Not a Good Week

Apologies for the late posting of this summary: all landlines and broadband in our area have been were knocked out for days as a result of an errant underground drill, and other commitments stopped me from getting to wi-fi access until today. Better late than never, I suppose, though after reading the results you may wish the wi-fi hadn’t worked at all…

Yet again – the fourth week on the trot – there was no Nines game, so the first competitive action of the week was the ladies’ Collins and Shipley match at Morpeth. After a really strong run through May they too had been interrupted by a break in the schedule and it seemed to show as they found themselves on the wrong side of a 10-2 scoreline. There was no particular reason, but the whole product was somewhat less than the sum of its parts.

The same could be said of Trevor and Jean’s quarter-final of the County mixed pairs, at Newbiggin. It would be nice to blame a heavy (10-25) defeat on a quirky rink, or a bumpy green, or maybe the stiff breeze off the sea – but not even all such excuses put together could avoid the fact that they were outplayed – apart from a really good trial end! True, they got into an early lead, but once the home skip started firing and producing a couple of good counts it was uphill all the way. At least the winners had already beaten both the winners of 2014 and 2015, and that provides some perspective for the result.

There was more bad news in the West Tyne Cup, albeit with a much closer result. After losing at Alston in the final last year we took encouragement from the improved green and our own recent victory there in the league. In fact, we played pretty well, and (in a format decided on the best of three rinks, with shots counting in the event of a tie) we were winning two rinks to one after 10 ends and also after 15. The home team then came back and nicked a one-shot win on Darren’s rink after the skip turned out our shot bowl with his very last bowl. The lead also changed several times on the last end of David Boaden’s rink, and we were briefly holding the one shot that would have meant a draw and an overall win on shots – but here too the home skip got rid of a bowl to claim a narrow win. We ended up losing 1-2 on rinks, with the shots dead level on 42-each. If we say that it couldn’t have been closer, it really couldn’t.

On the grounds that the results of friendly matches don’t count in serious records we couldn’t even claim our 106-76 win against Alnwick as a real win (pleasing as it was). So our last chance of a victory in the week came in the rearranged West Tyne league match against Hexham House A. This turned out to be almost as close as the Cup match at Alston. We lost one rink by eight shots, and won another by eight. The other two rinks were close throughout, but finished in our favour by margins of three and two shots respectively. An overall win by five, then, and by total coincidence that was the margin in league points too: a 6-1 win to keep us vaguely near the top of the league, and with enough points to keep us all interested. Once again the really pleasing thing about this match (apart from the final score) was the way that several of our newer members were able to step in and indeed step up to earn a result against good opponents.

The Nines team have a game against Hexham House on Tuesday, and that really is one to win. We’ll see…

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