Gillian Howard and her team of Kelly Wood, Claire Sloan and Brad Hay skinned the field to win the first Stirling International Skins event today. They beat Colin Dick, Anna Sloan, Mette de Neergaard and Troels Harry in the final.
Earlier, Howard had beaten Logan Gray, Richard Woods, Colin Campbell and Graeme Baxter in the semi, the game going to the last stone. In contrast, Dick had grannied Rasmus Stjerne, Kristian Lindstrom, Graeme Black and Lewis Houston on the other side of the draw.
(Above L-R: Brad Hay, Claire Sloan, Kelly Wood, Gillian Howard with Logan Gray, the event organiser, presenting the winning envelope!)
I only made it to Stirling in time to see the last end of the quarterfinals. But here are a few pics to give a flavour of the semis and final.
Rasmus Stjerne from Denmark is a class player, but it was not to be his team's day in the semifinal.
Graeme Black and Lewis Houston work on Kristian Lindstrom's stone.
Gillian Howard in the head as Logan Gray and Richard Woods watch behind.
Kelly Wood's stone is looked after by Brad Hay and Claire Sloan.
Team Gray in action.
Logan getting lots of moral support from his team as he ponders what to do!
Last stone of the semifinal. Kelly calls for sweeping on Gillian's stone which has to remove the front blue to count two, to win the skin, and the game.
Gillian Howard's release, with Claire Sloan in attendance.
Claire at full stretch.
What do you mean you've never heard of Brad Hay? A top swimmer, he is Active Stirling's Swimming Development Officer. This was his first curling competition. You have to say it was an impressive debut!
Colin Dick delivers with Anna Sloan ready to pick up the sweeping.
Mette de Neergaard
Down four skins to one after five ends in the final, the writing was on the wall for the Dick team.
And that was that. Well done to Gillian, Kelly, Claire and Brad.
Good competition, good swinging ice, and good fun by all accounts. What with Dumfries last weekend, and Stirling this, there certainly seems to be a place for summer curling in Scotland.
Pics by Bob.