And there we were on Tuesday evening having attended the monthly B.C.D.G. Meeting sitting watching my Club, Carmunnock & Rutherglen, when on sheet 5 the tale of the '8 ender' was slowly unravelling.
It was an inner club league game for the Minerva Curling Club between skips Drew Howie and Bill McKean. Drew was being supported by wife Lorna playing second and husband and wife combo of Mark and Ceinwen Lombardi throwing third and lead stones. Bill was playing lead and acting skip for the opposition with wife Rosemary throwing fourth stones, Maggie Bridges throwing throwing third and Maggie Martin second.
Just a normal night on the ice until along came the fifth end. Nothing untoward until the ninth stone came up the ice, passing yellow and red in the process into the house but pushingd the wrong stone back. In the blink of an eye was the big bertha of the '8' possible.
Moving on to the 12th stone and Lombardi makes the shot to lie 4. McKean asks Rosemary to draw but she catches an opposition stone just short of the house, pushes it in and Howie lies 5 then draws to lie 6. Now where is the missing eighth stone for Howie. Is it still in play -- yes - but well short of the house. Skip McKean nominates the out-turn draw round the opposition guard. Surely the shot into the nest of opposition stones on the other side of the house was the percentage option. Rosemary sits in the hack, draws the stone back and delivers.
You have, dear reader, guessed that the single and lonely opposition guard acted as a magnet and was duly punted forward and into the house leaving Drew a draw for the '8' which from the time he delivered and it finishing in the top of the four foot was securing that maximum score.
No fuss and no nonsense the teams cleared away the stones to play the next end. The score should have been posted on the scoreboard as an '8' is rare indeed but in the true Spirit of Curling the end was left blank. Well done Drew.
Congratulations to Drew, Mark, Lorna and Ceinwen.
I wonder how this compares with the Bronze Medal Drew won back in 1982 at the Fredericton World Juniors'.
Words - Leslie Ingram-Brown
Photo - Kieran Watt