Team Hardie retain Braehead Open title

hardie-braehead
Braehead Open winners David Reid, Grant Hardie (skip), Blair Fraser, Duncan Menzies – photo: Graham Shedden/Goldline Scottish Curling Tour on Facebook

Team Hardie made it two successive Braehead Open victories this weekend, overcoming Team Jackson 5-2 in the final at the opening Scottish Curling Tour event of the season.

The weekend also saw victory for Team Kinnear in the Stevenson Trophy, the event which kicks off the 2016-17 Asham U17 Slam.

Overseas, Kristin Moen Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten of Norway claimed the Tallinn Mixed Doubles International title, while in Canada the College Clean Restoration Curling Classic attracted several top class men’s teams.

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The first Goldline Scottish Curling Tour event of 2016-17 attracted 24 teams – both men’s and women’s, British Curling-funded and amateur, junior and senior level, and coming from England, Ireland, Wales, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

Those teams were arranged into two pools, with the teams playing two pre-drawn matches and then a third based on the Shenkel system, before being divided into high, middle and low roads.

After three matches Section A was headed by Team Kubeska, the Czech men’s team, ahead of Teams Telfer, Jackson, Wiebe, Kubeskova, Horton, Jamieson and Russell.

The top eight rinks in Section B, meanwhile, were Teams Hardie (defending champions), Bryce, Woolston, Taylor, Aitken, Wilson, Mouat and Adam.

The last-16 ties were played on Saturday evening, and saw wins for Teams Bryce, Hardie, Jackson, Kubeska, Mouat, Taylor, Wiebe and Woolston.

In the quarter-finals, Hardie scored threes in ends one, four and six to defeat Wiebe 9-3, while Mouat – without skip Bruce – took three in end two as they beat Woolston 6-3.

Jackson scored twos in ends three, four and six to overcome Bryce 7-2 in their battle of the early season form sides, and Taylor made it an all-Scottish last four by defeating Kubeska 4-3, thanks to twos in ends five and seven.

The semi-finals saw Hardie emerge as victors against Mouat, scoring twos in ends one and three to win 5-3, while Jackson posted a four in end three as they overcame Taylor 7-4.

So the final came down to Hardie (Grant Hardie, Blair Fraser, Dave Reid, Duncan Menzies) versus Jackson (Sophie Jackson, Naomi Brown, Mili Smith, Sophie Sinclair) – after the rinks exhanged ones, Hardie drew first blood with a two in end three.

Jackson pulled one back in end five, but another single for Hardie in end six, then a steal in end seven, put the game out of the girls’ reach at 5-2 – and ensured the Hardie rink had retained their title.

Team Smith’s first outing (Hazel Smith skipping a team featuring two former Team Muirhead leads in Claire Hamilton, returning to the sport after her post-Olympics break, and Sarah Reid) won the middle road, while Team Gillespie beat Team Havercroft 4-3 in the low road final.

You can find full results from the weekend here, while photos from the competition are here.

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There were also 24 rinks involved at the Stevenson Trophy, the opening leg of the Asham U17 Slam taking place in Lockerbie.

Divided into six sections, the teams played three matches before high road and low road knockout stages.

The high road quarter-finals saw victories for Teams Farmer (6-5 against Carter) and Hair (5-4 over Gallacher).

In the semi-finals, Hair won again – 5-4 versus Craik – but Farmer came unstuck against Kinnear, who won 6-2.

Kinnear (Callum Kinnear, Ryan McCormack, Duncan McFadzean, Matthew McKenzie) came up trumps by the same scoreline in the final, scoring ones in ends two, three and four, then adding two in end six and a steal of one in end seven.

The low road final was won by Team Haswell (Blair Haswell, Adam Keron, Cameron Paterson, Adam MacDiarmid), who came from 6-3 down after five ends to beat Team Kennedy 9-6.

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The inaugural Tallinn Mixed Doubles International attracted 18 teams from nine countries – the Czech Republic, host country Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Latvia, Norway, Poland and Switzerland.

Coming out on top were the Norwegian pairing of Kristin Moen Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten, who kept their cool to score one with hammer in end eight (having given up steals in ends six and seven) to beat Oona Kauste and Tomi Rantimaki of Finland 5-4.

Finally, among several World Curling Tour events taking place in Canada over the weekend, the College Clean Restoration Curling Classic in Saskatchewan involved the most high-profile teams.

The competition finishes today – the rinks left standing are: Team Bottcher, Team Edin, Team Epping, Team Jacobs, Team Laycock, Team Morozumi, Team Thomas and Team Ulsrud. Follow the knockout stage scores here.

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