The two Scottish teams at the Women’s Masters Basel took very different routes to the last eight, but there was defeat for Team Fleming in the quarter finals and Team Muirhead in the semis.
While Team Muirhead (Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Sarah Reid) won all three of their games on the opening day to book a spot in Sunday’s playoffs, Team Fleming (Hannah Fleming, Lorna Vevers, Alice Spence, Abi Brown) had to fight their way through the C-road to make it.
Team Muirhead secured their quarter-final place with wins over Team Hegner of Switzerland (3-2) and the Swedish teams Hasselborg (6-2) and Sigfridsson (8-7).
For Team Fleming, Friday was a more up-and-down day. After beating Team Palancsa of Hungary 6-3, they were beaten 8-5 by the Russians Team Sidorova.
That knocked them down to the B-road, and that soon became the C-road after a 6-4 loss to Team Dupont of Denmark.
Another defeat on Saturday would see them eliminated, but they kept their cool and recorded wins over Teams Stern of Switzerland (8-4) and Nielsen of Denmark (5-2).
That set up a decisive match on Saturday evening against Team Moiseeva of Russia – and it was Team Fleming who made it into the last eight, a steal of four in end two crucial in their 7-2 win.
While Team Fleming were fighting for survival, Team Muirhead were playing a skins game against one of the other direct quarter-final qualifiers, Team Tirinzoni, which you can watch here – if you’re unfamiliar with the rules of skins play, watching a game is the best way to get to grips with it.
Team Muirhead took the first five skins, and 1,500 Swiss francs, before Tirinzoni finished the game by claiming the sixth skin and with it 600 Swiss francs.
Onto Sunday, and the playoffs. Team Muirhead were forced into a change due to Sarah Reid suffering a ‘lower body injury’, so organising committee member Janine Greiner came in at lead for their match with Team Pätz.
Team Muirhead looked in trouble when they gave up three in end five, but they responded with a three of their own in end six and won the game 5-4.
Team Fleming were unable to follow them into the semi finals, however, going down 5-2 to in-form GSOC Tour Challenge winners Team Tirinzoni.
The last four saw Team Muirhead paired with Team Sidorova, and it was the Russians who came out on top, a steal of one in end five proving pivotal as they won 5-4.
Team Sidorova went on to win the title, coming from 4-0 down to beat Tirinzoni with a three in end eight securing an unlikely 7-6 victory. Watch that final here.
So having both impressed this weekend, Teams Fleming and Muirhead now focus on the European qualifiers from Wednesday.
Can Team Fleming carry their good form into those playdowns and give real concern to Team Muirhead, for whom Sarah Reid is now an injury doubt?