Penicuik Win King George IV Trophy

Penicuik contested the final of the King George knock-out competition (Midlothian Province) against RBS last night (1 Mar), and came away victors.  Congratulations and well done to our team of John Jacobs, Robert Beaton, Ronnie Hope, and Liz Anderson.

Final end

Penicuik beat RBS in an exciting final of the King George IV Trophy Competition on Friday 1 March. First competed for in 1965-66, originally for curlers who could not take part in “daytime competitions”, (when the majority of them were held), the definition has changed slightly over the years. It now excludes curlers who play in The RCCC organised Rink Championship and the Midlothian Province League Division 1.

This is the first time that Penicuik has won this knock-out competition, and followed wins against Stewart’s Melville FP, Holyrood, DAFS, and Sweepers in previous rounds. For the third consecutive game the Penicuik rink remained unchanged: John Jacobs (skip), Robert Beaton (third), Ronnie Hope (second), and Liz Anderson (lead). Ken Hunter played as skip in the first round, but was debarred from playing in later rounds after entering the Rink Championship as a substitute. Keith Morris stepped up to the plate as Skip in the second round and played a great last stone against Holyrood to secure victory, with Craig Brown playing in place of Liz Anderson. 

Whilst the 9-3 score in the final would indicate a comfortable victory, in reality this was a “Close Encounter of the Squeaky-Bum Kind”! 

Following a single to RBS in the first end, Penicuik responded well with a two at the second and a single against the head at the third. 3-1 up, and looking good, slight nerves crept into the Penicuik rink and RBS struck back with a single at the fourth and another, very fortunate, single at the fifth. 3-3, and for a moment Penicuik looked in trouble.

However, the game was won and lost in the penultimate, roller coaster, sixth end. Robert, faced with a single RBS stone lying shot at the back of the tee in a packed house, played a beautiful stone through a narrow port to chap and lie. RBS came back to tap back and lie one. John played his first stone through the same port to regain the lead and the RBS skip failed to do any damage with his last stone. John now had a dilemma; Penicuik’s stone was virtually jammed against a single RBS stone so there was no way to take a two by drawing through the port. However, the RBS stone was surrounded by a number of Penicuik stones in the eight foot. Taking a single shot lead into the last end did not appeal; if we lost by a shot and the game was peeled, we would forfeit the trophy on ends. After a lengthy discussion, John & Robert elected to take the high risk option and plant one of the

Penicuik guards on to the RBS stone. John played a perfectly weighted stone to push the RBS stone back without touching his own and take a four!

Penicuik held their nerves in a tense final end, and stole a two to end the game 9-3 up.

Every game in this competition has been played in the best of curling spirit, and RBS proved to be great fun to play with and generous in defeat. Following a friendly drink in the bar, the Midlothian Province president, Basil Baird, introduced Shadi Darvish, MD of the sponsors, Bridge Investments, who presented the trophy and prizes.

Ronnie Hope