It was a successful Scottish Junior Curling Championship for Dumfries Young Curlers, with all playoff teams containing members from the Dumfries Club.
In the Round Robin stages of the Girls competition six of the nine teams had local curlers participating. Team Archibald battled hard all week, but a slow start to the tournament by the girls left them on 1 win 7 loss record. Next up were the young Team Huntly, who had targeted one end per game, were the surprise package as they secured 3 wins over the week and also had a couple of close games, the girls returned to Dumfries happy with their performance.
The next three tied teams contained two with Dumfries interest Team Jahn who were in their first Junior Girls Championships showed their potential by securing a 4-win 4 loss record but had chances to improve on that. Team Leigh with Skip Jodi Leigh Bass being from Dumfries also secured a 4 and 4 record, both teams tied with the Aberdeen Team Smith, but it was Team Leigh with the better draw shot average who took the semi-final place. The final two teams were Team Henderson who finished the round robin on 7 and 1 win/loss record, just pipped into first position by Team Mitchell with Kirsty Gallacher and Hannah Farries from Dumfries providing the local interest.
In the boys section Team Kyle had another tough week, battling hard their 1 win 7 loss record doesn’t reflect their performance, and they could easily have recorded a 4 wins 4 loss week. The final 3 teams with Dumfries interest were Team O Carson, Team R Craik, and Team Strawhorn. Going into the final games the only thing that separated them was their draw shot average. Team O Carson were first off the ice,with a good victory over Team Tonkita after 6 ends, this put them in poll position. Next to win were Team Strawhorn, who scored a 4 in the ninth end of their game to take over first position with a better draw shot average. Team Craik were going along well before a 5 in end 7 swung the game in their opponents favour. The final ranking being 1 Strawhorn, 2 O Carson and 3 R Craik.
In the boys page playoff, it was a tense affair with Team Strawhorn overcoming Team O Carson by a single shot, this was becoming a regular occurrence between the two teams. Team O Carson dropped into the semi-final to play Team R Craik in what was dubbed “Battle of the brothers,” with Orrin and Logan Carson along with Archie Hyslop on one side and their respective Brothers Struan Carson and Scott Hyslop in Team R Craik. Team Carson took an early 3-1 lead after 4 ends. In the fifth end a loose draw by Team Craik’s skip resulted in a steal of 4 giving Team O Carson a 7-1 lead at halftime. Team Craik fought back in the next 2 ends but a score of 3 in the 8th end was too much for Team Craik to pull back.
In the Girls page playoff Team Mitchell took on Team Henderson hoping to repeat their round robin victory, at halfway it was all square before Team Henderson pulled away to record an 8-4 victory and their place in the final, whilst Team Mitchell needed to return on Sunday morning for the semi-final against Team Leigh. After a good start from Team Leigh in the semi-final they were 2-1 up after 2 ends, but a run of scores in the following 3 ends gave Team Mitchell a 4-shot lead at halftime. Team Leigh responded with a single in the 6th before team Mitchell sealed the win with scores in the next 2 ends.
With the Girls final having the two top qualifiers with each team having a victory over each other there was keen interest to see who would prevail. Team Henderson struck first as the raced ahead 5-2 midway through the game. However, Team Mitchell were determined not to give in and pulled the score back to 5-5 in end 8. Team Henderson regained composure to blank end 9 before winning the game with a single in 10. This was Team Henderson’s second title and will see them represent Scotland in the World B competition later this month.
The boys final saw Team Strawhorn enter as favourites as they have had a good record this season against Team O Carson, but it has been tight every game. A forced single saw Team O Carson gain Hammer, they blanked end 3 before scoring 2 in end 4, a further couple of blanked ends before a steal saw the younger Team O Carson take a 2 shot lead after 7 ends. It was Team Strawhorn who struck next with a 2 to tie the scores in end 8, before a blank in end 9 saw Team O Carson take the hammer into the final end. Needing to make the perfect shot to save the end Team Strawhorn didn’t get the right angle on their final shot to leave team O Carson winners as they sat 3 shots. This is the first all Dumfries team to win the Scottish Junior title with Skip Orrin Carson, Vice Logan Carson, second Archie Hyslop and lead Charlie Gibb being members of Dumfries Young Curlers. This young team will now go to Fussen Germany to represent Scotland at the World Junior Championships where they will hope to defend the title Scotland won last year.