Round 4 – Round Up and Rumours with Ed Leigh

Ok it’s business time! Round 4 and it is starting to get congested at the top of the table. Round 3 saw things tighten with Braehead and Bearsden tied at the top of the table with 7 points and Aberdeen just one point behind on 6. To stay in the hunt for the overall title those three slopes all needed a win in this round – Round 4!

Bearsden vs Warmwell

So lets kick off with Bearsden vs Warmwell. It’s well known now that Warwell aren’t pulling edits out so this should be a bye, but take a bow Bearsden. Not only have they fielded their best line up, they’ve also thrown a couple of new tricks into the mix just to keep the other slopes on their toes.

Danny McCormick opens with a very neat Switch back 9 Truckdriver, goes for a 270 rail transfers and then 270’s off, but it’s the EX trick that makes you sit up and take notice. First 360 shut-it on dry slope anyone? I’m calling it, Danny’s just written his name in the history books. Next up Hollie Smith has been working hard on her front 3’s throughout this series and the Mute grab is helping her to settle into the spin. The seesaw rail is creative and then she’s follows Danny’s lead with a no foot boardslide, another well rounded section.

It’s no secret that I’m a big Lewis Moore fan, from his legendary Brit’s performance at Famous First Words through to his back 7’s this kid has style and balls in abundance. But while he goes massive on his 7’s there is the law of diminishing returns, the judges have seen the same trick, shot from the same angle for 3 rounds. Lewis has obviously been feeling this too, so he’s unveiled a solid back 9 in round 4. It’s this hard work that has got the 13 year old into the top spot of not the young gun leaderboard, but the overall male! The rail is lovely and the backflip late one 180/rodeo on the quarter backs up what we all know by now, this kid is going to be very good.

Ciaran Tucker opens with a 9 to make it hatrick of 9’s for the Bearsden men, works hard for his rail, but ends with a McTwist 7 over the quarter hip. With this kind of fire power Bearsden are nearly impossible to beat, but they face Aberdeen in the final round so they’ll need to bring their A game if they want to retain their CSS Snowboarding title.

Aberdeen vs Hemel

Talking of Aberdeen they have had arguably the hardest run in for the title! In this round they faced Hemel and it was do or die. Whoever won this one was going to be in with a shot at the title, the losers are out of the running and for that reason this is my favourite match of the round.

Aberdeen come out swinging, Fraser Jack kicks off with a backflip late 180, Terje was the king of these and they are a rare gem of a trick these days. The rail is big and stylish and then on the McTwist on the Quarter Fraser has prioritised height over style, he’s got great amplitude but the leg hug will have been noted (something to work on for next time Fraser).

13 year old Emma Swanson is on fire as well, FS540 to start and she’s not fighting the rotation, she gets it round really nicely. Love where she’s goes with the Ex trick too, this is what snowboarding is about – creativity and fun, more please Emma.

Young Gun Logan King stands out because of his style, as anyone over the age of 16 can tell you it’s pretty hard not to look unco when your limbs are growing so fast, but Logan has stuck two fingers up at puberty and put together a lovely clean part for Round 4. Back 5 nose and my pick of the bunch (can you see a theme developing here) is the Ex trick, a very stylish miller flip.

Stu Innes rounds out Aberdeens showing and it’s a case of saving the best till last. Back 9 from the drone view, front board to 50/50-half cab to transfer-360 out and then finishing with donut to boardslide, what more do you want?

So Hemel – the gauntlet has been laid down, what have you got? Jake Binnee leads the charge and somehow bends time and space to knock out a back 7 on the Hemel kicker, but it’s the rails where Jake really starts unpacking the hammers, switch front board to 450 out anyone? Then a buttery 270 transfer.

Cerys Allen is next in and there is a reason why she leads the womens standings, the goofy footer has a mint front 3 nosebone, a front board 270 pretzel out and a double hand drag front 3.

Now because we didn’t have a write up for round 3 it slipped under the radar that Hemel became the first slope to field two women in their edit. Sophie Smith was drafted in as the Hemel Young Gun but she’s no substitute teacher, this girl has a really crisp, deliberate style and a decent bag of tricks.

Kane Quigley-Connelly rounds off Hemels edit, stepping in for Liam Tynan. He’s got some some lovely style and his rails are strong but the back 3 on the kicker opens the door and gives the judges an easy way out. A solid performance from Hemel, but Aberdeen justifiably take the points and get to fight it out with Braehead and Bearsden in Round 5.

Braehead vs Tamworth

With Bearsden and Aberdeen both pushing so hard Brae knew they had to pull out all the stops against Tamworth, a slope who may not be in the running for the overall, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, they have pushed all the slopes in every battle and are far from an easy game.

Knowing this Brae certainly weren’t taking any chances. Jacob Robertson comes out swinging with a front 7, but the grab has the whiff of a tailfish about it, tell me I’m wrong Jacob? On the rails the 270 pretzel transfer is a wonder of modern physics, as is the 450 on – god knows how you killed the spin to get out of that.

Emma Swanson of Aberdeen would have taken out best kicker trick of the round for me had it not been for Alison Unwin’s front 5 here. It is so clean and the landing is well held considering that bigger frontside rotations have a nasty habit of carrying on in the upper body, but Alison holds this one nicely. The Ex trick is the winner here though because it displays creativity and confidence, two of the hallmarks of any good rider, layback BS 180, lovely stuff, take a bow Alison.

Leon Drynan takes Young Duty and that bounding pop takes centre stage again. Making the front 7 look so much easier than it should on that small kicker and then an Ex trick that I had to slow down to call, back 3 to knuckle bounce front flip back 1….. right that’s where we’re at now is it?

James Bowman has a lovely collection of tricks to round off Brae’s offering, the pick of which is the nollie cab 5, tasty piece of schmutter that James!

So on to Tamworth, they’ve been at a disadvantage this year with their kicker situation so have had to rely heavily on their rails… The bottom line is that if Tam want to be in the running for the title next year it might be time for a new kicker. Because when you look at the strength of the riding, that’s clearly not the issue…

Josh Cook opens for Tamworth with a solid, steady section, then Mia Brookes waves her magic wand around on the rail knocking a properly squared of back lip and a toe edge slide on the box. Then the younger of the Cook family Koby assumes Young Gun duty and has a lovely board slide hard way 270 out for his Ex trick, Calum Paton is last up and somehow get a big stalefish tweak on the tiny kicker and the bluntslide 270 out is very smooth.

But it’s not enough to stop the Braehead Juggernaut and so it all comes down to Round 5. Three slopes separated by 1 point, we have been gifted our dream cliffhanger ending with Aberdeen and Bearsden going toe to toe in one match, our other top 3 slope Braehead, will face Warmwell so are guaranteed their 3 points, it’s going to be a very, very tight finish. Don’t miss any of the action from round 5 which will posted in the next week!

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