Dumfries Young Curlers claim the top spot at National Junior Club Challenge
6th -7th January – Murrayfield Curling, Edinburgh
The Scottish Junior Club Challenge – Division 1 & 2 took place at Murrayfield Curling where Dumfries Young Curlers claimed the top spot. This is the 3rd year off success at the top level in 4 season, winning the top title for the first time in 2015, followed up by defending the title in 2016, runners up in 2017 and winning again in 2018.
The competition is open to junior curling clubs and consists of three divisions; clubs are promoted and relegated between their divisions based on their performance. Each club is represented by two mixed teams and the club then receives a combined score from the results of both teams.
This season’s winners, Dumfries A, got off to a good start winning both of their opening games. Their success continued losing only 2 games throughout the weekend. The victory was well earned as the two teams battle hard on the 2nd day where each team played 3 games. Going into the third session the teams knew that nothing less than 2 wins would be enough to claim the title. Up against Kinross A they put on their best performances of the event to secure the title and ultimately taking home the trophy. Unfortunately, the weekend didn’t quite go to plan for last season’s winners, Forfar A as well as Kinross B who will play in Division 2 next season.
In Division 2, Gogar Park B had a rocky start but found their feet and managed to top the section with 15 points. Dumfries B were closely behind on 14 points just narrowly missing out on winning the Division and both teams will be promoted next season to Division 1. Dumfries Young Curlers are currently the only club in Scotland that have a 3rd Squad in the Divisions which is the maximum number you are allowed across the 3 Divisions. The 3rd Squad played incredible well and was right in the hunt for promotion to Div 1 as well. They comfortably secured their place in Div 2 for next season with some outstanding performances just unable to find that last game win that would have given them promotion too.
Curling Development Officer Graham Sloan was delighted with the teams “It’s hard to find words that give enough credit to the Junior Members of this great club. Even the members who did not play in the teams still played there part by supporting the teams. It’s a great club atmosphere right now and long may it continue. At the start of the season we set out ambitious goals for the Div 1 & 2 squads to try and get all 3 squads in the top flight which has never been achieved in the history of this event and we spent a lot of time preparing the teams and working out what combinations to select for each team. If you had told me then that we would win the top title, get promotion and easily secure the 3rd squad in Div 2 for next season I probably would had bitten your hand off. The fairy tale ending was so close with both Div 2 squads in the hunt for promotion right up until the last game. It was great to see both squads support each other and celebrate in the promotion together. Our Division 1 squad was shuffled around slightly this season in an attempt to get all 3 squads promotion so some of last seasons players were playing in the Division 2 teams this season which just goes to show the strength and depth that we have in the club. 7 out of the 8 players for Div 1 will compete at this seasons Scottish Junior Championships and the 8th player has played in Div 1 for the last 5 seasons brining lots of experience to the team. I am delighted for the players as they worked so hard in every game from start to finish and up held the traditions of curling showing good etiquette and sportsmanship throughout but not only that I am delighted for our local coaches who are volunteers giving up there time to support the development of our junior programmes and this clubs success is largely down to their time, dedication, commitment and passion for the sport.”
Division 1 Winners: Hamish Gallacher, Scott Hyslop, Jack Strawhorn, Jack Carrick, Sophie Jackson, Fraser Morton, Katie Jackson and Mollie Marley-Milligan.
Division 2 Squad: Fay Henderson, Lewis Welsh, Finlay Kennedy, Bill Turner, Orrin Carson, Nevin Harmjanz, Andrew Murray, Hannah Farries, Max Moodie, Jay Maxwell, Fergus Kennedy, Archie Hyslop, Struan Carson, Emily Muir, Cameron Wishart, Chloe Maxwell
You can watch a little of the action here https://www.facebook.com/759453117413597/videos/2231740256851535/
You can find all the game scores from this link here http://competitions.royalcaledoniancurlingclub.org/competitions/scottish-curling-junior-club-challenge-division-12/
More pictures in the gallery below