The Border Ice Rink hosted the Scottish Curling Senior Mixed Championship last weekend – the most prestigious curling competition to be held in the Borders for a few years.
The region was well represented, with five rinks out of the 16.
Section C was of particular interest to the local spectators, as it pitted three Border rinks against each other, with particular interest in the brother v sister grudge match when George Whiteford’s rink took on Colin Martin’s rink.
Colin came out on top with a comfortable 11-7 win as he continued on to go unbeaten in his section, also beating Jim Cullen’s rink.
John Stevenson and his rink struggled in a tough group, unable to make it through to the next round, while Gwen Prentice and her rink, skipped by Lockhart Steele, topped their group with two wins and a peel, taking them into the quarter-final. Colin Martin convincingly won his quarter-final against the Murrayfield rink of Mike Dick 10-6 and the Prentice rink came back to beat Jim Hogg.
Unfortunately, the Border representation in the high road ended in the semi-finals, with Steele’s final stone to force an extra end finishing agonisingly short, putting Stuart Wilson into the final, and Colin Martin’s rink never really got going in their game against Neil Murray’s rink from Stirling.
The low road final was contested by Ken Horton and the final remaining home rink of George Whiteford.
The first six ends were decided by single points but Whiteford gave up a three in the seventh end to mean they were a point behind in the eighth with the hammer. The eighth end was tight, with Whiteford taking a single point, forcing the extra end, but a misplaced draw meant Ken Horton won the low road in a thrilling tight game. It must be noted the Whiteford rink was pulled together at very short notice and it was quite an achievement to do as well as it did.
The high road final was between Neil Murray and Stuart Wilson.
Wilson pulled away quickly but was pegged back a couple of times, meaning they went into the final end with a shot in it.
However, they managed to take a two to take the trophy back to Stranraer.
Icemen Graeme Baxter and Josh Hogarth produced excellent ice throughout the competition and the Border Ice Rink did exceedingly well in hosting the competition.
It was also fantastic to see how many spectators turned up to watch throughout the three days, which hopefully bodes well for hosting this event again in future.