Murrayfield Curling, 2nd October 2011
37 Club forfeited the game due to an inability to field four players. Â The game was awarded to Edinburgh University 6 v 0.
The following relates to a friendly that was played instead.
Edinburgh University scored their first points in the Linlithgow League in 12 games, and hauled themselves off the bottom of the league, when the 37 Club were unable to field a full complement of four players. Â Both teams agreed, regardless, to play a friendly match. Â Therefore, with nothing at stake but pride, an inexperienced Edinburgh team took to the ice.
Edinburgh made a couple of personnel changes from the team which succumbed to Penicuik in the first league fixture. Â Katie McGaan and Kelly Jamieson dropped out, with David McHale and Fraser Stockton moving up to second and skip respectively. Â Lewis Drennan slotted in at third, while Eoin McCrossan- making his competitive debut, having tried the sport for the first time only two weeks previously- completed the quartet.
Edinburgh started well, some lovely guards in the first end allowing them to dominate the centre and put pressure on their opponents. Â A nice draw into the house from Stockton- Â facing the pressure of playing his first ever game at skip- left his team lying shot and well protected by their own guards. Â The 37 Club’s skip failed to answer the challenge, leaving Stockton with a draw for two with his final throw; he failed to capitalise, though, clipping his own guard on the way down and being forced to settle for a single point. Â Edinburgh then doubled their lead, stealing one in a very tight second end. Â Some good guard play by both teams’ front ends kept the sheet congested and Drennan did well to draw into the house. Â Stockton’s next shot protected it perfectly and the 37 Club could do nothing to remove it.
Another close end followed, as a series of good draws by the whole Edinburgh team left them in a strong position, forcing the 37 Club’s skip to draw in for a solitary point. In the fourth end, though, Stockton’s team found themselves facing down the barrel of a gun, with the young skip himself forced to draw in against a number of opposition counters to take one. Â The shot was heavy but the guddle at the back of the house proved a boon, with his stone nestling in, just behind the button.
Such fortune did not follow them into the fifth end, when Edinburgh’s inexperience finally began to show. Â Some poor, over-hit shots from the McHale and McCrossan left the 37 Club lying four and, when Stockton’s last stone wrecked on a guard, they ran the risk of losing five, saved only by the opposition skip accidentally promoting an Edinburgh rock. The three conceded, though, was a big loss in such a tight game, and Edinburgh entered the sixth and final (given the time available) end knowing they needed to take two to win.
That did not prove an impossible feat at first, with their front end recovering from their errors in the previous end to put two guarded stones into the house. Â However, a marvellous double takeout by the opposition third (himself an alumnus of the University and its Curling Club) stymied ambitions of a win. Â Stockton, faced with a draw to the eight foot, came up short thereby gifting the end, and the match, to the 37 Club.
Edinburgh’s inexperienced team came away understandably disappointed but proud of their performance against sterling competition and optimistic of claiming victory on even terms in the future. Â Certainly, their performance in this match was one the finest they have produced in this competition over their two years of participation. Â With only Penicuik enjoying an unblemished record after two games, this league may be tighter than first appearances suggested and it may be that Edinburgh will fare better than their first game thrashing suggested.
|Linlithgow League 2011 – 2012 (Round 2)|