Kinross Hogmanay Pairs (Game 11)

Kinross Hogmanay Pairs
Kinross Curling Rink, 18th December 2011

* 1 2 3 4 5 Total
David Jenkins & Alistair Wallace 0 0 0 2 x 2
David Clydesdale & Dougie Rodgers * 3 1 5 0 x 9

Edinburgh University’s representation in the Kinross Hogmanay Pairs came to a disappointing climax as David Jenkins and Alistair Wallace were comprehensively beaten by David Clydesdale and Dougie Rodgers.

Clydesdale and Rodgers started strongly, lying three after half the first end’s stones had been played.  Wallace tried for a double takeout, but was only able to remove one, which Clydesdale duly replaced.  The pair traded hit-and-sticks, before Wallace attempted another double, removing one shot and rolling to the four-foot.  Clydesdale removed the Edinburgh counter, but his shooter rolled clear of the house.  Wallace played for a hit on the shot rock, but was well wide and sailed through the house, giving Clydesdale an open draw to the house for his three.

The students came out fighting in the next end, playing some highly aggressive curling, but still found themselves facing three.  A nice freeze by Wallace on Clydesdale’s stone in the back of the four-foot encouraged his counterpart to throw a big weight, jamming on the frozen stones to lie one.  A series of shots from both sides failed to get through to the house, wrecking on the mass of guards, with thirteen stones in play as Wallace stepped up for his last shot.  Those wrecked shots left Clydesdale lying three, leaving the Edinburgh skip with only a big-weight hit through a tight port to play. Wallace almost found the port, but narrowly caught the far side of one of the stones, his shooter ricocheting into the second shot to limit Clydesdale to just a single point.

A disastrous third end wrecked any hopes of a comeback for Edinburgh University, though.  Both Jenkins and Wallace played a patient drawing game, but their opposition had other ideas, striking with great aplomb and holding their shooters consistently in the twelve foot.  Wallace, with his penultimate throw, drew in to lie second shot, but Clydesdale had no problems nosing that stone to lie five.  Wallace’s final draw, despite some frantic, albeit belated, sweeping, came up well short.

Even with the game over as a serious contest, the students continued, determined to avoid a whitewash.  A good hit and roll by Jenkins saw Edinburgh lying shot and, with Rodgers peeling a guard instead of the shot stone, he threw another into the four-foot to split the house.  Clydesdale attempted the double, but took only one, his shooter subsequently removed by Wallace with a nice roll over.  Clydesdale, accustomed to throwing big weights after the last end, couldn’t temper his power, and was unable to hold his shooter with any of his hits, Wallace continually drawing in a second shot in response.  A final big weight takeout from Clydesdale drifted wide, gifting Edinburgh an open draw for three, but Wallace’s shot was too light.

Having played such good curling together over the course of the weekend, the Edinburgh pair will have been disappointed to have capitulated so easily here.  Their opponents’ strong defensive play would have been difficult for anyone to break down, though, and both players can feel quite content with a quarter-final place, given their lack of familiarity before this competition commenced.

Michael Nicholson