Edinburgh Curling Club Centenary Bonspiel
Murrayfield Curling, 30th January 2012
Edinburgh University’s third and final entrant in the Edinburgh Curling Club Centenary Bonspiel were unable to better their peers’ efforts, succumbing 14 v 3 to a strong side from Gogar Park Curling Club. This final game saw Graham Chernoff take the head, assisted by Lewis Drennan. Fraser Stockton and Schuyler Ward comprised the front end.
Edinburgh started brightly, a nice barrier weight double takeout from Stockton clearing the house to alleviate the building Gogar Park pressure. Two errant shots from Drennan let them back in, though, and Chernoff, with no easy path to the four foot, was forced into a tricky double for the blank. His peel removed one stone which only grazed the other on its way out, giving Gogar Park a steal of one. Faced with another double with his first in the second end, Chernoff could again remove only one, allowing his counterpart to draw another in. Facing three, the cool-headed Chernoff drew to the four foot to take his single.
Without the hammer, Edinburgh struggled to build momentum in the third, failing to adequately protect their shots and leaving easy takeouts and freezes for their opponents. Edinburgh found themselves lying shot, though, and a hit on the wing by Chernoff might have given them the roll they needed to lie two had it not been overswept. With only one to remove, the Gogar Park skip drove his shooter into his own stone in the four foot and into the Edinburgh rock to remove it and lie four. Chernoff’s draw in looked good, but took an almighty swing before wrecking on an opposition guard. His opposite number then coolly stepped up and drew the house for five.
A steal of four followed in the next as a comedy of errors ensued. A long guard by Ward with his first- itself a decent shot- proved the catalyst for another big end. Gogar Park were the first to draw around it, getting about four fifths covered in the top of the eight foot, and all subsequent efforts by Edinburgh to draw around it were left exposed enough to facilitate some perfunctory hits-and-rolls. Chernoff, faced with drawing the button against four, instead decided to go for a tricky hit through a port, perhaps as a reaction to his last draw going awry. The Canadian found the port, but wrecked on another guard.
With the game over a serious contest, Edinburgh set about damage limitation and played a much brighter fifth end. A lovely draw by Ward to the back four-foot stayed in place until the thirds’ stones, when a nice shot by Gogar Park’s vice removed it and rolled in behind good cover. A spot of good fortune followed for the students though as Drennan’s draw wrecked on a guard, but veered off just rightly to freeze on the Gogar Park shot. Chernoff’s first could have seen the students lying two, but wrecked on the guard with the sweepers doing nothing to see it past. The Gogar Park skip removed the Edinburgh shot stone, but Chernoff followed him down with a hit of his own to take two.
These would be Edinburgh’s last points. Despite some brilliant build-up play by the whole team in the sixth leaving them lying three with just the hammer to be played, the Gogar Park skip stepped up and drew the button for his single. Somewhat despondent, Edinburgh lost their weight completely in the seventh and gave away another three, Chernoff’s last draw mitigating the loss from four.