There was disappointment for the Scottish teams competing at the Grand Slam of Curling Masters in Truro, Nova Scotia, both making early exits before Teams McEwen and Homan picked up the men’s and women’s titles respectively.
In the men’s competition, Team Murdoch (David Murdoch, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow) were drawn in a group alongside Teams Edin, Epping, Gushue and Howard.
They began against Howard, and took a 3-2 lead into the fourth end break. However, a score of four in end six for Howard proved critical, the Canadians running out 7-5 winners.
Murdoch then lost to Epping, largely due to a disastrous start which saw them 5-0 down after two ends – Epping winning 7-3 after six ends.
The Scottish rink did win their next match, however – against world champions Edin of Sweden. With skip Murdoch shooting 95%, they scored twos in the first two ends to come out 6-1 victors.
But to make the playoffs Murdoch would need to do what very few teams have managed this season and defeat Team Gushue.
It proved a bridge too far, the Canadians scoring twos in ends two, six and seven for a 7-3 win.
Gushue went out in the quarter finals following a nasty fall on the ice by their skip, which saw play halt on all sheets as he received medical attention – although he somehow managed to return to play towards the end of the match.
The final was played between Teams Cotter and McEwen, and it was McEwen who took the game and the title 5-3 – with their skip shooting an extraordinary 99%.
As for the women’s side of the competition, Team Muirhead (Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Sarah Reid) faced Teams Einarson, Feltscher, McDonald and Sweeting in the pool stage.
In their opening match, Einarson, the Tour Challenge tier 2 winners, pulled off a shock by stealing two in end four and scoring three in end six for a 7-6 win.
The Muirhead rink were back to winning ways in their next game, stealing two in end two for a 3-0 lead and holding on to beat McDonald 5-4.
But a defeat to Team Feltscher, 6-5, meant that the Scots would need to beat Team Sweeting to give themselves a chance at making the playoffs.
Steals in ends six and eight gave Sweeting a 5-2 win, Muirhead going out on the same record as Murdoch, W1 L3.
Three of the four semi finalists – Teams Einarson, McDonald and Sweeting – came from Muirhead’s group, Sweeting seeing off Einarson 5-3 to set up a final with Team Homan.
But it was Homan who were dominant in the final – Rachel Homan mirroring Mike McEwen with 99% and her skip Emma Miskew shooting 94% – as they won 6-4 to claim their third Masters title in three years.