It IS all change for the competitive junior curlers this season as the British Olympic Association’s quest for Winter Olympic and World Junior Championship medals has taken team line-ups out of their hands.
Instead the junior players are picked by RCCC National and Performance coaches and as such most rink line-ups have changed from last season.
Many of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club Academy and Performance teams played in the Braehead Open in Glasgow at the weekend with £3,500 prize money up for grabs - and the Forfar Young Curlers did pretty well.
Murray Young (FYC) skipping his own RCA Gold rink was runners up overall making the High Road Final, narrowly losing to current World Junior Champion Hannah Fleming when his last draw against three counters, to force an extra end, came up short. Murray’s team picked up a cheque for £1,000.
Duncan Menzies (FYC), playing third, and Angus Dowell (FYC) lead with Bruce Mouat Skip and Derrick Sloan at second in another RCA Gold rink finished the three-game round robin on two wins and one loss to make the high road. They won their quarter final against K. Horton, before going down to Hannah Fleming in the semi-final. Bruce’s team lost the three-quarter playoff against Dutch Team NYP.
Stuart Taylor (FYC) skipped his own RCA Silver rink and ended the weekend round robin on a one win, two loss record. Entering the Middle Road, Stuart’s team beat R. Danielson, followed by David Jones, to end a successful weekend for this new team.
Lesley Young (FYC), playing third, with Maggie Wilson skip, Rebecca Kesley second and Rachel Hannen Lead finished the round robin on a one win, two loss record. In the Middle Road, The RCA Gold Team beat the old master Brian Henderson before being beaten in the final game by 2010 Winter Olympic player Jackie Lockhart.
Craig Joiner (FYC) skipping, and playing third stones with George McConnell (fourth stones), Peter Dagen second and Ewan Maguire (FYC) lead, finished the round robin on a two win, one loss record. Craig’s team lost out in the last 16 of the high road to Winter Olympian Lorna Vevers.
Quite a few FYC players were also in action at the Kinross Undeer-21 Junior Masters at the weekend.
Louise Joiner (FYC) playing third for Tasha Aitken. Had a two win, one loss record in the round robin. In the semi final of the high road, Team Aitken narrowly lost to the bonspiel winner Rebecca Steven who beat Jennifer Martin’s RCA Performance rink skipped by Hazel Smith in the final.
Hailey Duff (FYC) skipping her Under-17 rink in this Under-21 competition with Beth Dandie (FYC) at lead, finished the round robin on one win, two losses. Hailey narrowly lost 7-5 in the low road semi final.
Robert Fawns (FYC) skipping his own rink, finished the round robin on two wins and one loss. In the low road semi final, Robert narrowly lost 6-5 to Team Cannon of Stranraer.
Andrew Callander (FYC) in his rink of Glasgow students won all 3 of their group games. In the semi final of the high road, Andrew came off second best, losing 8-7.
Thomas Halder (FYC) playing second in the RCA Silver team with Robin Brydone Skip, James Carswell third (playing skip stones) and Calum Greenwood Lead, failed to qualify from the group stages with one win and two losses.
The winners of the men’s section was Fraser Keil who beat David Baird in a closely fought final 6-4.
This weekend coming is the Forfar Open, part of the Scottish Curling Tour where many of the top Scottish teams will be competing.
Junior Curling coaching begins on Saturday, October 20, at 8 am at Forfar Ice Rink. Anyone from eight to 21 years is welcome to come along and try this great Olympic sport. Bring clean trainers and warm clothes. Everything else will be provided.