League Table 2022-23

Well, that's it for another week – and indeed for this season! As I remarked last week it seems no time since we took to the ice for the start of another season and yet, apart from next week's Pairs competition, that's us until the autumn. Hopefully everyone has enjoyed their curling on Wednesday evenings.

By pleasant coincidence but not design the final night was also to be the deciding one for the league. Alan Mitchell held a 1 point advantage over Charlie Steele and a 6 shot better differential but it was very much all to play for. Charlie put the pressure on Alan by building up a significant lead early on in his game against Alex whilst Alan was involved in a much closer tussle with Ed. Charlie finished his game with a comfortable win and with a winning margin of 8 shots he seriously boosted his shots differential. Meanwhile Alan's game was being decided on the final end and indeed the last stone. Trailing by 1 he had the opportunity to score 2 but in the end could only get 1 resulting in a peel and more importantly a dropped point. It couldn't have been closer. Both Charlie and Alan finished level on points (13) but crucially tonight's big score (and also last week's) enabled Charlie to overtake Alan at the death and turn round the shots deficit into one of 2 in his favour. The League couldn't have had a closer finish. Congratulations to Charlie's rink of Ken Ireland, Alicia Smith and Liz Tait. Commiserations to Alan and his rink of David Graham, Bill Black and Hazel Steele but great credit is due for ensuring that the title was not decided until the final series of games and indeed the final stone. At least one Steele would go home happy and I am sure he would console the other!

The two important games, at least in terms of the league title, have already been summarised. Charlie established an early lead helped particularly when scoring 5 at the 5th end followed by 2 shots at the next. Thereafter he and Alex traded singles but the final score of 11-3 for Charlie would prove decisive. Alan's game against Ed was much more nip and tuck with never more than a shot separating the rinks. After 5 ends it was tied at 3 shots each but Ed edged just in front at the 6th end with a single. As already mentioned Alan did have the chance to secure victory with his final stone but in the end he had to settle for 1 and share the points with Ed at 4-4. So close!   By David's standards this season has not been of the best but he finished on a high by defeating Alan R by 9-3.   Alan too has had a mixed season, perhaps the highlight being his game against the champion Charlie in which he came back strongly to earn a peel, but tonight he was always trailing David who built up a lead which he never relinquished. The one remaining game was between Ronnie and Alan Mc.  By his own admission this has been a trying league season for Alan and not his best. Two decent wins have been comfortably eclipsed by some disappointing losses and tonight was no different. Steady play form Ronnie's rink, coupled with the occasional piece of good fortune, brought up a lead of 5 shots after only 3 ends and although Alan did demonstrate some of the skill which does show itself occasionally to win the 4th end a loss of 4 shots in the 5th end effectively ended the contest and victory was conceded to Ronnie one end later when winning by 10-1. For one of these skips the season end couldn't come sooner!!

So that is it. Another season over and as already mentioned I hope everyone has enjoyed their curling. It was good to welcome new members Jack Shanks and Kay Bennett and also to see Murray Hutchison back on the ice. Apart from the occasional Covid absence the turnout of members was on the whole excellent. As we all know there is a lot of uncertainty about what next season will bring particularly as regards ice costs but hopefully any increase will not be so prohibitive as to affect our membership. We have always been a very sociable club and whilst the curling is the principal object the interaction with our fellow curlers is equally important. Let's hope that when we reconvene in the autumn we shall still have a healthy and active membership.

Meantime we look forward to the Pairs competition next Wednesday and then to the Prizegiving Dinner and Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 22 March at the Ice Rink to which I hope most will be able to attend. All that remains for me now is to wish everyone a good (and healthy) spring and summer.

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