At first the thought of Skipping was a bit daunting, but in the end it was a brilliant learning experience - a real benefit of the virtual club and I'm grateful for my first opportunity to try it.
My aim had been to do better than our previous meeting with Abercorn, 14-2. This began to look wildly ambitious after going 7 down in three ends! But we began to find our range, scoring a single to stem the flow, and starting to construct ends better.
One of the things you see as skip is the important role of Lead and Second in setting things up. Elizabeth found a good range for Lead and Paul's line was almost always on the brush. But their opposite numbers were unrelentingly accurate; of course experienced skips help too! Pauline was a great help to me in this, particularly being decisive in the head - I'm not able to scoot between hack and head like a proper skip! So it was good to be able to trust her calls.
As for my ambitious plan? We were down 12-1 going into what (in my mind anyway!) became the deciding end. We were lying shot by the time I took my first stone. Pauline told me later that if I'd knocked our stone out we'd have given them another 7 points! Thankfully I didn't know this - and didn't muck things up! Instead the game ended with a cheer from both teams when we got a handy wick off one of their stones to win the end by 2.
12-3 final score, mission accomplished! Elizabeth says if we keep progressing like this we'll be in a winning position...one day!
Once again Abercorn enjoyed their win graciously - our thanks to them for what felt like a tighter match than the scores suggest.
Graeme's learning points for a skip:
*You don't always have to take wide lines around guards, you can go inside them too.
*If you sweep hard you can get opposition stones out of the house quite easily once they cross the T line.
*Skips need to trust their judgment but they need to trust the sweepers too.
*You have to really shout to be heard.
Rink 2 ~ Skipped by Rupert
This was a game of very close ends, right down to the final one which sealed Abercorn's victory 4 - 7.
The whole evening was great entertainment enjoyed by all.