It was an early start for Bute curlers when they headed to Greenacres Ice Rink in North Ayrshire on Wednesday, January 25, to play against Millport in the annual competition for the County Cup.
The cup dates back to 1933 when Bute, Arran and Cumbrae were part of the old county of Bute.
Bute, keen to win the cup after a number of recent wins by Millport, was represented by three rinks.
Bute 1 - Donald Kinnear (skip), Jan Eccles, Douglas Macdonald and Margaret MacLeod.
Bute 2 - Beck Reid (skip), Andy Eccles, Bill Stein and Hugh Yeamans.
Bute 3 - Donnie MacLeod (skip), Colin Sharp, Alec Robertson and Nancy Kinnear.
The Millport rinks were skipped by Franks Mapes, Alec Forrest and Willie McIntyre.
In the first round of five-ended games Donald Kinnear met Frank Mapes with the outcome of the game being a strong win for Millport.
Beck Reid played against Alec Forrest who also produced a clear victory for Millport while Donnie MacLeod met Willie McIntyre in a more closely fought game.
Winning 1 shot at the second end, 4 shots at the third end followed by a single shot at the final end gave Donnie a victory by 6 shots to 3.
The second round - with Bute getting used to the ice - saw Donald play Willie McIntyre in what proved to be another tight game. With Donald in the lead by 4 shots to 3 going into the fifth end the game could have gone either way. However 2 shots from Willie gave him the game by 5 shots to 4.
The game between Donnie and Alec Forrest saw Millport take the first two ends but 4 shots from Donnie at the third end followed by a single shot at the last end gave him a second victory - 5 shots to 3.
After a welcome break for lunch the curlers headed back to the ice for the third and final round of games. Although Millport had four wins under their belt to Bute’s 3, the local side was not too downhearted as three wins for Bute could have clinched the competition.
In this round, Beck was drawn against Willie and played her best curling of the competition to win four of the five ends.
in the neighbouring rink Donald met Alec Forrest and began the game well by taking the first end by 1 shot. However, with Alec’s rink playing well and taking two big ends of 4 shots each, Donald was fighting a losing battle.
With hopes of winning the competition gradually fading the game between Donnie and Frank was followed closely. However, Donnie’s earlier form was not repeated and another game went Millport’s way.
It was clear that Millport had won the competition and would be taking the County Cup home once again. The cup was presented to Millport President, Janey Cameron by Bute Vice-President Margaret MacLeod. Janey then presented cups to winning skips Frank Mapes for Millport and Donnie MacLeod for Bute.