Macrae Cup closes season

DONNIE MacLEOD led his three-handed rink to victory in the last club competition of the Bute curling season, the Macrae Cup, last Wednesday.

Donnie was joined by Andy Eccles and John Middleton for the contest against two full rinks and one other three-handed team – the full rinks comprised Beck Reid (skip), Douglas Macdonald, Nancy Kinnear and Muiriel Duncan, and Colin Sharp (skip), Jan Eccles, June McKenzie and Bill Stein, while Ron Forrester (skip), Donald Kinnear and Hugh Yeamans were the other short-handed team.

Colin made his mark in the first end against Donnie by picking up three shots, but Donnie’s rink recovered well and took the next end by a single shot before building up his score thereafter en route to victory by nine shots to three.

On the adjoining rink, Beck took the first end against Ron by three shots, but Ron, like Donnie, answered with a single at the second end and continued to play strongly, eventually winning 11-4.

After lunch, Ron took four shots in the first end against Colin, who replied with a single; by the fifth end, those four early shots had helped keep Ron ahead by seven shots to three, but Colin took the sixth end by four shots to level the game and edged the last end by one shot to pip Ron with an 8-7 win.

Donnie, meanwhile, could do no wrong against Beck; his rink opened up a five-shot lead by the third end, and though Beck took the next with a single, she could not upset Donnie’s progress to an eventual 9-1 win.

Bute’s last two league games of the season, meanwhile, took place at different venues on Tuesday, March 13. At Ayr, Beck Reid (skip), Andy Eccles, Jan Eccles and June McKenzie took on a St Leonards rink skipped by M. Beattie, and the mainland team took the first two ends with single shots before Bute evened the score at the third end.

St Leonards opened up a 5-2 lead after five ends, and though Bute took a two at the penultimate end to leave the game in the balance, St Leonards won the last end by a single shot to take a 6-4 victory.

At Greenock, meanwhile, Ron Forrester (skip), Colin Sharp, Nancy Kinnear and Hugh Yeamans found the Province competition a challenge, particularly in the first game against a Dunoon team who were on top form.

Things improved little for Bute in their afternoon game against Benmore and Kilmun, with the stronger and more youthful Cowal team dominating the game. Bute did win the final end, but the team agreed that heading home was the most positive decision of the day!

The following day, at the conclusion of the Macrae Cup tournament, Bute’s curlers celebrated the end of the season with supper at the Black Bull on their arrival back in Rothesay.

The club’s prize-giving takes place in the Victoria Hotel on Saturday, April 21.