Sutherland curlers win Bison Trophy
Sutherland Curlers retained the Bison Trophy in their annual clash with Ross-shire last Saturday in the Inverness Ice Rink but the Bonspiel honours went to a rink from Ross-shire's Belmaduthy Curling Club.
Belmaduthy's senior statesman Peter Fraser claimed the Bonspiel Trophy after two winning results when his rink of Mike Paul, Paul Foodie and Willie Main in their first game crushed Dornoch's Iain MacKay 12-3 then beat his own club mate Mike Hogg with the Belmaduthy second rink 15-5 in round two for a finishing total of four points and +19 shots.
The Bonspiel runners up were Brora – Roy Watson (skip), Calum Stewart, Ash Sinclair and Val Murray with two wins and + 10 shots from their 8-3 win over Ross-shire's Duncan Clark (Killearnan) in game one followed by a 9-4 result over Nigel Murray (Rogart) in round two.
After his heavy defeat in round one Iain MacKay (Dornoch) with clubmate Hamish MacRae completed his rink with two Ross-shire curlers guesting, Ted Miles (Caberfeidh) and the Ross Province president Finlay MacKenzie (Muir of Ord), MacKay bounced back in round two to beat the Ross Ladies Club skip Ann Gibb 6-3 and win the consolation Low Road section prize.
Although Belmaduthy's Fraser gave Ross-shire a good start in the inter Province contest for the Bison Trophy it was a Muir of Ord skip Ross Urquhart who gave Ross-shire their only other point in the 9-3 total point win for Sutherland. As holders Sutherland's other two point earners were Brora, after beating Killearnan 8-3, Dornoch beating the Ross Ladies 6-3, Locheye following their first round peel then beating Killearnan 13-2 and Rogart beating Caberfeidh 9-4.
Urquhart in his drawn game with Sutherland's top skip, Richard Mackenzie, came back from trailing by five shots through three ends to level after five before Mackenzie regained a 6-5 lead. But Urquhart with his last stone stunned the Sutherland skip in the final end when he drew in for shot and the six shot peel.
After a successful December run in the Inverness Ice Rink when he was challenging for the Ice Rink's Division 2 Super League title the expected Sutherland Province League Champion has had a set back in January losing his sixth round tie which has dropped him back to third place in the table. Now four points behind Andy Wood who now leads with a full house of twelve points, MacKenzie was narrowly beaten 5-4 by Wood last week.