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First silverware of Moray Province Curling season goes to Wilson Burnett

By Bill Jaffrey

IT WAS Wilson Burnett who pocketed the season’s first silverware in Moray Province's Mixed Knockout Final as his rink decisively defeated Fraser Rankin in a one-sided final.

Two ladies and two men play in alternate positions in this tournament and Burnett’s team of Fiona Ewen, Tim Rutzler and Jodi Best showed they had the wood on a Rankin family trio who had Lilia Clarke at third and a powerful front end of mum Janice and dad Steve.

In what had started as a very cagey contest, the teams were a single shot apiece after the opening two ends before Burnett and co took another single and a procession of single steals to lead 5-1 after six ends.

A final steal of three at the last was mere icing on the Burnett cake in a game in which Rankin were narrow pre-match favourites.

On East League business, Aberlour’s Jim Gault got back to winning ways and has now confirmed promotion up to Division Two next season with a closely fought win over Katie Gordon’s Moray Juniors.

Katie picked up counts at four of the eight ends played, but a three at the fourth after an opening end deuce gave the experienced Aberlour man his victory.

Janice Rankin kept her Moray Firth Ladies in the promotion hunt albeit dropping a point in an exciting 5-5 peel with Helen Downey.

The scoreboard was virtually a mirror image as both teams showed three scores of one and a lonely looking deuce, with Helen’s two coming at the last end to secure the peel.

Linda Hardie is in a rich vein of form at the moment and despite being 2-1 down after end two, the Forres skip came firing back with a three-shot steal at the fourth, and another two at the sixth proved to be insurance enough to fend off Allardyce’s double at the last.

In Division Four, despite a bye week, Buckie’s Jodie Best has secured promotion with two games left to play.

Divisional chasers Gemma Forgie and Steve Field shared the spoils in a hard fought 4-4 draw, while Gateway Club’s John Key handed out a big defeat to Jim Walls’ Buckie rink.

It was seven ups all round for Key who didn’t so much unlock his opponents as smash down the Walls.

Moray Province Mixed Knockout Final: W. Burnett 8, F. Rankin 1

Moray Province League East Division 3: J. Gault (Aberlour) 8, K. Gordon (Moray Juniors) 6

A. Allardyce (Elgin) 5, L. Hardie (Forres) 7

H. Downey (Elgin) 5, J. Rankin (Moray Firth Ladies) 5

Division 4: G. Forgie (Moray Juniors) 4, S. Field ( Gateway Club) 4

J. Walls (Buckie) 0, J. Key ( Gateway Club) 7

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