Murrayfield Curling, 7th November 2011
In their fifth Linlithgow league match of the season, Edinburgh University took on the Vets, who came into this match following an impressive victory over league leaders, and last seasons champions, Penicuik. An administrative error prior to the match- whereby the team expected to play two and a half hours later than they were scheduled to- left the team rather flustered and, more importantly, two bodies short. Lewis Drennan and Emma Wheeldon were replaced in the front end at the last moment by Katie McGaan and Alison McAteer, who joined Fraser Stockton at third and Ted Edmunds, who made a long awaited first appearance at skip.
This troubled start however appeared not to affect Edinburgh too much as, following a series of good shots they took a one shot lead. However this was to be short-lived, as despite a perfect guard from McGann at lead, it was the Vets who placed a draw directly behind it making it almost impossible to be disposed of. While Edinburghs efforts to take out such a well-protected stone came to naught, the Vets (Veterans) experienced showed; several draws played exactly to the edge of the house made it impossible for Edmunds to do anything about conceding an early four.
The disappointment of that end was to be compounded by the bad news that McGann, by far the teams most experienced hand, had to retire through injury. McAteer would play the first three stones and Stockton the next three, with Edmunds continuing to play the final two.
The Vets experience continued to show in both the third and fourth ends as they successfully managed to steal a point in each, though the spoils could have been greater had it not been for the cool head of Edmunds, who seemed little fazed by whatever faced him. Nowhere was this more visible than in the fifth end, where the toll of declining morale and concentration began to show. Faced with conceding six, a calm Edmunds drew in to limit the damage to a single counter.
Perhaps inspired by their skips last shot Edinburgh got back up to pace, with McAteer playing some lovely guards which were successful in protecting two well-placed draws by Stockton, leaving Edinburgh lying four with only skips stones to play. However, the Vets skips cool was the equal of Edmunds, and his draw in restricted the university to one point. For the students, though, the sole counter was welcome stopper at a time when they were leaking points.
The pleasure of that point was to be short-lived as a dull last end gave the Vets another two, ending a disappointing match for Edinburgh University. Although they knew success in this match would be difficult against such experienced opposition, the team that eventually played was an experienced one, and should have been able to avoid such a heavy defeat. Without the pre-match frenzy caused by the scheduling error, and without McGaans injury, it is fair to say that Edinburgh would have caused the Vets more problems.
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