The 12 top ranked teams from the 2013 Grand Prix Series turned up a Fochabers to contest the 2013 Masters. With places up for grabs in the 2014 Celtic Challenge, Men’s World Championships, Women’s European Championships and Veteran’s European Championships there was certainly a lot to play for.
A big thank you to all the volunteers at Fochabers PC for the hot lunches on both days and the sumptuous spread of home baking.
Turning to the competition itself and the holders, the Sex Pisteols, faced off early against IPA (2nd in 2012) in the second round. The game was tense and lasted well over 2 hours. IPA took the game 13-11 to take an early advantage. However the Sex Pisteols returned to winning ways with emphatic wins against Pretty Vacant and Les Cremants which IPA lost in round 4 against Capercaillie. By the close of play on Saturday (after 6 rounds) the Sex Pisteols led on points difference from IPA with Midgetirs and Pretty Vacant one game adrift in 3rd and 4th place.
Sunday arrived with the threat of severe weather but, in the end, a little wind a heavy showers were all the players had to content with. The four leading teams all won in round 7 putting them out in front. The Sex Pisteols lost round 8 and with wins for IPA and Pretty Vacant, it looked like the Masters may have a new team name on the trophy. With all 3 leading teams winning round 9 it was getting very tight at the top, with IPA holding a game advantage. But round 10 brought all 3 leaders back level with wins for the Sex Pisteols and Pretty Vacant while IPA lost to Maboules. The title and all the prizes at stake would not be decided until the final round…
Pretty Vacant won their round 11 game and were left to watch as the Sex Pisteols played the Bears while IPA played the Champignons. IPA stumbled over the line first against the Champignons in a scrappy game 13-10. This left one game on the piste – the Sex Pisteols needed to win to retain the title. And, despite a lot of nerves, so it proved to be with a 13-11 win. The Sex Pisteols extended their winning ways in the competition to 6 consecutive years.
The final standings can be viewed here
All 4 players from the Sex Pisteols will be selected to compete in the 2014 Men’s World Championships should Scotland be given a place.
Shirley Legge and Lynn Jenkins will have the honour of forming the team to compete in the 2014 Women’s European Championships.
Players from the Midgetirs are eligible to form the team to compete in the 2014 Veteran’s European Championships.
The Sex Pisteols, Pretty Vacant, IPA and Nord Ecosse will compete as Scotland A in the Celtic Challenge.
The Midgetirs, Les Cremants, DRAM and the 3 Bears will compete as Scotland B in the Celtic Challenge.
Congratulations to all the qualifiers and commiserations to those who missed out. SPA competitions will resume in the Spring.