August 04, 2007

Looking ahead to 2008 finals

The draws for the Scottish Masters (the over 60s) Championships, the Scottish Seniors (over 50s) Championships, and the Scottish Juniors (under 21) Championships have now been posted on the Royal Caledonian Curling Club website.

Looking at the Masters draws first of all, thirty-four teams have entered the men's qualifiers to be held in two sessions at Greenacres in November and January. Jim Stevenson is the holder and is in the draw again. Thirteen women's teams are straight through to the Scottish Masters Finals at Greenacres, March 5-9. Stirling's Annette MacDonald is the current champion and her team is in the draw for the 2008 event.

Annette will play in the Seniors Championship as well as the Masters. Eighteen teams are entered and are all straight through to Finals which this season are at the Lanarkshire Ice Rink, Hamilton, February 14-17. Another side playing in both Seniors and Masters is that skipped by Kirsty Letton, previously champions in both events. There has to be new women's senior champions this season, Caroline Morris having returned to her native Canada.

In the Men's Seniors, competition is getting tougher. Twenty-seven teams play off in five sections at Greenacres in January, the qualifiers joining those from a six team group at Aberdeen. Scottish and World Champion Keith Prentice is in the draw.

There will be new Junior Men's champions this year, and twenty-one teams set out on that quest at Ayr, January 18-20. The top two in each of the four sections will contest the Junior Championship title at Perth, February 6-10.

Only eight teams have entered the Junior Women's Championship, and all are straight through to the Finals. The holder, and World Champion, Sarah Reid, is too old to defend, although Eve Muirhead, Sarah's third player last season, has put together a new team to challenge.

Photos of Jim and Annette are by Hugh Stewart.

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