Murrayfield Curling, 1st December 2012
Edinburgh University welcomed members of the Slovenian national team as their tour of Scotland reached Edinburgh and, more specifically, Murrayfield ice rink. The International team had faced a variety of curlers on their tour, including a former world champion, but now they faced a much less experienced team in Edinburgh University whose two front end players had only learned to curl last year.
However, it was the University team who took the lead in their first end, as following a double take-out from the skip, Gavin McQuistin (himself, only in his first year with the club), with only a solitary Edinburgh stone left in the house, giving the University team the first point of the game.
The Edinburgh team, clearly taking confidence from a very good start, continued to play a very tidy game with Emma Wheeldon guarding well and Rory Williams getting rid of the Slovenian’s stones, forcing them to draw into the house for a solitary point. However, the international team began to show why they are being tipped to be one of the next big curling sides, when in the third end they took full advantage of the University’s inexperience to steal a two.
However, Edinburgh University didn’t let their heads drop and continued to play some very impressive stones with Wheeldon drawing into the house behind her own guard and the more experienced Fraser Stockton successfully sitting on the Slovenians stone so as to not be removed. McQuistin had the chance to draw in to give the Edinburgh side the lead, however the University side were incredibly unlucky when his stone picked up a piece of dirt causing it to change direction, meaning they could only even the game up.
This warning sign was quickly acted upon by the Slovenians, who again showed their class when, despite Williams and Stockton clearing the majority of their stones, they were able use their last stone advantage to take a two point lead going into the final end.
With the University side knowing they would need a two to at least draw they went on the offensive, however every stone Edinburgh got into a scoring position, was quickly removed by the international side. However, McQuistin kept his cool with the final stone of the match to limit the defeat to only one point by drawing the button.
As facebook friend requests where swapped and a promise to play again sometime soon was agreed , Edinburgh University will take great encouragement from their performance against a team who not only were expected to defeat them heavily, but were also made up of players who compete on an international level. Hopefully this confidence and skill will continue for the students in their next SSS league fixtures in February.