Curlers from Bute narrowly missed out on prising the County Cup from the grasp of Millport Curling Club last week.
The club headed to Green-acres Ice Rink in North Ayrshire last Wednesday to compete against the Millport club in the annual competition.
Due to unforeseen circumstances Bute curlers available on the day dropped from 12 to 10 so two guest curlers were parachuted in to complete the Bute rinks.
The rinks were as follows: Bute 1 - Donnie MacLeod (skip), Bill Stein, nancy Kinnear, and guest Richard Stokes; Bute 2 - Ron Forrester (skip), Donald Kinnear, Ron Copland (guest), and Alec Bennett; and Bute 3 - Alec Robertson (skip), Colin Sharp, Margaret macLeod, and Peter Martin.
In the first round of five-ended games, Donnie MacLeod played against a Millport side skipped by Jimmy Lochridge, Bute made the better start to the game taking two shots at the first end and adding a single shot at the third end.
The other three ends all went Millport’s way to give a tight finish to the game with each side scoring three shots.
Ron’s rink, opposing skip Frank Mapes, saw Millport start well taking a single shot at the first end. Going into the final end, Millport edged it taking it by one shot to win by three shots to two.
The third game saw Alec’s rink play David Cameron’s side. With the score level after two ends, Alec’s side took the next two ends to lead by four shots to one going into the final end. Millport, however, won by three shots to level the score.
In the second round of games, Donnie’s side took on David’s Millport rink and found themselves trailing by four shots going into the fourth end. He turned this around, however, taking one shot followed with four shots in the final end to take the game by five to four.
Ron’s second game, against Jimmy Lochridge’s side, saw Bute take two of the ends while Jimmy’s side took a total of five shots in the other three ends.
Alec’s rink, drawn against Frank’s side, started well taking the first two ends. Frank’s side, however, put four shots on the board at the next end and added two more shots to win by six shots to two.
Bute were still in with a chance if they could win the final three rinks.
Ron’s final game against David’s side proved close with Ron leading by three shots to one by the third end. Millport were able to close the gap and take the lead going into the final end but Ron managed to pull out all the stops to win by five shots to four.
Alec and Jimmy’s rink saw Bute take five shots in the first two ends. Millport scored one in the third a five in the fourth and a single shot in the final saw Bute win 10 to one.
With two wins on the board, the focus turned Donnie’s game against Frank which was still being played.
After four ends, Millport led by four to two and despite valiant attempt to remove three opposition stones it resulted in disappointment for Bute who took the final game but lost the game by four shots to three.
When all the points were added it was Millport who retained the cup for another year with a score of 10 to eight. The winning skips were Frank Mapes (Millport) and Alec Robertson (Bute).