ARBROATH’S defending National Pairs champions Ryan and Darren Burnett started the defence of their crown with a tough first round match against Dundee on Saturday.
With the game evenly tied at 5-5 early on, the Arbroath pair managed to pick up a seven to put them in control and although the Dundee lads made a late rally Darren and Ryan managed to hang on and record a 22-17 victory.
They faced Buchan in the afternoon’s second round match, and it was the Mintlaw men who started more positively leading in the early parts. A score of six on the eighth end for the Arbroath brothers edged them in front and from them on they always looked the stronger pair and saw the game out 22-14.
The last 16 game on Sunday morning put the title holders up against a strong Turriff pair, but Ryan and Darren proved their worth and crushed Turriff 35-2, playing only 14 out of the 21 ends.
Norman Barker and Mike Stepney from Elgin were Darren and Ryan’s quarter-final opponents and it was always going to be a tough match against the strong Elgin pair. Although Darren and Ryan played well, Elgin skip Stepney always seemed to have an answer and Elgin won the match 18-10.
In the Ladies’ National Pairs at the weekend, Arbroath’s Leanne Furye and Caroline Ruxton started off well with a comfortable 18-10 win over Bon Accord in their first round game at Forfar.
Their second round match against Elgin in the afternoon proved to be a much tougher encounter and it went right down to the wire but the Arbroath girls just edged it 18-17 to progress to Sunday’s last 16.
Leanne and Caroline faced a strong Stonehaven pair on Sunday morning but with a great performance from them both they cruised into the quarter-final with an 18-9 victory.
Aberdeen stood between the Arbroath girls and a place in March’s semi-finals and the match proved to be a real cracker.
Aberdeen led for most of the game, but Leanne and Caroline always looked like catching and taking the lead. However, the Aberdeen pair always managed to get one good bowl in the head.
With the score at 17-14 in Aberdeen’s favour playing the last end, Leanne and Caroline had to score at least a three to take the game to an extra end. Although Leanne wasn’t lying after her four bowls, they were all in great position for a wee trail to make the count they needed. Caroline came close a couple of times to trail the jack but with her last bowl played the perfect shot and squeezed the jack to score three for the extra end.
The Arbroath pair had a great last end and scored the shot they needed for victory to win the match 18-17. Leanne and Caroline now face Midlothian in the semi-final on March 31 at Coatbridge.
Arbroath’s seniors travelled to Aberdeen last Wednesday in the last game of the Scottish Senior League. With Aberdeen having already won the league, Arbroath were playing only to hang on to second place and maybe a bit of pride.
Things didn’t go well for Arbroath losing on three of the four rinks with only Burnett Taylor’s rink scoring a draw with the overall final score 68-46 in Aberdeen’s favour. To make matters worse Dundee thumped Bon Accord in their last game to steal second spot by one point from Arbroath.