The main thing to report, for me at any rate after this weekend, is that December's Scottish Curler magazine is now just about ready to go to press on Tuesday! But there was a lot of curling on this weekend and I was frustrated at not being able to see any of it first hand. The scores on the Royal Club website were my lifeline to what was going on.
At Aberdeen, Curling Today's 'kiss of death' after Friday's build up saw Mairi Milne and her new team just win one of their four games in the first weekend of the Columba Cream Scottish Ladies' Curling Championship! Kelly Wood, Jackie Lockhart, Lorna Vevers and Lindsay Wood had a good weekend, with wins over Milne's side and those of Judith McFarlane and Gillian Howard. Their only loss was to Sarah Reid's team of Kerry Barr, Barbara McFarlane and Laura Kirkpatrick.
World Junior Champ Eve Muirhead skipped her 'put together' team for the season's Scottish - Karen Addison, Rachael Simms and Anne Laird - and shares the top of the table position with Team Wood, winning three games. In fact their only loss was at an extra end to Gillian Howard.
What of the Scottish Champion Gail Munro? Gail and Lyndsay had a new front end in the shape of Kerry Adams and Sharon Stewart. They won two (against Howard and Milne), and lost two (against Reid and McFarlane), and are still in contention.
It all remains wide open for the next Championship rounds, but these are not until January 31 at Kinross.
Mike Haggerty's roundup is here.
At Kilmarnock, Hammy McMillan, Philip Wilson, Ross Paterson and Sandy Gilmour beat David Edwards, Moray Combe, Gavin Fleming and Graham Sloan in the final of the third of the men's mini tour events. With his win in Lockerbie in the second of the competitions, this gave McMillan's side the overall Mini Tour title, the Colin Galbraith trophy, and a foreign trip next season.
It wasn't an easy road for Team McMillan though, as they lost two early games and only came through from their section after a tiebreaker.
One of the incentives for entering the Mini Tour this season was that if you did well your team could avoid the pre-qualifier and get through directly to the main Scottish Championship qualifying weekends. The Competitions Manager's report is here. As I understand it, the teams who were not already through by virtue of their performance in the finals (ie David Edwards and Colin Hamilton) last season and who benefit from their mini tour performances this season are Hammy McMillan, Keith MacLennan, Jamie Dick, Scott Hamilton, Alan Smith, Alan Manuel and Lee McCleary. Have I got this right? Someone will no doubt tell me if I haven't! The mini tour standings tables are here if you want to try figure it out for yourself.
Top: Team McMillan at the Galleon. L-R Hammy McMillan, Philip Wilson, Ross Paterson, Sandy Gilmour. Photo by Richard Gray.
Chuck Hay - Chuck Hay, legend, died last week, aged 87. That's him in happy times on the hack at the Brora rink. You will find the World Curling Federation's obituar...
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