Kinross Hogmanay Pairs
Kinross Curling Rink, 17th December 2011
|Michael Nicholson & Ted Edmunds||*||1||0||4||x||x||5|
|Hugh Thomson & Andy Macpherson||0||1||0||x||x||1|
Michael Nicholson and Ted Edmunds pulled off something of an upset in this tense affair, thanks to one high-scoring end in a tactical battle of wits.
With Thomson lying four in the first, Nicholson narrowly missed a double takeout. A nice draw into the four foot added to Thomson’s advantage, until Edmunds removed it. Thomson missed a back-weight takeout, allowing Edmunds a nice hit and roll to lie two. Thomson removed one, leaving a hit for two, though Edmunds’ shot was just too heavy, staying wide.
A lovely guard from Nicholson was joined by several others from each side, preventing a drawing game and instead forcing a number of raises. Thomson was the first to try, nicely tapping one of his own stones into the twelve-foot, with Edmunds following suit immediately. Edmunds tried two more tap-ups, while Thomson continued to guard, but none neither of his shots were able to beat the single Thomson counter.
Sensing Thomson’s reluctance to draw, Nicholson and Edmunds adopted a very aggressive style. Trading guards to begin with, Macfarlane drew the button with his second shot. Nicholson ticked his guard over, and then did so again after Macfarlane replaced that guard with another. A nice chap and lie from Nicholson on Macfarlane’s shot stone was followed by an identical shot from Thomson. Edmunds removed Thomson’s counter and rolled in behind cover. Thomson made the first mistake of the end, accidentally tapping an Edinburgh stone from the guard zone into the twelve-foot, which was soon joined by another promotion of Edmunds’ design, Thomson was unable to find a path through with his last and left Edmunds a tricky draw for four with his last. Originally called on the out-turn, Nicholson changed the handle with Edmunds in the hack. As Edmunds reset himself for the shot, the bell went to signal that this would be the last shot of the game. Nonetheless, Edmunds played the shot as though the match depended on it and played a perfect draw to the tee line to take four.
The manner of the game’s ending, with the last-second change in shot resulting in the bell going before rather than after the shot, thereby precluding another end, was unfortunate; however, a deficit of four points would have been difficult for Thomson and Macfarlane to overcome.
What this game lacked in pace, it made up for in quality. Nicholson and Edmunds were good value for their win; the shot-making and tactical nous of both teams was spot on, and they served up an enthralling tactical encounter.