The Scottish Curling Junior Championships were held this weekend in Aberdeen, and Team Mouat and Team Jackson won the men’s and women’s titles respectively.
Curl Aberdeen hosted eight men’s and eight women’s rinks, with a round robin stage being followed by page playoff, semi-final and final for each section.
Team Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Gregor Cannon, Angus Dowell), looking to defend their title from 2015, led the men’s round robin from the start.
They qualified in top spot with seven wins from seven – beating Hay 7-4, Bryce 7-4, McNay 9-3, Whyte 8-5, Brydone 7-3, Barr 10-3 and Joiner 9-1.
Taking second spot in the men’s group were 2015-16 Asham Under-21 Slam winners Team Whyte (Ross Whyte, James Baird, Gavin Barr, Euan Kyle, David Baird), who lost to Mouat and Bryce, but defeated Joiner 10-5, Brydone 5-4, Barr 10-4, Hay 10-5 and McNay 7-4.
And in third were Team McNay (Cameron McNay, Fin Campbell, Ryan McCormack, Angus Bryce), who saw off Cameron Bryce’s RCCC Academy side courtesy of wins over Brydone (13-4), Joiner (10-3), Barr (8-2), Bryce (8-7) and Hay (9-2).
The women’s round robin was led throughout by Team Jackson (Sophie Jackson, Naomi Brown, Rachael Halliday, Rachel Hannen), who defeated Compton 10-3, Murray 10-6, Bryce 7-4, Aitken 6-1, Davie 8-1 and Young 7-5, before losing 8-7 to Hamilton.
The women’s 2015-16 Asham Under-21 Slam winners, Team Murray (Katie Murray, Rebecca Morrison, Hailey Duff, Mili Smith), joined Jackson in the page playoff courtesy of wins against Young (9-3), Davie (10-6), Hamilton (7-4), Bryce (7-6), Compton (9-6) and Aitken (7-6).
Third spot in the group came down to a tiebreaker between Teams Aitken (Karina Aitken, Amy MacDonald, Sophie Sinclair, Laura Barr) and Young (Lesley Young, Louise Joiner, Beth Dandie, Jane Barr), both finishing the round robin on W4 L3 records – and it was Aitken who won that decisive match 8-7.
In the men’s 1v2 page playoff, Mouat scored two in end one, three in end four and two in end six to defeat Whyte 8-5 – Whyte then losing again in the semi-final as McNay advanced to the final courtesy of steals of one in ends four and five and a huge steal of three in end eight in a 7-4 win.
In the final, Mouat made a fast start, with two in end one and a steal of two in end two, before effectively wrapping the game up with a three in end seven for an 8-3 victory that meant they retained their title and will represent Scotland at the World Juniors from March 5-13.
As for the women, Jackson scored twos in ends five and eight on their way to a 6-3 win over Murray, who took their second chance to make the final by beating Aitken 7-5 in the semi-final with twos in ends four and eight.
Despite a two for Jackson in end four of the final, a steal in end six for Murray tied it up at 3-3 going into the seventh end.
There, Jackson scored two, Murray responded with a two of their own, but Jackson scored another two in end nine before running Murray out of stones in the tenth to claim the match and the title – a second in two years for team members Naomi Brown and Rachel Hannen – so they will be joining Mouat in Copenhagen next month.
The Canadian Junior Championships also took place this weekend, with Team Dunstone of Manitoba winning the men’s title and Team Fay of Nova Scotia the women’s.
And the qualifiers for Canada’s greatest prizes, the Brier and Scotties, continued.
Team Robichaud won New Brunswick, Team Curtis took Newfoundland and Labrador, Team Galusha were victorious in Northwest Territories, and Team Campbell won Saskatchewan to complete the Scotties line-up.
As for the Brier playdowns, Team Gushue (as expected) won in Newfoundland and Labrador, while Teams J. Koe, Menard, Murphy and Smallwood have also qualified – there are still eight spots to be decided.
And the Swedish championships were also played this weekend, to decide their men’s and women’s titles and who would represent Sweden at the World Championships.
No surprises in the men’s event, as current World and European champions Team Edin were triumphant, while in the women’s section it was Team Östlund who came out on top.