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Murray's team through to final

By SPP Reporter

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Nigel Murray sliding out to win
Nigel Murray sliding out to win

With the same three curlers – Hamish Fraser, Colin Wilson and Joan Fraser – who won last year, Rogart skip Nigel Murray is through for a second year to the final of the Sutherland Province knock-out competition, where he will meet Province Match Secretary, Richard Mackenzie, on Wednesday, February 22nd.

In the first of last week’s semi final ties at the Inverness Ice Centre, the holders came up against the Locheye second rink skipped by Alan Mackenzie. Lining up with him were Val Mackay, Heather McRae and Christine MacKenzie but, after losing a triple count in the third end, they went behind and remained chasing the game until it concluded with a comprehensive 9-4 win for Rogart.

There was much more drama in the other semi final tie where former winner Coreen MacRae and her Alness rink squared up to Richard MacKenzie’s North Highland Curling Trust curlers, Kathleen Mackenzie (Dornoch), David de Boer (Oldshoremore), and Ross-shire’s Duncan Clark.

MacRae’s rink was strengthened by the inclusion of her husband Calum from the Belmaduthy Club, at third, their 13 year old daughter Rachael on lead stones. In his normal place on second stones was John McHarg and Alness went immediately onto the offensive taking a double in the opening end.

NHCT’s double counts in ends two and four put them in front but Alness came fighting back with a single and then two steals to lead 6-4 going into an eighth and final end where there was a big turn around.

With both of the Alness skip’s stones played they lay one shot in the centre ring but surrounded by MacKenzie stones. With the result depending on his last stone, Mackenzie took the NHCT through to the final with a last

stone take out to lie four and pinch the win at 8-6.

On the same evening as the final, from 7.30 pm in Inverness, the Sutherland Province Individual Points competition will take place and the league programme returns next Monday night with the following fixtures: Locheye 2 v RS Young Farmers; Alness v Loch Fleet ; Locheye 1 v Brora; Dornoch v Rogart; NHCT 1 v NHCT2.

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