Weekend round-up: Canada conquer World Men’s

koe wins worlds
Canada (Team Koe), World Men’s champions (photo: twitter.com/CurlingCanada/status/719213209387831296)

Kevin Koe and his Canadian rink won gold at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland, while Denmark took silver and the USA bronze.

Scotland (Team Brewster) missed the playoffs, but finished their week strongly with a win over the defending champions Sweden.

Meanwhile, in Aberdeen, Cameron Bryce’s rink retained their Scottish Mixed Championship title and again earned passage to Worlds.

***

Scotland (Tom Brewster, Glen Muirhead, Ross Paterson, Hammy McMillan, Scott Andrews (alternate)) opened their Worlds campaign with a 9-3 victory over Korea, then an impressive 6-3 win against last year’s runners-up Norway.

But from there the wheels seemed to fall off, as the team suffered five consecutive losses. After a 9-6 defeat to Russia, they looked set to recover against Japan, only to give up a steal in the extra end to lose 6-5.

They were then beaten 5-3 by Canada, 5-4 by Switzerland and 9-7 by the USA, the latter two results both after an extra end.

The Scots finally stopped the rot against Finland, a three in end eight capping a 7-3 victory, and then beat Germany 7-6, taking their one with hammer in the extra end.

Yet another extra end loss followed against Denmark, 7-6, but they finished their tournament on a high with a three in end 10 to defeat the holders Sweden 6-4.

Skip Brewster reflected: “It’s nice to finish on a win and it’s good for Olympic points  But it’s what could have been, I think. The guys have played great and we’ve learned a lot – I’ve learnt a lot and they’ve learnt a lot.

“Mike [Harris] our coach was saying that last night… there’s a lot of great things there and if we take that experience and move on we can only be a stronger team next season.”

Scotland ended up in seventh position, on five wins and six losses, behind Norway and Sweden, last season’s finalists both failing to make the final four.

Canada defeated Denmark 5-3 in the 1v2 playoff, before the USA saw off Japan 5-4 in the 3v4 game (though their three in end eight was a controversial one, as a Japanese shooter bounced off the boards and kept a US stone biting).

Rasmus Stjerne’s Danes overwhelmed the USA 9-3 in the semi-final – the Americans going on to win bronze by beating Japan 8-6.

In the final, Denmark scored two in end three but Canada hit back with two in end five and then claimed two in end nine for a 5-3 lead before running the Danes out of stones.

That meant gold for Kevin Koe, Marc Kennedy, Brent Laing, Ben Hebert and alternate Scott Pfeifer, continuing what has been an enormously successful season for the Koe crew – and it is Canada’s 35th World Men’s win.

***

Back in Scotland, the Scottish Mixed Championship took place at Curl Aberdeen, with seven teams formed of two males and two females playing in alternate positions.

Cameron Bryce, Katie Murray, Bobby Lammie and Sophie Jackson won the championship last season and returned to defend their title – they qualified for the final by beating Mouat 6-2, Marshall 8-2, A. Bryce 7-4, Penny 6-1 and Fraser 9-7, only losing one round robin game, 5-2 to Waddell.

Also making the final on a W5 L1 record were Blair Fraser, Rowena Kerr, Duncan Menzies and Abi Brown – their victories coming against Marshall 6-5, Mouat 9-1, Waddell 10-2, Penny 9-4 and A. Bryce 4-1.

Fraser’s rink began the final with a steal of one, but Bryce scored one in end two and then stole one in three, three in four and two in five to lead 7-1.

Fraser took three in end six to give themselves hope, but Bryce hit back straight away with their own three in end seven to win the game 10-4 and retain the championship.

Their reward is a trip to Kazan, Russia, for the World Mixed Curling Championship from October 15-22.

***

Finally, the Ladies One Day Bonspiel, run by the Royal Caledonian Curling Club’s ladies branch, took place in Kinross.

Sixteen teams (two players with more than five years of curling experience, two players with less than five years) played in two sections of eight.

Section A was topped by Team Drysdale (Maggie Scott, Elizabeth Glennie, Jane Drysdale, Lesley Johnston), who defeated Milne 7-2 and Nicoll 9-2.

And Section B was headed by Team White (Margaret White, Pat Galloway, Janice Sutherland, Karen McCreath), winners over Corstorphine 8-1 and Adams 6-3.

Team Drysdale were overall winners, with more shots up than Team White.

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