Our first Club competition of 2021 took place on Sunday 23rd May and the rain miraculously stayed away.
Group A saw the bookies favourites, Alex Weir & Lee Wilson comfortably win their first match 13-4 against Isabel MacRae and Alan Richards. In the other Round 1 match Greig McDonell & Leonard Moorehead lost a 3 on the first end against the two Anne’s (Rooney & Clarke) but then never lost another end in a 19-3 win.
Round 2 pitted Alex & Lee against Greig & Lenny and when the favourites strolled into a 5-0 lead after 4 ends it looked like this was going to be a very one-sided contest. 4 of the next five ends, however, went the way of the underdogs as the fought back to trail 5-6 with 3 ends left to play - according to Greig, Alex and Lee were there for the taking so long as Lenny kept playing long jacks…… Oops – end 10 and the jack hardly got over – back into the groove came Alex and Lee who picked up a four! The last two ends went the way of Greig & Lenny, but the match ended 10-8 to the favourites. Meanwhile, the two Anne’s took on Isabel and Alan and they too started poorly – 7-0 down after 4 ends. They battled back, however, winning four of the next six ends reducing the deficit to four shots before the last two ends were shared, Alan & Isabel running out 10-6 winners.
Round 3 saw Greig & Lenny repeat what they did in Round 1 – a loss of the first end but from there they never relinquished the jack as they dominated Isabel & Alan, victorious by a 20-1 score line. They now needed an upset (some would say miracle) from the two Anne’s as they faced Lee & Alex. At 6-6 after six ends the miracle looked possible but five of the final six ends went the way of Alex and Lee who produced a 7-shot victory to see them into the final.
In Group B, the first round of matches saw Robert Moorehead & Alan Gilchrist take on George (Dod) Watson & Neil Craig. 8 ends out of 12 were won by Robert and Al as they secured a 13-5 victory. In the other first round match, Malcolm Cazaly & Robert Clarke took on Jimmy Gillie & Ian Hogarth. Malcolm had pointed out on the eve of the Competition that he and Robert had never lost in a competition together. Despite some scurrilous suggestions that maybe they had never played together we are assured by our statistician that they have played a couple of times as a pair! Were they the favourites to qualify from Group B? At 8-1 up after 4 ends they certainly looked like they were going to start with a win but a four and two 2’s over the course of the next four ends brought the scores level at 9-9 heading into the last 4 ends. Jimmy and Ian had the momentum and dropped only one more shot over those four ends, picking up two 3’s and a 2 on their way to a 17-10 win.
Round 2 pitted the two winners from round 1 together and the sensible money was on the winner of this match making the final. As in their first match, Jimmy and Ian fell behind early but from 5-2 down, they went on a run of five ends without reply to lead 9-5 with four ends to play. 3 singles from Robert & Al then took the match down the last end trailing 8-9. In a topsy turvy contest, it was Ian & Jimmy who came out on top after a 2 on the last gave them an 11-8 victory. In the other match, Malcolm and Robert ran out 13-7 winners, the turning point being end 7 where the duo picked up a full house to jump into a five-shot lead which they never relinquished.
The final round of matches saw Malcolm and Robert win their second match of the day. From 11-2 down, Robert and Al did well to recover to a final score of 13-8. Malcolm and Robert now had to hope for a surprise win for Neil and Dod in their last match against Jimmy & Ian. When the favourites went into a 6-1 lead their place in the final looked secured and over the course of the final six ends, they picked up another 5 shots to reach the final with a convincing 11-4 win.
3rd to 8th places were calculated on points and shot differences as follows:
3rd: Greig & Lenny
4th: Malcolm and Robert
5th: Robert and Al
6th: Isabel & Alan
7th: Dod & Neil
8th: Anne R & Anne C
And so, to the final. After 5 ends, the match was all square at 3-3. Ends 6, 7 & 8 seemed to be a turning point though as Lee and Alex picked up a two, a three and a single to storm into a 9-3 lead with four ends left to play. Jimmy and Ian looked out of it, but they kept battling and a single on end 9 was followed by a pair on end 10 before another single on end 11 brought them to within two shots going down the last end. Lee & Alex looked nervous, and the momentum seemed to all be with their opponents, but Jimmy and Ian fell just short with a single on the last as the pre-tournament favourites just about lived up to their billing with a narrow 9-8 victory. Well done to them.
A good day had by all and it was great to see competitive play on the green again. Roll on next weekend for the LBC Triples.