Joy at last for Kelso High in schools’ contest

Angus Bryce (skip), Joanna Sutherland, Kyle McLain and Callum McLain.
Angus Bryce (skip), Joanna Sutherland, Kyle McLain and Callum McLain.

After edging closer and closer to success in recent years, the time finally came for Kelso High School last weekend in the Scottish Schools Curling Championship.

The Borders youngsters scored a 7-2 win over St Joseph’s of Dumfries – who had defeated them in last year’s final.

There was special delight for several members of the Kelso team, who’d played in the tournament before and got a little further each time.

Angus Bryce, Joanna Sutherland and Kyle McLain reached the quarter-finals in 2016 and the semis in 2017.

They were joined last year by Kyle’s younger brother Callum and made the final.

However, they were thrielled to win in 2019 – a feat Kyle had predicted for a year – “if we get there, we will win” – because of their consistent progress.

A total of 23 teams from schools all over Scotland set out in pursuit of the prize.

Kelso lost their opening game 7-4 against Sanquhar but recovered superbly to beat Dumfries Academy 13-1, Stranraer 8-5, Dundee High School 14-3 and Stewarton Academy 11-3.

In the quarter-final, they beat Beath High School 11-3, followed by a 9-1 victory against Lockerbie Academy in the semi-final.

Coach Neil McLain – Kyle and Callum’s dad – said they “dug deep and never looked back” after the early setback.

Six years ago, Angus’ brother and sister, and Joanna’s brother, also helped win the trophy for Kelso High.