You’ll Never Wick Alone

After a busy first week of competitive action last week the league fixtures dried up this week – more than could be said for the weather.  By lunchtime on Wednesday we had already been informed that our scheduled début in the Clegg league had been postponed (“My prayers are answered”, was one reaction to the news).    But the ladies had no such intervention, divine or otherwise, and travelled to Amble in steady rain.  Against all expectations the green remained playable, even if it was bitterly cold; and despite a 2-10 defeat the team came away in good spirits.  “At least it was two points better than last week”, was one opinion – a good definition of a glass half-full sort of person.

The Nines game against Cramlington had also beaten the weather on Tuesday, somehow finding the one dry window between an afternoon soaking and more overnight rain.  Both the pairs and the triples got off to good starts, with the triples notably taking the first end with an outrageous wick and then going on to lead 14-0 after eight ends.   After eleven ends the score on both these rinks was 17-3 in favour of the home team, and the match points were already looking safe.  At the very same stage there were also 17 shots on the board in the fours match, but unfortunately ten of them were to Cramlington.  This got a little worse (7-12, and then 8-15 with two ends to go) before a well-earned four in our favour made it 12-15 with a glimmer of hope.  That hope was soon extinguished, as a collapse on the last end meant we lost a six – too much excitement!  Meanwhile, the other rinks had progressed steadily, picking up a number of threes, to record wins of 23-6 and 27-7.  Even allowing for the fact that this was not the strongest Cramlington team we have faced over the years, it was a good win, especially as we had several absentees ourselves.

We had already agreed to postpone the Nines fixture due on Friday against Hexham House, but at least there was one semi-competitive match against them, in the form of the friendly on 5 May, the first game of the two-leg contest for the famed Courant Vase.  Two of our rinks won, albeit very narrowly, and two lost by larger single digits; crucially, however, on the fifth and final rink we lost by some 18 shots, for an overall deficit on 27.  A couple of years ago we overcame a loss of 14 shots to win overall by just one, but this year a win looks even less likely than Liverpool’s chances against  Barcelona on Tuesday.  But hey, look how that one turned out…

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