Granite glory for Team MacDonald at Aberdeen City Open

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Aberdeen City Open winners Team MacDonald (photo: Gavin Fleming)

Team MacDonald warmed up for their Scottish Curling Championship defence by winning the Aberdeen City Open, defeating Alan MacDougall’s English rink in the final.

Ewan MacDonald’s rink were one of 20 teams in Aberdeen, split into two groups (red and blue sections) – the top four from each making it into the quarter-finals.

MacDonald’s men topped the red section on four wins from four, those coming against Macleod (10-2), Perras (9-5), Aitken (8-4) and Fowler (13-6).

Gina Aitken and Scott Macleod’s rinks were second and third in the group (both W3 L1 records), and Adrian Meikle’s Welshmen edged their way into fourth – finishing W2 L2 alongside Fowler, Perras and Wilson but having the better ‘shots up’ record.

In the blue section, it was Stuart Taylor’s rink who went undefeated, beating Menzies 11-4, Lockhart 11-2 and Gray 7-4, and drawing 4-4 with Fleming.

That draw for Hannah Fleming’s team saw them qualify for the quarter-finals in fourth spot on W2 D1 L1, in behind Teams Gray (W3 L1) and MacDougall (W2 D1 L1).

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Team Taylor (photo: Stuart McLachlan)

In the last eight, MacDonald continued their fearsome form by defeating Fleming 7-1 thanks to a three in end one and twos in ends three and four.

Gray overcame Macleod 6-4 with twos in ends four and six, while MacDougall beat Aitken 5-2 and Meikle scored three in end eight to sneak past Taylor 7-6.

In the semi-finals, MacDonald faced Gray in an all-Scottish clash, with MacDonald coming out on top 6-4, scoring a crucial two in end six after Gray had stolen one to level at 3-3 after five.

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Gray v MacDonald (photo: Stuart McLachlan)

In the other semi, Meikle came from 5-1 down after five to tie it up at 6-6 after eight, but MacDougall had hammer in the extra end and scored the one needed to make the final.

In that final, MacDonald were forced to one in the first but then stole one in end two, two in end three and another one in end four to lead 5-0.

MacDougall got on the board in end five but two from MacDonald in end six saw handshakes at 7-1.

Gray took third place with a 5-3 win over Meikle in the third/fourth game.

More photos from the weekend (courtesy of Stuart McLachlan and Maggie Wilson) are on Facebook here.

***

Judith and Lee McCleary represented Scotland at the Aarau Mixed Doubles, reaching the semi-finals.

They cruised through Group B, winning five from five – taking victories over Guzieva/Ali of Russia (9-5), Gribi/Gribi of Switzerland (6-5), Hümbelin/Gubler of Switzerland (13-3), Matulovà/Derzsi of Slovakia (13-2) and Colceriu/Coliban of Romania (9-6).

They then defeated Szekeres/Nagy of Hungary 6-4 in the quarter-finals, but were beaten by Jäggi/Freiberger of Switzerland 8-5 – the Swiss rink went on to lose to their compatriots Perret/Rios in the final, while the McClearys lost 7-6 to Hegner/Attinger, also of Switzerland, in the third/fourth game.

***

In Canada, the Brier playdowns continued – with the headline news being Team Glenn Howard overcoming Team Epping 6-5 to become Ontario champion.

Team Laycock won in Saskatchewan, meanwhile, and Mike Kennedy took the New Brunswick title.

Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Northern Ontario will see their representatives decided this coming weekend.

And the USA national championships are currently in progress – Team Clark lead the way for the men after three games, while it’s Brown and Roth who sit W3 L0 in the women’s event.

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