November 28, 2010

Presentation Time

Robbie Scott, President of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, presents the Edinburgh International Curling Championship trophy to (L-R) Robin Niven (2nd), Graham Shaw (skip), Kerr Drummond (lead) and David Hay (3rd).

John Dignan (Braid Hills Hotel) presents the Senior Championship trophy to Colin Baxter (lead), Mike Dick (3rd), Colin Hamilton (skip) and Trevor Dodds (2nd). And if it seems that Trevor looks a little tired, as Chair of the Organising Committee, he was in charge of the presentation ceremonies!

Well, that's pretty much it for this year.

Hope you have enjoyed the blog.


The Finals

Let's start with the Seniors first. Colin Hamilton, Mike Dick, Trevor Dodds and Colin Baxter were just too strong for Michael Sutherland, Jim Wood, Frank Forrest and Alan Collette.

Linescore is here, including the Low Road result.

In the International event, Hammy McMillan, David Smith, Ross Paterson and Sandy Gilmour matched up against Graham Shaw, David Hay, Robin Niven and Kerr Drummond.

I found it a great game to watch. Nothing between the teams. Graham's side counted two at the seventh to take a one shot lead into the eighth. Hammy tied it up, and it was into an extra end.

With a long guard and a short one, it was David Smith who managed to hide his second stone which David Hay could not clear away. Hammy froze to it with his first. Graham could do little. Hammy came in on the other hand with his last, finishing open, perhaps six inches too far, but there were three McMillan stones clustered around the button. Graham was perfectly played with his last, a double takeout, with his own shot on the tee for the win. Enthralling.

Linescore is here.

Here are some pics from the International final.

Hammy comes out to help his sweepers with this one of David's.

Hammy and his team were certainly in good form this weekend, prior to them heading off to the European Championships in Champery on Wednesday.

Graham Shaw, with David and Hammy in the background.

Sandy and Ross

Thirds in the head - David (Smith) and David (Hay).

Robin and David looking after Kerr Drummond's stone.

Presentation photos to follow.

Photos © Skip Cottage

International Semifinals

Close games. The linescores are here.

McMillan v Reid. McMillan stole the seventh, when Moray's last stone picked. The game was decided on that. Team McMillan, two ahead, cleared up in the eighth.

Murdoch v Shaw. Shaw led Murdoch by a shot after six. The seventh was blanked. With a corner guard in place, David was too heavy with his first. Graham put another in the circles. David had to be in the four-foot to tie the game but came up short this time.

It would be Shaw v McMillan for the title.

Seniors Semifinals

It is a feature of the Edinburgh International that the seniors teams which played their early rounds last Wednesday and Thursday join the main event at the semifinal stage. Colin Hamilton is front centre in this pic, his team up against Jacqui Crawford, back right with Helen Burton.

Colin finished on top. The linescores are here.

Michael Sutherland's team made it to the semis too.

Thirds on the house here, this pic just to show how much the seniors like stones in play!

David Clydesdale is in the blue, here discussing options with second player Jim Taylor.

The teams were tied down the eighth, Sutherland not needing his last stone to count a win and a place in the final against Team Hamilton.

Pics © Skip Cottage

Copey the commentator and other stories

Organising Committe member Robin Copland is having a weekend to forget. First he was stranded in Ireland on Friday night. Then, this morning, Balerno, a suberb of the capital, was snowbound, and despite his best efforts he could not get his car out from home onto the main road. He came in by bus part of the way, and on foot the rest!

He was due a stint on the webcast commentary (listen here), and, as I write this, he is on his own, various others failing to cope with the blizzards. I suggested he share his commentary with an' imaginary friend'. On second thoughts, as anyone who knows Copey will testify, he will have no problem talking for 150 minute on his own!

'Person of the Day' award goes to Aileen Logan, the Murrayfield Rink bar manager. Not scheduled to be on duty first thing this morning, she nevertheless came in to ensure that, despite the snow, a warm welcome awaited those of us here for the 08.30 session. That first coffee was much appreciated, Aileen.

Pics © Skip Cottage


The linescores are all here. Above is Hammy McMillan and Scott Hamilton. This game was tied up after seven ends, with Hammy having the hammer in the eighth. After playing a great clearance with his first, he did not need to play his last stone. Hammy, David Smith, Ross Paterson and Sandy Gilmour were through to the semis.

David Sik v Graham Shaw. Graham was one ahead coming home. The Czech skip made his single in the eighth, and it was down an extra end. Graham then failed to draw to an empty house with his last. Another extra! This time, with his last, Graham makes a double kill (just) for the win. Graham Shaw, David Hay, Robin Niven and Kerr Drummond have a place in the semifinals.

Frazer Hare and Sandy Reid. Reid with Moray Combe playing the last stones, Scott Macleod and David Soutar pulled away to a 4-1 lead after five and ran out the winners.

Big game this one - Duncan Fernie against David Murdoch. The score was all square after seven, David playing an angled raise takeout to make two at the penultimate end. With last stone in the eighth, Duncan, needing to get a good bite of the four foot, was too heavy, and Team Murdoch (David, Warwick Smith, Glen Muirhead and Ross Hepburn) was through to the semis.

Photos © Skip Cottage


It's 08.15 on Sunday morning, and the teams arrive for the quarterfinals of the Edinburgh International. All eight teams made it to the Murrayfield rink, and the four games started on time!

Follow the linescores here.

Pic © Skip Cottage

November 27, 2010

Section D tiebreakers

David Sik beat Lee McLeary, and Scott Hamilton beat Alan Chalmers, both winners into the quarterfinals.

So, the lineup for tomorrow is:

McMillan v S Hamilton

Sik v Shaw

That's it for tonight, folks!

Sections C and D

Hammy McMillan was top of Section C and was qualified even before the final section game. He defeated the Finnish visitors to put them out of contention. The league tables are here.

Graham Shaw beat Paul Stevenson to move to three points. And it looked for a long while as if that was it all sorted, John Hamilton's team trailing behind Andrew Reed's English. That's the two skips in the pic above. But Team Hamilton rallied in the seventh, engineered a big four-end, and tied the score going up the eighth. Reed was not going to give in though, and put his last brick right on the button. John Hamilton's four were out. McMillan and Shaw were the two teams through from Section C.

In section D, the Czech side, skipped by David Sik, beat Tom Brewster's four to put them out the competition. Sik then was on three points.

Alan Chalmers, the only team on three points before the final game, had an open hit for a three with his last stone to put his team clear on top of the pile. He edged the Scott Hamilton shot away, rolled out, removing one of his own second counters on the way. His single shot tied the game, and it was down an extra end. Scott had a hit on the nose for the game, and this he made. Both Scott Hamilton and Alan Chalmers then were on three points too!

Over on Sheet 4, Logan Gray, out of contention, played out a tied game against Lee McLeary, and that game was into a ninth end. Lee had the full house to draw to with his last and he had no difficulty with that. Team McLeary, three points.

So, four teams on three points. How to get to two? Two short four-end tiebreakers. McLeary v Sik, and Chalmers v Scott Hamilton again.

Section A and B done and dusted

Well, we now know the qualifiers from Sections A and B. As I mentioned before, Sandy Reid is top of Section A. David Murdoch's side beat the Hungarians in their last section game, and they finished in second place. The tables are here.

In section B, Duncan Fernie and Frazer Hare finished with the same 4-1 win-loss record, both winning their final games. Fernie and team is ranked first over Hare because they won when they met earlier.

This means that in the quarterfinals Reid will meet Hare, and Murdoch will meet Fernie at 08.30 tomorrow, Sunday morning.

Here are a few photos from the Murdoch-Gyorgy Nagy game.

Hungarian discussion. Gyorgy Nagy and third player Zoltan Jakab.

Scottish discussion. Warwick Smith and David Murdoch.

David Murdoch

One will do nicely! Zoltan Jakab.

Warwick Smith

Team Murdoch seem surprised as Warwick meditates!

Hungarian front end in action.


Gyorgy Nagy

"I liked that one!"

There was a fair bit of thought went into the fourth end, Murdoch counted two for a 4-1 lead, and the Scots were on their way. All the linescores are here.

Pics © Skip Cottage

One section game to go

So, going into the penultimate section games, who's going to qualify? You can see for yourself if you look at the standings here. There are four sections of six teams, and two qualify from each for tomorrow's quarterfinals (08.30 if you want to come along to watch).

Section A has already one team through, that of Sandy Reid, Moray Combe, Scott McLeod and David Soutar. Unbeaten in four games, their result against Iain Watt would not have made a difference, and it was an evening off for Team Reid. Keith Prentice, David Murdoch and Gyorgy Nagy are still in contention. The webcast of the Murdoch - Nagy game is on now, here.

Section B sees Duncan Fernie, Frazer Hare, Neil Joss and Ewan MacDonald all in contention. Joss and Hare are playing each other in this final section game.

In section C, Hammy McMillan's team of David Smith, Ross Paterson and Sandy Gilmour is unbeaten after four games, and four of the other five teams are still in contention for the second qualifying place.

In section D, Alan Chalmers is top on three wins, with four other sides on two wins. We could be in for a longish evening as this gets sorted out!

Elvis is in the building

OK, which one is Elvis? This is the front three of Marco Pascale's Italian side, and Elvis Molinero is the curler in the middle.

The King recorded quite a number of curling tracks. There was Baby let's play house, from 1955, (remixed by Spankox, 2007), Playing for keeps in 1956, Don't in 1957, It's now or never in 1960, C'mon everybody in 1960, Slowly but surely in 1965 (from the Tickle me EP), Spinout in 1966, Big Boss Man in 1967, Raised on rock in 1973 and T-R-O-U-B-L-E in 1975.

My favourite of course is the one that a curling team always sings to their skip as he/she goes to play the last draw to win the game - see here!

Here's Elvis!

Pics © Skip Cottage

Early Saturday

It was just two years ago that I was complaining of the all-black bin bag look of so many of the Scottish men's teams at the Edinburgh International, see here. "Time for Scottish curling to emerge from the dark ages," I wrote. How things change. "Welcome to the pyjama party," was how I was greeted this morning! Team Logan Gray above.

John Hamilton's team are also members of the 'Pyjama Party'. I'm looking forward to reading their manifesto!

Our fashion correspondent was quick to note the hairstyle of Finnish third player Pauli Jaamies.

The Finns were up against the Graham Shaw team first thing this morning, in a game that went to an extra end. You can find all the scores and section standings here.

Andrew Reed's English side took Hammy McMillan's Euro representatives to an extra end this morning too, but the Scots counted the win in the ninth.

Paul Stevenson

Talking fashion, Alan Chalmers is sporting a custom-made Musketeers CC bunnet!

Lee McLeary

Check out the webcast here.

Pics © Skip Cottage

November 26, 2010

Last Post for Friday

"Pssst. Want to know a secret?" Tom Brewster.

And here's Team Brewster all involved in a difficult decision.

Italy's Marco Pascale. Welcome to Edinburgh, Marco. I note that one of the Italian Team is called Elvis Molinero. My challenge is to get a photo of him tomorrow and then I can have another musical caption!

Marco was up against the strong Ewan MacDonald team tonight.

Logan Gray

... who doesn't look too happy in this pic from his game against the Czech team. (I think brother Lindsay had just missed!)

And this is Lindsay, on the right, sweeping with lead Ian Stobo.

Welcome to Edinburgh to David Sik, skip of the Czech Republic team.

The Czech front end.

All the results and standings are here. Back tomorrow!