JONATHAN CLINCH had an extra reason to celebrate his birthday after his team secured victory in the final of Helensburgh Curling Club’s McArthur Stanton knockout tournament.

Jonathan, senior partner of the Helensburgh legal firm that sponsors the competition, usually presents the trophy to the winning team - but this time he was the skip of the winning team, who came out on top against Robbie Gall in the final, held at the Greenacres ice rink in Renfrewshire.

The competition format requires the skips to play the lead stones, resulting in Ewen Baird, Jonathan’s third, and Eric Walker, Robbie’s third, throwing the skip’s stones.

Coincidentally Ewan and Eric had been in opposition in the previous season’s final, when Eric came out on top, but this time Ewen had the edge.

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His team built up a solid lead, with Ewen, Jonathan, Derek Spall and Grant Mitchinson throwing excellent stones and winning four of the first five ends to open up a five-shot lead.

From then on it was a case of careful defence to ensure the team didn’t lose a big end, and though Eric’s team did manage to pull back single shots in each of the last three ends, it wasn’t enough to prise their opponents’ hands off the trophy, and the final winning margin of seven shots to five masks what was in fact a fairly comfortable win.

Robert Cornwell, the club’s president, handed over the trophy to the winning team at the close of play.

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