What a round that was!
Team Gray had the hammer and blanked the first end. Great raise by Bill Gray in end 2 to ge t a shot behind cover and Robin then missed an angled raise with last stone. In the third end an inch perfect freeze by Robin, with four opposition stones lying round about, took the one when Bill could not remove it. Team Gray played a great fourth end, lay two, and left Bill with a very difficult double. Bill and doubles – remember him Eigel Ramjfell? He made it with aplomb and scored a big three. In the next end Robin had a relatively straight forward double for a two but his last stone picked up and he had to settle for a one. Team Gray’s guddling paid off handsomely in the fifth when they were lying two and tempted Bill to go for the double for a four which was too heavy. With their tails up, Team Gray got a three against the head in the seventh after a great hit and roll by Pete and two excellent guards from Robin. 7-4 to the challengers at that point.
Then came the eight end. Two dodgy ones from Pete left Bill with the chance to freeze on opposition shot. As the title holders also had another counter in play, Robin decided to play his last stone to the other side of the house planning to pull the theatre of play away from the dangerzone on the other side. He made shot stone, but it was sitting just a foot too far back and Bill played an absolute cracker to hit a quarter of his frozen stone and then roll the shooter over onto Robin’s shot stone thumping it back to lie three. Peels – seven all – extra end.
Team Gray were aiming to keep the road to the four foot clear but stones were ending up in the house and it was looking pretty good for them, lying two, as Robin went down to play his first stone. He put his foot on the left hack and it wobbled all over the place. Time out and stop the time clocks this minute! Before the ice technicians arrived, David Hume placed his brush head over the back of the hack to steady it and allow Robin to play. You couldn’t make it up. He got off the hack all right but it followed him to the tee line. His stone landed in the rings too and a double was still there. Bill was on fire with double take outs today and he nervelessly nailed another one to lie shot. Robin decided to hit a front stone that would punt his second shot right onto the shot, it was perfectly lined up, but Peter advised him to change the handle from in-turn to out-turn and……. it all went t–s up pulling to far over the face of the shot he was aiming to hit first. Team Kenny (without the Kenny bit) stole the one to win 8-7 and go 2-1 up. Well done to David 1 & David 2, Neil and Bill.
As Scarlett O’Hara said ; “Tomorrow is another day”.
Who would believe such drama? Well….if you have watched Irish teams down the years you know it’s always box office stuff.