Swiss Cup Basel: Team Smith fall to Gushue in semi finals

Team Smith performed best out of the three Scottish teams at the Swiss Cup Basel, battling through to the last four before succumbing to the in-form Canadians of Team Gushue.

The Curling Champions Tour competition involved 32 teams and was played in a triple knock-out format – A, B and C-roads, before playoffs for the last eight teams standing.

There were opening game defeats against Finnish opposition for both Team Murdoch (David Murdoch, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow) – 6-3 versus Team Kiiskinen – and Team Smith (Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell, Cammy Smith) – 5-3 versus Team Kauste.

The only Scottish rink to pick up a win from the opening round of matches were Team Brewster (Tom Brewster, Glen Muirhead, Ross Paterson, Hammy McMillan), who beat Team Ruch 8-3.

Knocked down to the B-road, Teams Murdoch and Smith picked up wins in their next games, against Teams Oehninger (5-2) and Suter (6-5) respectively.

They were then joined on the B-road by Team Brewster, who lost 5-3 to Team Ali of Russia.

While Team Smith made steady progress along that road, defeating Team De Cruz 6-4 and Team Ali 7-4, their compatriots suffered further defeats on Friday evening – Team Brewster losing 6-3 against Team Ulsrud and Team Murdoch going down 6-4 to Team Gushue, who had surprisingly lost their first match 8-5 to Team Høiberg.

Team Murdoch kept themselves alive on the C-road with an 8-3 victory over Team Sik, but Team Brewster lost 6-3 to Team Baumann, knocking them out of the tournament.

They were swiftly followed out the exit door by Team Murdoch, who were beaten 6-5 by Team Schwaller.

That left Team Smith as Scotland’s sole representative. After a 5-2 loss to Team Kiiskinen knocked them down to the C-road, they won 6-3 against Team Keller to set up a winner-takes-all clash with 2014 world champions Team Ulsrud.

Despite a steal of three by Team Smith, the Norwegians took the match to an extra end. But the Scots held their nerve, scoring the one they needed for an impressive 8-7 victory.

That took them into Sunday’s quarter finals, where they faced another Norwegian side, Team Høiberg. They were 4-2 behind going into the last two ends, only to score two in the seventh and steal one in the eighth to win 5-4.

Their semi final against Team Gushue proved a match too far, however, the Canadians winning 8-2 with scores of three in ends two and four.

Team Gushue have started this season like a steam train, and they secured themselves another title with a 7-2 win over Team Van Dorp of the Netherlands in the final.

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