Young curlers pay back coaches with successes

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THE curling season drew to a close for many youngsters in the Scottish Borders at the end-of-season bonspiel, writes Andrew Fleming.

Despite a slightly disappointing turnout, a total of six rinks competed for the trophy, the curlers thoroughly enjoyed their night, as they have over the whole season.

There were some thrilling matches and, in the end, the team of Thomas Fleming (skip), Lesley Kerr, Angus Bryce and Mark Hill emerged the victors.

Team Fleming started extremely well, treating their first opponents to a 6-0 drubbing which was later followed by a narrow 4-2 victory to clinch the title.

Members said a huge thanks to the hard-working coaches Jim Buchanan, Bert Duncan, Jane Smith, Liz Cullen, Peter Colebrook and Euan Forbes. They have put a lot of effort and commitment into coaching the curlers throughout a very successful season. The coaches’ endeavour has been rewarded throughout the winter months with a team from the Border Ice Rink achieving success in the Scottish Under-13s slam – which took place at the Dumfries Ice Bowl earlier in the year.

More recently, the triumphs for the Borders continued. This time, the Kelso High School team won the South of Scotland qualifiers at Murrayfield and secured a place in the finals.

They returned to the capital for the main event in March, where they performed incredibly to top their group unbeaten. This gained the Tweedsiders a place in the quarter-final stage, before a spirited performance fell agonizingly short, resulting in Perth Academy reaching the semi-finals.

Monday night coaching sessions have been a very enjoyable experience for all, and the successes have put the icing on the cake.