Finnie Kettle

05 Nov 15

Back in the year 1869 Mrs Finnie of Newfield, Dundonald presented a trophy for annual competition, when ice will permit, on Newfield Pond, by one rink from each of the parishes of Kilmarnock, Fenwick, Kilmaurs, Stewarton, Kilwinning, Irvine and Dreghorn, north of the River Irvine against one rink from each of the parishes of Dundonald, Symington, Craigie, Riccarton, Galston, Tarbolton and Monkton, south of the River Irvine.

The rules were set down by Mrs Finnie on the 23rd December 1869 and are still within Dundonald Curling Club's records.

The game was to consist of 21 ends; at the close of which, the scores were to be reckoned up, and the division having the majority declared the successful one.

The highest up rink in that division will be declared the winner of the cup and will be entitled to decide which of the players shall be the custodian of the cup or contend at points for it.

Should the two divisions have an equality of shots, then each rink must play an additional end to decide the match; and if two rinks in the successful division have an equality of shots, then they shall play three ends against each other to decide which shall be the winner.

It would seem, from the rules, that the game probably lasted from dawn to dusk and maybe later and you can imagine that it would be a very sociable occasion !

Dundonald continue to organise the game annually, albeit now indoors at Ayr and somewhat curtailed to 8 ends or the bell ! The competing parishes have also evolved over the years and this year the competing clubs were, Kilmarnock Townend,, Kilmaurs, Stewarton Heather, Kilwinning Eglinton, Dreghorn & Springside and, making their debut, Auchenames. For the south, Dundonald were joined by Symington, Riccarton, Galston Haymouth, Tarbolton and Troon Portland.

This year's game was played on 3rd November with the individual games drawn on the night. All six games were closely contested with the clubs north of the River Irvine triumphing by 50 shots to 38. In truth, the north won four games to one by the south with one peeled ! The highest up rink on the winning division was Jamie McFadzean's Kilmaurs rink with +7 with John Evans' Kilmarnock Townend rink just one shot behind.

After the game all the competing rinks enjoyed a meal and the presentation of the trophy by the Dundonald President John Evans (albeit playing in Townend colours on the night !) to Jamie who responded in suitable fashion at the bar !