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Curling round-up as Aberlour's Jim Gault maintains 100 per cent record

By Jonathan Clark

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ABERLOUR curler Jim Gault, fresh from winning the National Pairs Championship in Kinross at the weekend, maintained his 100 per cent record in the Moray East Province League Division 3 with a big 9-1 win over Linda Hardie.

The Forres team’s only counter came sandwiched between a four-shot deficit after three ends and an additional four shots lost over the last three ends.

Elgin Curling Club colleagues Helen Downey and Andrew Allardyce always seem to be involved in the tightest of derby clashes and this latest one was no exception.

3-0 ahead after the opening two ends, Allardyce was pinned back to 3-2 before forging ahead again to a healthy 7-2 lead after five ends.

The doughty Downey, however, came bouncing back and a deuce and then a sensational three shot steal at the last end was enough for handshakes to be exchanged with honours even.

Katie Gordon and her Moray Juniors gave Janice Rankin’s Ladies a bit of a lesson, racing into a 6-0 lead after four ends before stand-in ladies’ skip Julie Stewart took her team in hand closing to 6-4 going into the last end.

Katie kept cool, though, and used her hammer advantage to perfection to score a single shot for a very well played win.

Newcomer Steve Field and his Gateway Club rink have hit the top of Division 4 and his win over Buckie’s Jim Walls was down to an excellent start, scoring at each of the first three ends to lead 5-0.

A loss of three in the fourth merely put a small dent in the Field machine as the Gateway gang racked up counts in all of the next four ends for a big 10-3 victory.

In the other Division 3 Gateway versus Buckie game, the spoils were reversed as Sandy Howie skipped Jodie Best’s rink to a close win over John Key’s Gateway team.

The game’s only deuce and a single steal were enough to see the Buckie team take both points in a very tightly-contested game.

In the West of the Province, Mark Fraser has leapfrogged to the top of Division 1 after a comprehensive 10-2 win over Larry Kerr.

Master baker Ali Asher kept his Nairn team in contention with a solid win over clubmate Mike McInnes. Never behind, the pieman’s counts of three in the third and then three again in the final end left MacInnes scrabbling for the crumbs in a 9-3 defeat.

In Division 2, Jamie Cattell lies on top of the pile after his 9-5 win over Gus Forbes. Despite losing the ends won count four to three, Cattell’s scores of three in the second and four in the fourth were enough to overcome his Nairn opponent.

Ricky Marwick’s greater experience was enough to turn the tables on Ernie Nicholson as, despite finding himself 5-0 down after three ends, the former rallied to force victory from the jaws of defeat scoring all his seven shots in the final four ends of a veritable “game of two halves”.

Fiona Steel kept her promotion hopes high with a good win over Ian Thomson’s Dalcross rink. Tied at 2-2 after three ends, the Ladies never lost another shot and consecutive counts in the last three ends gave them their 7-2 win.

Moray Province League East

Division 3: J. Gault (Aberlour) 9 L. Hardie (Forres) 1; H. Downey (Elgin) 7 A. Allardyce (Elgin) 7; J. Rankin (Moray Firth Ladies) 4 K. Gordon ( Moray Juniors) 7

Division 4: J. Key (Gateway) 3 J. Best ( Buckie) 5; S. Field (Gateway) 10 J. Walls (Buckie) 3

Moray Province League West

Division 1: A. Asher (Nairn) 9 M. McInnes (Nairn) 3; M. Fraser (Dalcross) 10 L. Kerr (Nairn) 2

Division 2: A. Forbes (Nairn) 5 J. Cattell (Nairn ) 9; R. Marwick (Dalcross) 7; E. Nicholson (Dalcross)5; F. Steel (Nairn Ladies) 7 I. Thomson ( Dalcross) 2.

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