When Rhona Martin announced her retirement from competitive curling at the end of last season to take up a coaching post with the West Area Institute of Sport, there were many who applauded her decision, given how much knowledge she has to impart to Scotland's young teams. I've seen her hard at work in different roles over the summer, but it was poignant to find her on the ice yesterday at Greenacres. There she was - with the 2002 Winter Olympic banner hanging proudly in the background - working with Kay Adams and her junior team of Annie Barr, Megan Priestley and Nicola MacDonald. Greenacres was Rhona's home rink when she skipped her team to gold at Ogden.
I wonder how she will feel when the Gold League gets underway this season ......... without her?
Same question of Debbie Knox, Rhona's long time third player. Also retired now, she has fortunately not been lost to the sport. She is coaching Claire Hamilton, Claire MacDonald, Linsey Spence and Jennifer Priestley this season and was there too at Greenacres with that team at the National Academy on-ice training weekend. There is a photo of Debbie and Team Hamilton here.
Elsewhere in the curling world, David Murdoch, Graeme Connal, Peter Smith and Neil McArthur reached the quarterfinals of the Baden Masters. Team Murdoch won one, lost one in A, won one, lost one in B, won the last qualifier out of C, before bowing out on Sunday morning to Swiss opposition. A small share of the prize fund was their reward! Warwick Smith's side of Craig Wilson, John Dunn and Ross Hepburn went out in the C road, winning one game from four starts. The event was won by Brad Gushue's Canadian side.
David Murdoch's photo is by Hugh Stewart. Rhona, with Kay Adams and Megan Priestley, is by Bob Cowan.
The Third Grand Match - Driving today into Lochwinnoch from the south, you pass between two large expanses of water, the Barr Loch, and Castle Semple Loch, both now part of the Ro...
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