Kinross Hogmanay Pairs (Game 1)

Kinross Hogmanay Pairs
Kinross Curling Rink, 17th December 2011

H 1 2 3 4 5 Total
David Jenkins & Alistair Wallace 1 0 0 0 x 1
Iain Cormack & Paul Baughan * 0 3 1 1 x 5

A last minute entry to make up the numbers, Alistair Wallace and David Jenkins did not represent the archetypal pairs team- generally two good friends who have curled together for some time.  The pair was known to one another only from one season (2008 – 2009) when their paths crossed at the Edinburgh University Club, in Wallace’s Presidential year.  Wallace departed for an exchange year in Texas after that, and was not to be seen in club colours- not, in fact, to throw a stone in anger- until answering this call to arms.

Their first opponents in the triple knockout first stage were, conversely, very well known to one another, being mainstays of the Kinross circuit.

The students had a somewhat fortuitous first end, stealing a single without really deserving to.  After Jenkins blinked first in a striking battle, Cormack – awarded a Half Blue for curling at Edinburgh University some twenty years ago- was able to draw to the opposite side and split the house.  Another Jenkins miss saw a third opposition counter thrown in by Cormack.  Following a trade of hits-and-sticks, Cormack was faced with a half-stone hit for the three; however, the Edinburgh rock jammed on his own stone in the back twelve and the shooter rolled out, gifting Wallace and Jenkins a single.

That point proved to be their last, though, as their opponents- more familiar with the Kinross ice- stepped their game up a gear.  Another hitting game- this time with some nice attempts to roll behind cover- saw Cormack again lying three with only last stones to be played.  Jenkins was able to remove the shot stone but rolled away to leave an open draw to the eight-foot for three.  Luck favoured Cormack this time, as his slightly heavy draw was adjudged – after a measure- to just beat the lone Edinburgh stone in the house.

Into the third and with Edinburgh sitting shot behind cover, Cormack played a cracking stone, driving the Edinburgh guard onto one of his own and into the scoring shot.   A couple of poor shots from Jenkins left him with a draw against four, with only part of the button open for the shot.  Another poor rock went well wide of its target, but was enough to cut the Kinross pair down to one point.  Another point was yielded in the fourth and final end when Jenkins, again facing three, played a very nice double but couldn’t remove the last counter.

A loss was no surprise here for the unfamiliar duo of Jenkins and Wallace; what was surprising was the difference in quality from the pair.  Wallace looked much the more comfortable player despite his long absence from the game.  Jenkins did show glimpses of his undoubted ability, though, giving rise to some optimism for their next two matches. 

Michael Nicholson