A fantastic win for Stirling men curlers who beat Lanarkshire at Ayr Ice Rink and secured the Maxwell Trophy.

Twelve players travelled to Ayr on Tuesday 7 March to compete in the Maxwell Trophy Curling finals having qualified from the East group stage, alongside Kinross, over the course of 2022-2023 curling season.

Stirling teams who competed at the Maxwell Trophy finals were Stirling 1; Lee McCleary, Gavin Fleming, James Dunn and Stuart Brand, Stirling 2; Brian Ferguson, Neil Murray, Rory McNair and Dougie Telfer, and Stirling 3; John Davie, Mark Watt, David McEwan and Les Goodfellow.

Stirling were drawn against Greenacres Ice Rink in the semi-final, while Kinross faced Lanarkshire. The Greenacres side were strong favourites to retain the Maxwell Trophy for the third year in a row and raced to an early lead in all three games versus Stirling.

Stirling 2 were ultimately defeated, however a late score of 4-shots by Stirling 3 in the 7th end levelled the match and John Davie’s team went on to steal a victory in the 8th end.

Meanwhile Stirling 1 also needed to steal in the last match; one shot down without last stone advantage. They piled on the pressure to lie game with several stones guarded in the rings, the Greenacres skip jammed his double take-out attempt giving Stirling the 2-shots they needed and an overall 2-1 win and place in the final against Lanarkshire.

In the final Stirling 1 dominated their Hamilton based opposition with a heavy victory. Stirling 3 however could not repeat the heroics of the semi-final and were ultimately well beaten by a veteran Lanarkshire team. It all came down to Stirling 2 to decide the Maxwell Trophy. One shot down in the last end Stirling had the last stone advantage.

With his final rock Brian Ferguson faced a half-guarded Lanarkshire counter. There was silence in the building, but Brian was not affected by the pressure nailing the hack-weight take-out to pick up the two, the game, and with it the Maxwell Trophy 2022/23.

Gargunnock Curling Club and Stirling’s Captain, Gavin Fleming, collected the impressive Maxwell Trophy on behalf of his team. Gavin thanked all players and spectators and explained that this is the first time that Stirling has won the Maxwell in its 75-year history, making the win particularly special.

This is a great achievement, the Maxwell Trophy ice rink vs ice rink and usually with the best of the best from their respective rinks. This is a fantastic win for Stirling.

Hammy McMillan, Active Stirling’s Curling Development Officer

Stirling’s men curling clubs have worked extremely hard to win this competition and play regular on the ice at The PEAK and National Curling Academy at Stirling Sports Village. Congratulations to all the teams!