Round 5 of this year's Superleague saw Billy Howat's rink taken on Team Hope on sheet 1. David Hope's rink was skipped this week by James Dykes with David at third, Allan Brown at second and Fiona McGinnies leading. In the second end James was well placed with stones just to the side of the button and well guarded. However, Billy managed to come through a port with his first stone and move one of Team Hope's far enough so that Team Howat then lay two. James' last stone caught on a guard and Billy replayed his first stone to finish with a three establishing a 2 shot advantage. Although James cut this lead to a single shot in the third and fifth ends, Billy edged eventually home 6-3.
On sheet 2, despite losing a two in the first end, Rab Clark always looked to be quite well in control of his game against Bert Andrew (skipped by Bobby Ireland) and were 5-2 up after five ends. In the sixth Rab was looking well set when an unfortunate pick up resulted in Bobby getting a two to bring Team Andrew back to being just one shot away. However, Team Clark picked up a single in the seventh end and a two in the eighth to run out winners 8-4.
Meanwhile the girls' rink were up against it on sheet 3 where David Mundell's rink were firing on all cylinders. It was good to see Lorraine Shaw getting back to curling in the absence of Gail Thomson although she probably wishes she had stayed at home ! By the conclusion of the fourth end, David was leading 9-0 but the girls then blanked the fifth and took a two in the sixth before David finished with a single and a win by 10-2.
Another rink up against it was George McNaughton's on sheet 4. They were playing Team Scott with Liam at third and Sean Rennie skipping along with Alastair Middleton and Aileen Rennie. George had Allan Sloan, Davie Logan and Alistair Henry and were 8-0 down after three ends. Although they got a two in the fourth and another two in the last end, Sean more than matched this in the fifth and sixth to win by 13-4.
Ian Alexander was "rested" by his teammates this week when Mark Pieroni skipped Ian's rink against Billy Morton's rink on sheet 5. Despite the old heads of Allan Forrest, George McNaughton (snr) and Tom Andrews (or maybe because of their age !), it was only in the latter stages of the game that the youngsters in Team Morton managed to get some clear water between the teams with a final score of 7-3 in favour of Billy, David Reid, Russell Boyd and Colin Forrest.
What can your correspondent say about the game on sheet 6 between Dougie Paton and Neil Sands ? Probably best to leave it that Neil got a single in the last end otherwise we might have been "treated" to seeing him run naked around the ice rink ! 13-1 the final score.
So, after 5 rounds it's Billy Morton and Rab Clark on top of the league with 8 points but with the pack in close pursuit and with the league still a long way to run.