The Penicuik squad for the Gathering this year was led by President Jim Ramsay, Vice-president Dave Carr, and Andrew Lambie. The other players included Liz Anderson, David Ballantyne, Margaret Carr, Andrew Dalgleish, Ronnie Hope, Janette Lambie, Pam Ramsay, and Jan Stuart. Penicuik got off to a really good start with victories over Prairie Fire (Canada), Nic Nacs (Norway), and YODA (Scotland), and ended up in the top group for the final stages of the weekend tournament. The Club teams put in some really good performances against seasoned teams of Midcalder, Red & Blue, and the Swiss Schimidis in their games, but just failed to turn it into points. This top group was won by Midcalder.
Murray Hope and John Jacobs enjoyed the opportunity to play as part of the Red & Blue team and featured well in a performance that took the team to a game that was the group decider in the final session of the tournament.
Iain Scott kindly agreed to supplement another Swiss team, CC Limmattal, who had lost a player to injury back home in Switzerland before the Gathering started. This team went on to win Group C, so well done to Iain for his contribution.
Overall the Gathering was a great success yet again. Jim Ramsay and your Web Master, of the EICG Organising Committee, are indebted to the team of Penicuik members who always appear to make the event work, assisting with transport for our visitors, helping out at the ice rink, selling raffle tickets, and making the Dinner/Dance so enjoyable.
The last round-up in our club programme was the Closing Bonspiel on Wednesday 25 March. Eight teams played seven ends against different opponents, in this very social event. In a close finish, Ken Hunter’s rink with John Jacobs, Pam Ramsay, and Pauli Holmes, ended on +8 shots to pip Walter Brown’s rink on +7. Having enjoyed success in the Opening Bonspiel, Andrew Lambie’s rink ran out with the Wooden Spoons on this occasion.
Afterwards, Members retired to the Murrayfield Dining Room to enjoy supper together and a few refreshments. Our thanks go to Jean Lennie for her sponsorship of the prizes for the Bonspiel.
Last night saw the end of season playoffs for the divisional titles in the Province League. Penicuik, having topped the Division III league, played second placed team, Stewarts Melville. Your Web Master was given the opportunity to join the Penicuik ‘Young Guns’, substituting for team captain Dave Anderson. The ice was very keen for a 5.30pm start, and this led to a lot of play at the back of the house in the initial ends. Stewarts Melville took the early initiative with a two in the first end, followed by a steal of a single in the second end. A well controlled strike with his final stone by skip Murray Hope gave Penicuik a single at the third end. This proved to be the turning point in the game; Penicuik went on to take threes in both of the next two ends, and a two in the sixth end. The game was concluded when Penicuik took a four at the seventh end. Iain at lead, and John at second, both played well to set up each end and when necessary deal with threatening early shots by the opposition. Murray led the team well and restricted any opportunities for the opposition to regain a foothold in the game. Final score 13-3.
For my part it was a good opportunity to play with the guys and to see how they worked as a unit. They may face harder opposition in Division II next season, but they can build on the experience gained this season to do well.
Dave Anderson (skip), President Jim Ramsay (third), Liz Anderson (second), and Janette Lambie (lead) travelled through to Braehead on Saturday 7th March to take part in the annual Balfron Invitational Bonspiel, involving eight rinks including two from Balfron, and one each from Bearsden Ski Club, Uplawmoor, Troon Portland, Harlequins, Loch Ard and Penicuik.
This was a closely contested, ends then shots-up, competition which is played over two four end games before and after lunch. The outcome was two rinks finishing on 7 ends, three on 8 ends and three on 9 ends. Harlequins were 3rd on 9 ends (+ 1 shot), Bearsden Ski Club (last year’s winners) were runners-up on 9 ends (+ 2 shot)s and Penicuik were winners on 9 ends (+ 5 shots); so a Penicuik rink won the Balfron Crook for the second time in the competition’s history having previously won it in 2010
‘Many thanks go to President Jean, organisers Grant and Eileen, and the members of Balfron Curling Club for a most enjoyable day. We look forward to welcoming them to the Gathering when the engraved Crook will be presented’. – Dave Anderson
Update from Team Captain Dave Anderson
The final game in this league was played on Thursday of last week, skipped by Murray Hope with Dave Anderson at 3, Iain Scott at 2 and John Jacobs at lead. We managed to maintain our winning run by beating Boswell Curling Club by 10 shots to 2 and by 5 ends to 2, thereby finishing at the top of the Division III on the same points as Stewarts/Melville but with a better ends and shots difference. This means that we are promoted back into Division II, which will be a much harder task for us, but hopefully the experience of playing together this year will help in our endeavours in that Division. Many thanks go to Murray, Iain and John for making this season so successful and enjoyable to play in.
We now have the prospect of a play-off match against Stewarts/Melville to determine who takes the Division III title.
In the competition this season, the winners of their first round games went on to play in a ‘High Road’, and the losers went on to play in a ‘Low Road’.
High Road Low Road
A Lambie/L Alexander beat D Anderson/J Jacobs
T Alexander/A Dalgleish beat J Ramsay/L Anderson
W Brown/M Hope beat K Morris/R Scott
K Hunter/D Ballantyne beat D Carr/ A Moir
Moving on to the semi-finals; in the Low Road Dave Anderson and John Jacobs ran out as winners against Jim Ramsay and Liz Anderson, and Dave Carr and Alex Moir were successful against Keith Morris and Roger Scott. In the High Road Andrew Lambie and Linda Alexander beat Tom Alexander and Andrew Dalgleish after a tight finish, and Ken Hunter and David Ballantyne ran out winners against Walter Brown and Murray Hope.
Dave A and John got off to a good start in the Low Road Final, taking a three at the first end against Dave C and Alex. They went on to take a strong lead by stealing another three at the second end. Dave C and Alex came back in the third end to take a single but were up against it at 5-1 down going into the last end. Dave and John took the final end to win the final.
In the High Road final, Andrew and Linda took a good two in the first end. Ken and David replied with a single in the second end. On to the third end and Andrew and Linda took a single to make it 3-1 in their favour. In the fourth end Andrew played a nice raise to the centre of the house; Ken was fortunate that a similar attempt from his final stone, although slightly heavy, tapped the struck stone onto Andrew’s counter for shot. Ken and David managed a steal of three shots in the last end to win the final 5 shots to 3.