It was an early start for two rinks of Bute curlers - Donnie MacLeod (skip), Donald Kinnear, Douglas Macdonald and Bill Stein, and Ron Forrester (skip), Beck Reid, Colin Sharp and Margaret MacLeod - who headed to Braehead on Wednesday, February 12, to play in the competition for the Tappit Hen.
The usual clubs were involved - Ardrossan, Bute, Dunoon, Gourock, Largs and Millport - representing towns on the Clyde. As last year’s winners, Largs had organised this year’s competition.
The first round of games began at 10am, with Bute 1 being drawn against Ardrossan 2, while Bute 2 met Dunoon Argyll 2.
Bute 1, skipped by Ron Forrester were up against a strong Ardrossan side who took the first end by a single shot. Bute answered with 2 shots in the second end to go into the lead briefly.
However, Ardrossan kept adding to their score while Ron’s side couldn’t quite get their game right. Ardrossan were in a strong position going into the seventh end leading by 8 shots to 2. The Bute side managed to lessen the gap by taking 3 shots in the seventh end but Ardrossan finished the game with 2 shots to win by 10 shots to 5.
Meanwhile Bute 2 were having a better game against Dunoon Argyll. The first end was blanked but Bute took the next three ends to lead by 4 shots going into the fifth end. This end was won by Dunoon but Bute took the final three ends to win comfortably by 7 shots to 2.
With the competition halfway through, each club had one win and one loss so after a short break it was all to play for.
Bute 1 was drawn against Gourock 2 while in the neighbouring rink Bute 2 met old rurals Millport. The Millport side, skipped by David Cameron, were in very strong form, taking the first three ends to lead by 5 shots. Bute 2 took a single shot at the next end but Donnie and his rink seemed to have lost their form and although they finished the game with a single shot, Millport were decisive winners taking 8 shots to 2.
In the next rink, Bute 1 skipped by Ron, looked set for another defeat losing the first three ends to Gourock who led by 6 shots going into the fourth end. However, Ron’s rink upped their game and won the next four ends to level the score going into the final end. Things proved to be very tense with everything depending on Ron’s final stone. With Gourock lying shot, Ron played a beautiful stone to shift the Gourock stone and lie 2 shots to give Bute victory by 8 shots to 6.
Once all the results had been checked, it was clear that Dunoon Argyll were clear winners as the only club with three wins. Gourock came second, with Largs in third place.
Dunoon will organise the competition for next year.