Teams Brewster and Muirhead kept up their impressive form by storming into tomorrow’s men’s and women’s finals at the Scottish Curling Championships, later joined by Teams Murdoch and Gray.
Brewster defeated Team Bryce in the men’s 1v2 game, while Muirhead eased past Team Fleming in the 1v2 on the women’s side.
Then, in the evening’s semi-finals, Murdoch outplayed Bryce to set up a big match-up with Brewster, while Gray defeated Fleming after an extra end to make the women’s final.
There were no great shocks in the lunchtime page playoffs, as Teams Muirhead, Brewster and Murdoch came out winners.
Muirhead played Team Fleming in the women’s 1v2 game – they had beaten Fleming 8-2 in the round robin stage, and won this game just as convincingly.
The defending champions got off to the best possible start with a three in end one, before stealing two in end four.
Fleming scored two in end five to give themselves hope, but Muirhead stole two in end seven and one in end eight for a 9-2 final score.
Afterwards, Eve Muirhead said: “We came out the blocks sharp and the three [in end one] gave us a bit of a jump.
“It was a long time to defend a lead but we had composure and good shot-making, making our peels when we had to.
“We’ll maybe watch some of the semi-finals tonight, but for us now it’s about keeping our composure, chilling out and getting ready for our next game.”
Team Brewster had won their last six games in the men’s round robin, and kept their run going by beating Team Bryce 7-3 in the men’s 1v2 to make it into the final.
Brewster scored two in end one, and although Bryce hit back with two in end three, the response was immediate: another two in end four, and a 4-2 lead.
The teams exchanged ones in ends five and six, before a steal of two in end nine finished the job for Brewster, 7-3 winners.
Skip Tom Brewster said: “We’re quite confident, technically we’re throwing really well and drawing well.
“Bryce are a good team but we have a lot more experience and that maybe showed in the game – we felt in control from the two in the first end, and were never overly troubled.”
In the men’s 3v4 game, Team Murdoch overcame Team Mouat 8-3, setting up a semi-final with Bryce and knocking Mouat out of the competition.
The first five ends were very tight, Murdoch leading 2-1, but a steal of two in end six made that 4-1.
Mouat struck back with two in end seven, but Murdoch scored three in end eight and stole one in end nine to bring matters to a close.
Teams Bryce and Fleming, beaten in the 1v2 games, had second chances to make the men’s and women’s finals respectively – playing semi-finals in the evening.
But neither could take those chances, with Bryce getting off to the worst possible start against a team of Murdoch’s experience, giving up a steal of three in end one.
From there Murdoch remained in charge, exchanging ones and stealing two in end five on their way to a 7-2 win – since their loss in the last game of the round robin, they have really had the bit between their teeth, and it should be a cracking final against Brewster.
In the women’s semi, a tight opening half of the game was broken by a two for Fleming in end six that saw them go 4-2 up.
Team Gray, however, fought back with a two in end eight and a steal of two in end nine – and it took a superb hit for two from Hannah Fleming in end 10 to take the game to an extra end.
There, Gray’s rink kept it clean and, after Fleming’s last stone picked, Gray made an open draw to win 7-6.
Afterwards, Lauren Gray said: “We’ve got a record between us [Teams Fleming and Gray] – we beat them, they beat us. So we knew we had a chance; in practice we just focused on playing good shots.
“Eve’s rink has so much experience; this is our second year together. We can take confidence from our semi-tight game in the round robin.
“If we can keep it close down ends eight, nine, 10… curling’s curling and anything can happen.”
Tomorrow is finals day. Muirhead play Gray in the women’s final from 11am.
Then, from 4pm, Brewster play Murdoch in the men’s final.
Both finals have sold out (information for ticket holders here), and there will not be live streaming, so if you’re not going to be in Perth, you can follow both finals live, shot-by-shot on CurlingGeek.