton, from Rhona Martin’s team of 2002) while supporters included the Royal Caledonian Curling Club president, David Henderson, as well as the Ladies’ Section president Mary Anne McWilliam and the World Curling Federation president Kate Caithness, testimony to the prestige of the competition.

The curlers were entertained on Monday evening with a reception hosted by Scottish Borders Council. On Tuesday, things moved up a notch with a superb meal at the ice rink. This was followed by a short race night, run by Jim Cullen, representing main sponsors Cullen Kilshaw, with the ladies all entering into the fun as well as wearing magnificent hat creations, as there was a competition for the ‘best hat’ worn to the races.

The atmosphere in the clubrooms was fantastic and after three days of keen competition, the first and second-placed team in each section advanced to the semi-finals of the High and Low Roads respectively. Those involved were spread countrywide: Greenacres, Ayr, Murrayfield, Borders, Dumfries, Inverness, Lanarkshire and Aberdeen, with the draw made at the dinner held in the Cross Keys Hotel on Wednesday night.

Home supporters were not disappointed as Borders Two – Fiona Hodge (Ayton Castle), Helen Forbes (Duns), Anne McAuley (Teviotdale) and Maggie Wright (Lees) – kept them hooked until the very last stone of the High Road final when they eventually succumbed to last year’s runners-up from Murrayfield.

The Low Road final for the Cherrystone Trophy was contested by Lanarkshire and Dumfries, with the young rink from Dumfries winning, again with the very last stone.

The organising committee would like to extend their gratitude to all sponsors and helpers for contributing to a very busy but successful week which was greatly appreciated by all involved. They have now retired to a darkened room for a few days.

Golf

Lauder

Matty Whiteford 83 (9) 74 scooped this week’s Winter League prize from Ronnie Malcolm 86 (12) 74 by way of a better inward half. The last place on the podium was claimed by Shane Paton, his net 94 (15) 79 pushing Tom Hogarth off, also with a better inward half.

There was no improvement on the eclectic score, so Ronnie Malcolm still leads the way.

The only improvement of the week came on ‘The Road to Lauder’ with Matty Whiteford moving up into second place. Placings: 1, T. Hogarth; 2, M. Whiteford; 3, R. Malcolm.

Melrose

Belhaven Winter League: 1, W. Wallace; 2, K. Lochrie; 3, I. Ramsey.

The Woll

Winter League results (two best scores): Matthew MacKay (November); Andy Lindores (December); Matthew Mackay (January), Barry Pettie (February). Overall Winter League winner: Andy Lindores.

Hockey

Fjordhus Reivers U14s

Fjordhus Reivers Rockets were in action in the East of Scotland Under-14s League against CALA Whites and Inverleith Tigers on Sunday morning at a chilly Meggetland.

Hannah Kemp, Toby Dawson, Paul Goldie, Polly Bell, Emma Duncan, Danielle Walker, Rhiannon Fagan and Nicholas Henderson made up the Rockets team and were in formidable form. They played with endeavour, skill and determination to demonstrate smart and attractive hockey using tactical awareness.

Both games were played at a high intensity and Reivers used impressive decision-making to score three goals against CALA and a further two past Inverleith.

Playing without a goalkeeper, the Reivers players were challenged to think about performance rather than goals. By doing this, the team were able to influence the pace of the games and create scoring opportunities.

Travelling supporters were very impressed with the maturity of play and desire shown by the emerging talent of the Fjordhus Reivers junior club members.

Final scores: Fjordhus Reivers Rockets 3 CALA Whites 0; Inverleith Tigers 2 Fjordhus Reivers Rockets 2.

Judo

Focus

Meadowbank Sports centre in Edinburgh was the venue for the Grand Prix Judo competition, where coaches Tam Hardie, Stuart Gordon and Lee Allan, and nine players from Focus Judo club in Galashiels, attended the Ultimate Open Chamionships, which gained them four bronze, one silver and one gold medal.

In the AA band category (8-10 yrs), Kai Allan and Arran Little both won bronze medals in their weight class and James Glendinning took home the silver medal. All three had some very tough fights and done very well to achieve medals. Alexander Fraser also competed in the AA category in a very hard weight class. He won one fight and is now showing some great potential for future competitions.

Ewa Jankowska and Holly Shepherd competed in the A band category (11-12 yrs). Ewa won bronze and Holly brought back a well-deserved gold medal. Holly is adapting to competition very well and although it’s a very nerve-wracking experience for her, she is still fighting through and winning medals.

Sebastian Fraser fought in the B band category (13-14 yrs) and although he suffered a bad shoulder injury, he still gained a bronze medal.

Monica Riddell fought in the very competitive C band category (15-17 yrs). Despite the fact that she entered the competition with an injured hand, she still gave a very good account of herself. She is a very committed member of Focus Judo Club and has great potential for the future.

Unfortunately, Ewan Jones and Macauley Esmer had to pull out due to illness, but will definitely be part of the team next time.

Well done to everyone involved.

Rugby

Langholm

Langholm only lost to Linlithgow by a narrow 11-13 at Milntown earlier in the season, but were well beaten 53-5 in the away fixture on Saturday.

The Milntown outfit have struggled for player numbers all season and an early kick-off, due to the international at Murrayfield, made it more difficult than ever to get a squad together.

Langholm eventually made the journey with the bare minimum of 15, with coach Garry Brannan on hand as a replacement. This put Langholm at a considerable disadvantage as players were taking knocks, but had to play on regardless and fortunately no-one was bad enough to have to go off.

Langholm were 33-0 behind at half-time and it looked like it could be a huge defeat by the finish, but they only forfeited 20 points in the second half, with the forwards working hard for possession and the backs defending stoutly. Centre Gregor Masterton was outstanding with some crunching tackles.

The Langholm try came from a tap penalty move initially made by scrum half Rudi Marshall and rounded off by No8 and skipper Steven Nicol, who rampaged over from 20m out.

The forwards struggled for possession in the set-piece, especially in the first half, but battled bravely against the odds.

Langholm certainly did not lack spirit and were still giving their all at the end.

Although well beaten, it was one of those days when nothing seemed to go Langholm’s way.

Melrose

Australian rugby legend David Campese was the principal guest speaker at a dinner at Melrose RFC on Friday night in aid of The Bill McLaren Foundation and The Melrose Rugby Academy.

In addition, BBC’s John Inverdale and Jim Telfer provided excellent entertainment during the evening.

Proceedings were expertly controlled by MC Roy Mack. The event was a sell-out with more than 150 attending.

Squash

Galashiels

D. Sharratt 2 J. Barrow 0; R. Kohler 2 R. McAleese 1; A. Gill 2 J. Barrow 0; R. McAleese 2 D. Sharratt 0; A. Gill 1 R. McAleese 1; R. Kohler 2 J. Barrow 0; R. Kohler 1 D. Sharratt 0.