1st Round of Knockout

Sixteen teams from the four Provinces took part in the first round of the Area Knock-out competition.   Although the draw was notified to the clubs in early August, a last minutewithdrawal by Bridge of Allan allowed Abercorn to take its place.

Keir, last years winners of the Area Championship, got off to a flier and took a three at the first end. Borestone and Stirling took singles at the next two ends to get back into the game, but after exchanging singles, Keir ran out winners by 6 shots to 3.

An experienced all ladies team from Strathendrick put Oatridge under pressure right from the start and took singles at the first two ends. A four at the third end put them in easy street and with Oatridge struggling on tricky ice, ran out comfortable winners.

Buccaneers, turned up with only three players, and despite several phone calls had to face Falkirk a man down. Buccaneers took a two at the first, but Falkirk fought back with a three at the second, and singles at the third and fourth ends.  With the score and the penalty points against them, Buccaneers conceded at the firth end to knock one of the favourites out of the competition.

Abercorn and Grangemouth had a ding-dong battle.  Abercorn were up 4 -1 after three ends but a fight back by Grangemouth made a score of 5-5 going into the last end.  There were plenty of stones in play and with Skip Malcolm Duncan’s guard not quite drawing enough, left a very narrow space for Harry Brodie to get through to the shot stone.  It looked well played but even with a huge amount of sweeping the stone wrecked on the other guard to allow a victory to Grangemouth.

Probably the game of the round was between Uphall and Kilsyth which resulted in an extra end.   Kilsyth conceded a single at the first but a three at the second put them 3-1 up.  Uphalltook a two at the next and surprised Kilsyth by taking another two at the fourth to lead five three.  A single and a two took Kilsyth into 6-5 lead going into the last end.   A single to Uphall meant an extra end.   After some excellent play before the skips last stones, it looked as if Uphalls yellow stone was shot just touching the red circle with Kilsyths red stones sitting in front and behind it.  Skip Mooney decided to ignore these shots and drew round front guards to the other side of the red circle and close to the button.  Skip Davie made his decision quickly and elected to draw to the space between the two yellows almost on to the button to be shot.   The shot was played and carefully watch by the sweepers and the third.  It seemed to be running a bit straight and on to the face of the red stone but with some diagonal sweeping, touch the inside of the red stone and rolled in for shot.

The match between Loch Ard and Sauchie & Bannockburn was the notorious game of two halves. S & B took command of the game from the off and dominated the first four ends with a 1, a 3, a 2and a blank to be 6-0 up after 4 ends.  Loch Ard fought back and after taking a 1 at the fifth and a 2 at the sixth stormed into the lead with a 4 at the seventh. Congratulations to both clubs for their speedy play and at the eight end Loch Ard stole another single to win 8-6.

With the very swingy ice in the NCA the scores are usually very high, occasionally very close and these two games were no exception.

Blair Drummond took a 2 at the first, Buchan a 3 at the second, BD a 5 at the third, to make the score 7-5 to BD.  From then on Buchan took control of the game and after scoring a pair of 2s and a couple of singleswon 9-7.

The other game at the NCA was of a similar nature with Balfron taking an early lead, being pegged back by Torbrex, and then driving ahead to be 8-1 up after 5 ends.  Torbrex got themselves back into the game with a three at the sixth end and then were delighted to take another three to win the game by a shot.

Keir, Strathendrick, Falkirk, Grangemouth, Kilsyth, Loch Ard, Torbrex and Buchan will play in the quarter finals on Thursday 29th September at 9.00pm.