The First Province of Wales regained the Kershaw Cup today by emerging overall winners from their annual match against Preston Curling Club, by just 3 shots.The squad of 12 players, most of whom regularly curl at Deeside, met at Lockerbie Ice Rink this morning for their games against Preston, for whom it was “home” ice.
The competition, which is scored on the total number of shots for each squad, started with a tight exchange in the opening session, as the balance of power moved from Preston to FPOW and back several times across the three matches.
After 4 ends in the opening games, there was a slender 1-shot advantage to FPOW, but that lead was stretched to four shots by the end. Broadly speaking, one game went in favour of the visitors throughout, one was extremely tight and a third was rescued after Stuart Hills’ rink were 5 shots down at one stage but finished the match just 8-7 behind.
There was then a short break for lunch, which was appreciated by all players on every side.
In the second session, Preston gradually applied pressure and it began to work, as in two matches of the three they took a lead. Laura Beever’s team again held their nerve and despite being significantly behind at one stage, and some tough questions being asked by the Preston team, managed to pull the match back to near parity. Stuart Hills’ match, despite some very close ends, saw them gradually collect both shots and ends. Hugh Meikle’s team were faced with a pressured finish to their match, but keeping the house under control and making one final draw shot meant that the First Province of Wales had an overall 3-shot advantage and took the Kershaw Cup 34-31.
In a move that surprised me – as I was all ready to take photos – Stuart Hills’ team (including Andrew Robbins, Alan Glancey and the author) was named ‘Best Rink’ for getting the most shots overall.