Murrayfield Curling, Â 23rd October 2011
With a win and a draw already recorded in the Linlithgow League, Â Edinburgh were optimistic going into their third match of the season. With Schuyler Ward (lead) and Rory Williams (second) both making their curling debuts, Â and Alison McAteer returning to competitive play for the first time in over a year, Â it was always bound to be an interesting game. The team was completed by David Jenkins, playing at third.
Edinburgh struggled to gauge the right weight in the first end, Â with several underplayed shots handing Aegon two points in the first end. Â Edinburgh took advantage of gaining the hammer, Â setting up to lie two before the skips played the final stones. A draw played light by the Aegon skip left Edinburgh with a good chance to take the lead, Â but McAteer’s own draw could only make the guard zone.
The third end started well, Â the front end settling into their stride and setting up a collection of stones in the guard zone and the outer edges of the house. However, Â a couple of neatly played shots by the Aegon third left Edinburgh struggling to hold on. Opting for damage control as their best option, Â McAteer played a hit and roll to leave Aegon lying one and avoid the risk of losing three. The Aegon skip responded with an excellent draw to pull two ahead again.
Ward and Williams produced some solid shots in the fourth end, Â however, Â Aegon were able to place one lying shot carefully behind a collection of guards, Â out of sight from the hack. Jenkins successfully struck the second lying shot, Â but McAteer found a draw to beat Aegon’s shot beyond her, Â leaving Aegon 5-2 ahead.
A speedy fifth end saw misses from both front ends and a clear house and guard zone. Â Aegon’s third drew his shots neatly to the four foot, Â and Jenkins responded with a textbook takeout on one, Â leaving McAteer to remove the other. Â Aegon’s skip failed to respond, Â with a draw falling short of the house. Â Deciding against a tactical blank end, Â McAteer managed to find tee weight and claimed Edinburgh’s last point of the day.
The sixth end started well, Â and it even seemed as though Aegon were on the back foot as Ward played two almost identical shots to lie in the eight foot. Williams followed by two lovely shots, Â and the Edinburgh team were soon lying four. Aegon team made the most of the hammer though, Â and an impressive draw by their skip saw them take a single
A guddle of stones at the front of the house made it difficult for the students in the seventh, Â and Aegon took fulladvantage, Â leaving two stones lying and a difficult gap for a draw, Â which McAteer could not find. Â Similarly, Â she could not make the final draw in the eighth which would have given her team a further consolation point, Â Aegon stealing once more.
Overall the team put in a sterling effort, Â with great debuts from Ward and Williams, Â and some excellent shots particularly in the later ends. McAteer managed several strong draws and very consistent play from Jenkins kept the pressure on. There was no lack of stones in play throughout the match and, Â while Aegon thoroughly deserved every point they won, Â it was by no means an easy game. The Edinburgh team simply failed to capitalise on chances Â which will no doubt be less of an issue later in the season with more competitive experience. Nevertheless, Â there was great communication between players, Â and while they may not have won the game, Â it was still a very respectable performance by the student team.
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