Carmacoup Quaich 2010
Douglas Curling Club members were in outdoor action in an idyllic setting at First Pond on Saturday, with the frost still on the adjacent trees and the sun shining.
Six sheets of ice were laid out, resplendent in traditional coloured rink markings of red and blue, in a three and a half hour contest to find the winners of the Carmacoup Quaich.
After a few words from President Rob Gentle, Willie Mitchell Snr fired the gun which signalled the start of the proceedings.
Forty-eight curlers including rinks from Bellshill, Lesmahagow and participants from the Upperward Ladies, and at least as many spectators, then proceeded to enjoy an afternoon of sport and hospitality, in an exhilarating atmosphere of shared friendship.
President Gentle said: "It was an absolutely great day which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
"We heard the day before that Tuesday's Grand Match on the Lake of Menteith had been cancelled, so it was an even bigger bonus to get out on our own ice.
"We usually curl indoors at Hamilton Ice Rink, and this was our first outdoor game since 2004. Back then, we wondered if an outdoor match would ever happen again due to the effects of global warming.
"The turnout was incredible. Apart from teams from Bellshill and Lesmahagow bringing their own curling stones, between 70 and 80 stones were brought by Douglas villagers which was amazing."
Each team played 13 ends with liberal 'comfort' breaks before the gunshot announced close of play.
At the end of it all, in a close finish, the rink comprising Jim Smith, Stephen Smith, Kevin Chapman, and Davy Clarkson were pronounced winners.
Andrew Morrow then presented the victors with the quaich, before Willie Mitchell Jr led players and spectators alike in a rousing rendition of the Curlers Song.
A truly remarkable and extremely enjoyable day could not have been possible without all of the hard preparatory work.
In that respect special mention must be made of Robert and Sandra Anderson, Peter Gemmell, Kenny and Dominic Sludden, Archie and Eric Gilbert, lan Fleming and Jim Smith, together with a number of other willing helpers.
The social nature, and the visual and audible attraction of the 'roaring game' in its natural environment, was never better epitomised in a day that few of those in attendance will ever forget.
Although Bob's rink finished well down the field, he relished the rare outdoor experience and revealed that the day was rounded off in fine style in the Cross Keys Inn.
By Craig Goldthorp
Page Last Updated - 13/10/2013