Forfar Indoor Sports was the venue for the first ever Forfar Young Curlers under 17’s and under 12’s Cup. Young curlers from as far south as Kelso and Greenacres and Aberdeen in the north braved the wintery weather and blocked roads to compete in two new events. Both events were sponsored by Mackie’s of Scotland, who not only provided prizes, there was also lots of free ice cream and crisps available during both days. Local company Tannadice Trophies sponsored complimentary badges to the travelling teams and provided engraving services.
10 under 17 teams were drawn in 2 sections and played a round robin league. The winners of each section progressing to the High Road Final and the runners-up the Low Road Final. A high standard of curling was on show throughout the competition with a mixture of experienced junior curlers and curlers taking part in their first competition, all enjoying the holiday atmosphere of this new event. The High Road final was an all Forfar affair between rinks skipped by Andrew Callander and Robert Fawns. The scores were close throughout with Robert having the upper hand in the early ends however Andrew won a 3 at the 7th to go into the last end one up but without the hammer. Most top curlers say they would rather go to the last end one down with the hammer than one up without, but this theory didn’t work for Robert. Andrew got two stones side by side near the front 8 foot circle and Robert opted for a difficult double takeout and hopefully an extra end. He played a firm strike weight and managed to remove the two red stones but his own stone went through a gap reportedly less than a stones width and out the back of the house to leave the end blank. A draw to the 4 foot might have been the better option, but that’s easy to say with hindsight. Very well done and congratulations go to Andrew and his team, Alistair Stewart, Hayley Smith and Thomas Halder also Ewan Mitchell who played during first day. The Low Road was contested between George McConnell’s rink from Greenacres and Frazer Thomson’s rink from Kinross skipped by Cameron Smith. The Kinross rink of Cameron Smith, Frazer Thomson, David Laird and Grant Barr winning by 7 shots to 3.
6 Teams from Perth, Dundee and Forfar including two new curlers from Kirkcaldy enthusiastically competed for the under 12’s Cup. They played 3 rounds in a Schenkel Bonspiel followed by 1-2 and 3-4 playoffs. The competition was fierce with the youngsters all keen to show off their talents in front of a large gallery of parents, grandparents and friends. The final was between Mili Smith’s rink from Perth and Euan MacDiarmid’s home rink. Mili was playing a controlled game and was favourite going into the last end 3–1 up, but Euan coolly drew his last stone to the edge of the 4 foot circle to win a 3 and the Cup. Well done to all the competitors who played and entertained the audience throughout.
I must share a comment made by an under 12 girls team who unfortunately were without a win. “We really enjoyed playing and we’re going to stick together because next year we will be bigger and better and could even win!” If only our adult teams had the mental strength of these young curlers.
It was great to see the ice rink full of talented youth and I congratulate Forfar Young Curlers for holding such a successful event.