Edinburgh University 7 – 6 Aberdeen University

SSS League

Perth Ice Centre, 20th March 2013

  H 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total
Edinburgh University 0 3 1 2 1 0 0 0 7
Aberdeen University * 2 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 6

Edinburgh entered into the final round of SSS fixtures last Wednesday sitting rock bottom of the table and without a win all season (to be precise, an Edinburgh win in this competition hadn’t been recorded since 2010). Regardless, both teams came into this wooden spoon clash knowing that it was their best chance for a win and whoever got to grips with the conditions first would probably prevail.

The first end saw few stones in play as the respective front ends struggled with their weight. With his final stone the Aberdeen skip was facing an Edinburgh stone that was buried behind one of his own guards, but a brave call and a slice of good fortune saw him make a runback to secure the 2 he wanted with hammer.

Edinburgh hit back immediately, taking a three in their first end with hammer after the Aberdeen third missed both of his takeout attempts, however, McQuistin’s draw for 4 fell short of the house. From here though, it was all Edinburgh as remarkable consistency from McCrossan and Stockton constantly put Aberdeen under pressure. With stones in scoring positions, McQuistin was able to guddle the front, making it as difficult as possible for the Aberdeen skip to score. Coupled with some precise hits and draws from Stirling, maximum pressure was placed on Aberdeen’s last stones. This strategy paid off and after 5 of 8 ends McQuistin had led his Edinburgh team to a commanding 7-2 lead.

An improved showing from the Aberdeen team and a missed stone from McCrossan enabled them to eventually take advantage of the hammer for the second time and they scored a 2, taking the score to 7-4. Coming into the penultimate end Edinburgh thought if they could score even just one point their lead would be unassailable and the victory would be theirs. Unfortunately this was not to be and a slack end all round left the team in a perilous position with McQuistin facing 5 with his last stone. A nerve-wracking sweep later and the stone had drifted just off line, rolling to lie second shot and giving Aberdeen another point. They now sat within two of coming home.

The final end began and Edinburgh’s task was clear, limit their opposition to scoring one and they would win. McQuistin’s plan to keep it simple had to be altered when McCrossan buried a shot well behind a guard. This was followed by a superb draw to the button from Stockton. Stirling was left to mop up and take as many opposition stones out as she could, but it came to skips’ stones and Aberdeen still had a chance. McQuistin played his first stone facing one and although it was a superb shot it was burned by McCrossan and called sportingly, with the Aberdeen skip remarked that he could have got away with it had he wanted to. A difficult takeout through a port was expertly executed by the Aberdeen skip but it was not enough, as they only lay one with no stones remaining. McQuistin’s final stone was inconsequential and Stockton and McCrossan were able to ‘just clean’.

It was a terrific afternoon for Edinburgh University, dominating the game from early on, and holding off attacks from a dogged Aberdeen side. Is this long-awaited win the start of a series of victories for the club?  Time will tell.

 Eoin McCrossan