A little further north of Minnesota, the hotbed of curling (and therefore the gold medal favourites in every Olympic Games) saw its Olympic representatives decided.
Team Fleming (Hannah Fleming, Jen Dodds, Alice Spence, Vicky Wright) were in Eveleth, Minnesota (USA), for the Curl Mesabi Classic.
They began well, with wins over Teams Rhyme (5-2) and Martin (6-5), but defeats to Rocque (3-2) and Schultz (6-4) forced them into a tiebreaker with McPhee, which they won to make the quarter-finals.
The last eight pitted them against Rocque again, and once again the Grand Slam regulars were too strong, with twos in ends three and six helping them to a 6-2 victory – and Rocque went on the win the title, beating Roth in the final.
The Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings culminated in Ottawa, Ontario, this weekend, and it’s Teams Homan and Koe who will represent Canada at next year’s Olympic Games.
Team Carey topped the women’s round robin with eight wins from eight, but after Homan defeated reigning Olympic champions Jones in the semi-final, it was the current world champions who triumphed 6-5 in the final.
On the men’s side, Koe finished W7 L1 to book their place in the final; McEwen beat Gushue in the semi, but could not repeat the trick – Koe winning 7-6.
They will be joined at Pyeongchang 2018 by Denmark men (Stjerne), Italy men (Retornaz), China women (Wang) and Denmark women (Dupont), after they emerged from the Olympic Qualification Event in Pilsen, Czech Republic.
That means that the Olympics will feature the following teams:
Men – Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, USA; women – Canada, China, Denmark, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, Russia (subject to International Olympic Committee decision), Sweden, Switzerland, USA.
Finally, this weekend also saw the Perth edition of the Asham Under-14 Slam take place at the Dewars Centre.
A total of 16 teams competed across four sections, before the High Road final was contested between Teams Chalmers and Maguire.
McGuire (Inca Maguire, Holly Wilkie-Milne, Laura Watt, Emma Allan) won 5-1 to clinch the title.
The good news just keeps coming for Scottish curling.Not bad timing with the Winter Olympics round the corner.
Having opened the National Curling Academy this year, Scottish rinks have made their impact at the World Mixed Curling Championships (gold for Team Hardie), the Grand Slam of Curling (National men’s title for Team Mouat)… and now the daddy of the lot.
Team Smith and Team Muirhead, Great Britain’s chosen ones for the Olympics, have returned from the European Championships with gold and silver medals after quite brilliant campaigns in St Gallen, Switzerland.
Team Muirhead party like it’s 2013
Four years ago, with just months to go until the Sochi Olympics, Team Muirhead won European Championship gold by beating Sweden in the final… and now they’ve done it again!
The 2017 vintage (Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray, Kelly Schafer (alternate), Glenn Howard (coach)) began their campaign with a defeat – to Sweden, 5-2 – but then rattled off six straight wins to qualify for the playoffs.
They saw off Russia (8-7), Denmark (6-1), Italy (8-1), Germany (8-5), Turkey (8-3) and the Czech Republic (8-4), before finishing the round robin with a loss to Switzerland (9-7 after an extra end) and victory against Hungary (9-3).
Coming third in the women’s standings meant a semi-final with second-placed Switzerland (Silvana Tirinzoni), and after stealing two in the third end, the Scots gave up three in the fourth.
A steal in end six moved the Swiss 4-2 ahead, but after exchanging singles Muirhead hit back with three in the ninth end, and then a steal in the 10th to win 7-5 and make the final.
They faced Team Hasselborg for the gold, with the Swedes looking to win their 11th straight match in St Gallen to take the title.
The rinks exchanged singles, with Sweden leading 2-1 at halfway, but an open hit for two in the sixth end put the Scots ahead, and steals in ends nine and 10 saw them win the match 6-3 – giving them their golden moment.
Medal breakthrough for Team Smith
On the men’s side, Team Smith (Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell, Cammy Smith, Glen Muirhead (alternate), Viktor Kjäll (coach)) were back at the Europeans, after previously representing Scotland in 2015.
It’s not been a vintage season so far for the rink, but they got off to a great start here, winning their first three round robin games – against Italy (7-3), Austria (7-3) and Russia (5-3).
That run came to a halt against Germany, as they lost 6-4, and then it was a case of ‘win one, lose one’ for the rest of the round robin, as defeats to Sweden (5-4) and Switzerland (9-4) were balanced out by victories over Slovakia (8-1), Ulsrud (8-7) and the Netherlands (5-2), as the Scots finished third in the standings on W6 L3.
That meant a semi-final with second-placed Switzerland, and what a yo-yo encounter it was, with the Scots stealing three in the second end but being pegged back to 5-5 at the fifth-end break.
The teams exchanged twos, before the Swiss stole in the eighth end to lead for the first time, 8-7, only for Smith to blank the ninth and score two in end 10 to make the final.
There they faced their near-constant nemesis, Team Edin of Sweden, who were looking for a fourth straight European title.
Early on, it looked like business as usual, with Sweden moving 3-0 ahead, but two in end four and a steal in the fifth drew the Scots level.
Two in the eighth end put them ahead, but the Swedes responded with two of their own in the ninth and then claimed a massive steal of four in the 10th to win 10-5 – a scoreline which did not reflect the closeness of the game.
Although it was not the colour of medal Team Smith wanted, it is still a first senior medal for the rink – and an ideal confidence boost ahead of the Olympics.
Bronze for Jackson
Away from the European Championships, but still in Switzerland, Team Jackson completed the set of medals for Scotland with bronze at the EJCT event in Thun.
Wins against Teams Ramsfjell, Tanner, Witschonke, Lo Deserto and Wuest sent them straight into the semi-finals, where they suffered their first defeat – against Team Danshina.
That meant a 3v4 match with Witschonke to finish, which they won to clinch the bronze medal.
A solid weekend gives us lots to take into training. Special thanks to all of our sponsors for the support and for the comments throughout the past few days 😊🏴 #hardlinenation#foxglide
Team Mouat made curling history this weekend, becoming the first Scottish men’s rink to win a Grand Slam title, with Bruce Mouat the youngest ever skip to win a GSOC event.
They triumphed at the Boost National in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, seeing off Canada’s best before beating Team Chang-Min Kim of South Korea in the final.
But first, a quick update on Scotland’s teams at the 2017 European Curling Championships…
Muirhead and Smith well positioned
We are three days into the 2017 European Curling Championships in St Gallen, Switzerland, and both Scottish teams hold W4 L1 records in the round robin stage.
On the men’s side, Team Smith (Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell, Cammy Smith, Glen Muirhead) have made a far better start than their previous campaign in Esbjerg in 2015, winning their first three – beating Italy (7-3), Austria (7-3) and Russia (5-3).
A blip followed, as they lost 6-4 to Germany, but Monday afternoon saw them bounce back in style, by beating Slovakia 8-1.
As for the women, Team Muirhead (Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray, Kelly Schafer) faced a tough first couple of games – losing 5-2 to Sweden but beating Russia 8-7 (after an extra end).
Their next three games were more comfortable, as they overcame Denmark 6-1, Italy 8-1 and Germany 8-5.
Mouat’s moment of history
Now to events over the Atlantic, and the Boost National in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario – which featured Teams Drummond (Greg Drummond, Ross Paterson, Gregory Cannon, Michael Goodfellow) and Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie, Hammy McMillan).
Drummond exited without winning a match, losing to Teams Koe (7-3), Jacobs (9-2), Lyburn (8-7) and Gunnlaugson (10-7).
By contrast, Mouat – who’d already had an amazing season, with back-to-back wins at the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard and Biosteel Oakville Fall Classic, and Grant Hardie winning the World Mixed Curling Championships – were in it for the long haul.
They only just squeezed through from the round robin, though, having won two – against Balsdon (8-4) and Morris (8-2) – and lost two – against Gushue (7-6) and McEwen (7-2).
That meant a tiebreaker with Olympic champions Team Jacobs, and threes in ends one and five helped them to an 8-5 victory.
Another three (in end four), plus steals in ends one, two, five and six, helped them ease past Team Koe 7-1 in the quarter-finals, setting up a rematch with McEwen.
This time it was Mouat who triumphed, with two in the first end, three in the fourth and a steal in the fifth firing them to a 6-4 win – meaning they were only the second Scottish men’s rink to make a Grand Slam final after Team Smith at the Tour Challenge last season.
As the top Canadian teams fell by the wayside, a Mouat v Chang-Min Kim final was a surprising one, and the Scots began it with a steal of one.
Kim scored two and then stole, only for Mouat to hit back with three in the fourth end, and a steal in the fifth and score of four in the seventh wrapped up a brilliant 9-4 win to claim the historic title.
“The final was closer than the score suggests but we managed to take control after a few missed shots from myself in the second and third ends with a big three in the fourth.
“It’s unbelievable to think we are the first Scottish men’s team to win a Slam.
“I am so proud of our effort this week and the fact that we never doubted ourselves when we were playing the top teams in the game.”
The women’s title went to Team Jones, who beat Team Scheidegger 8-7 in the final.
Bryce and Fleming make their mark
Not to be outdone, Teams Bryce and Fleming have also put together strong runs in Canadian competition.
Team Bryce (Cameron Bryce, Ross Whyte, Robin Brydone, Euan Kyle) competed in the DEKALB Superspiel in Morris, Manitoba.
Their first match brought a loss, 7-6 to Team Jordan Smith, but having dropped to the B-Road they reeled off four straight wins to make the playoffs – beating Teams Friesen (7-0), Schwaller (6-5), Bohn (7-1) and Forrester (7-4).
The quarter-finals proved the end of the line though, as Schwaller of Switzerland got their revenge with a 6-5 victory after an extra end.
Team Fleming (Hannah Fleming, Jen Dodds, Alice Spence, Vicky Wright) have been in Alberta, for the Red Deer Curling Classic – and they took the shortest possible route to the quarter-finals, winning their three matches on the A-Road against Teams Marthaller (7-2), Brown (7-6) and Gushulak (5-4).
The last eight brought a clash with Team Moiseeva of Russia, and steals in ends seven and eight gave the Scots a 5-3 win.
They faced Team Fujisawa of Japan in the semi-finals, and that was where their run ended – with their opponents winning 7-5 after an extra end.
McClearys make the quarters
In a very, very busy weekend, we also had the Mixed Doubles Bern tournament in Switzerland, with Judith and Lee McCleary representing Scotland.
They made the playoffs with a W5 L2 record, having overcome Teams Iseli (11-1), Wendel (10-2), Stolt (6-4), Srnska (9-5) and Kasner (9-8) – the losses being to Mei (8-2) and Moskaleva (9-2).
Jaeggi/Michel ended their challenge, though, winning their last-eight encounter 8-2.
Also at the tournament, Anna Fowler of England paired with Thomas Jaeggi, and they won three and lost four to go out in the quarter-finals of the consolation event.
…And finally, the latest Asham Under-14 Slam took place at Curl Aberdeen, with Team Carson (Orrin Carson, Logan Carson, Archie Hyslop, Charlie Gibb) winning the high road final by beating Braehead Rockers 7-0.
Team Jackson retained their women’s title at the Braehead Junior International, while Team Carson made it a Scottish double by triumphing on the men’s side.
There was also action in Forfar this weekend, while Teams Brewster and Hamilton took part in competitions further overseas.
Braehead welcomed 18 men’s teams and 14 women’s for the Junior International event on the European Junior Curling Tour (EJCT).
There were seven Scottish rinks on the men’s side, with five making the knockout stages – and a sixth (Team Craik) just missing the playoffs by a few centimetres in the draw shot rankings.
Teams Baird and Gallacher topped Pool A, with Team Whyte joining Team Nygren (Sweden) at the summit of Pool B, and Teams Kinnear and Carson dominating Pool C.
The quarter-finals brought wins for Carson (8-2 against Baird), Nygren (6-4 over Gallacher), Ramsfjell of Norway (5-3 versus Kinnear) and Whyte (6-1 against Lochmann of Switzerland).
Come the last four, Carson beat Nygren 8-4 and Ramsfjell saw off Whyte 6-2.
In the final, twos in ends three, four and six helped Carson (Luke Carson, Ben Cormack, Euan MacDiarmid, Mark Taylor) win 7-5 to clinch the title, while Nygren beat Whyte 5-4 for third spot.
There were six Scottish teams in the women’s competition, and four of them – Teams Davie, Farmer, Jackson and Morrison – progressed to the playoffs.
In the last eight, Davie saw off Chmarra (Poland) 6-4, Jackson defeated Morrison 6-4, Tanner (Switzerland) beat Farmer 6-5, and Witschonke of Switzerland eased past Podrabska (Czech Republic) 9-2.
The semi-finals were all-Scottish and all-Swiss affairs, with Jackson beating Davie 6-3 and Witschonke defeating Tanner 7-2.
As for the final, it was rather one-sided, as Jackson (Sophie Jackson, Naomi Brown, Mili Smith, Sophie Sinclair) got two on the board in the first end before blowing it open with five in the fourth and a steal of two in the fifth to win 9-1.
Davie won the third-place match 7-6.
A solid performance in the final means we have retained our title as Braehead European Junior Curling Tour winners! 🏆
The latest stop on the Goldline Scottish Curling Tour was the Forfar Curl Fest, involving 12 teams.
The semi-finals were won by Team Barr (against Marshall) and Team Dick (versus Prentice), with Grant Barr’s rink going on to take victory in the final.
Team Brewster (Tom Brewster, Duncan Menzies, Scott Andrews, Alasdair Schreiber) were in Canada for the Ashley Home Store Curling Classic, and finished Pool C with a W4 L1 record.
Wins against Teams Laycock, McQuiggan, Pierce and Tardi, with their only defeat coming against Mike McEwen’s rink.
The quarter-finals proved their limit, however, as they lost 4-3 (after extra end) to Team Koe, who went on to beat Team Edin in the final.
And Team Hamilton (Claire Hamilton, Gina Aitken, Rachael Halliday, Rachel Hannen) headed to Estonia for the Tallinn Ladies International Challenger, and beat Teams Link, Pavlyuchik and Telnova to make the playoffs (only losing to Team Widmer).
Like Brewster, they went out in the last eight, again to an extra-end defeat – 5-4 against Team Kauste of Finland – as Swiss rink Widmer won the final against Baksheeva (Russia).
It was a case of ‘close but no cigar’ for both of Teams Bryce and Muirhead at the weekend.
Bryce made the semi-finals at the Latvia International Challenger, only to lose out to Team Stjerne, while Muirhead also got to the last four at the GSOC Masters, where they were beaten by Team Einarson.
There were two Scottish teams at the second Grand Slam of the season, the Masters, with Team GB’s Olympic representatives taking on the world’s best in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan.
Team Smith (Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell, Cammy Smith) were in Pool B of the men’s event alongside Teams Gushue, McEwen, Shuster and Ulsrud.
Opening defeats to Gushue (7-6) and Ulsrud (7-6) put them on the back foot right away, and although they managed to beat US rink Shuster (6-2), defeat to McEwen (6-3) ended their playoff hopes.
The title was won by reigning world champions Gushue, who beat Team Edin of Sweden 8-4 in the final.
In the women’s field, Team Muirhead (Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray) faced Teams Flaxey, Hasselborg, Sidorova and Sinclair in Pool A.
Wins against Sidorova (6-5) and Flaxey (7-6) got them off to an ideal start, and after a 6-4 loss to Sinclair, a 10-7 victory over Hasselborg secured their place in the knockout stages.
The quarter-finals pitted them against Team Pätz of Switzerland, with the Scots winning 5-4, thanks to two in end seven and a steal of one in the eighth.
But the last four proved their limit, as Canadians Einarson beat them 6-3 (with twos in ends three and six) – Muirhead’s conquerors finishing as runners-up to Jennifer Jones’ rink in the final (6-5).
Skip Eve Muirhead said: “Crowds have been great and to have such an atmosphere when playing is really something special; Canada really do know how to put on curling events!
“”Overall our two weeks have been a great success, beating three of the teams we are going to be coming up against in the Europeans and Korea, so this is all stepping stones towards these major events.”
The Latvia International Challenger involved Team Bryce (Cameron Bryce, Ross Whyte, Robin Brydone, Euan Kyle) on the men’s side, and Team Wilson (Maggie Wilson, Jennifer Marshall, Laura Barr, Eilidh Yeats) – plus English rink Team Farnell – on the women’s.
Both British women’s teams had their challenges ended early, with Farnell going W0 L4 and Wilson W1 L3 – their win coming against Team Rudzite of the home nation, 7-6 after an extra end.
Bryce did much better though, continuing their rich vein of form at the start of this season, as they made the playoffs with wins over Teams Bremanis (7-2), Lill (10-4), Truksans (7-1) and a loss to Hess (7-6).
Following their 7-4 victory over Team Gulbis in the last eight (stealing three in the second end), Bryce’s challenge was ended by experienced Danes Team Stjerne, who won 7-2 and went on to claim the title, while Bryce ended with a 7-3 defeat against Team Wunderer in the third place match.
Also this weekend, the Lanarkshire leg of the Asham Under-21 Slam took place.
After 24 teams faced off across six groups, the high road final was contested by Teams Craik and McCormack, with the former (James Craik, Angus Bryce, Matthew McKenzie, Niall Ryder) scoring four in the third end on their way to a 6-2 triumph.
Team Drummond were the star performers from a Scottish point of view this week, making the final of the Champery Masters, where they lost out to Team Edin.
Teams Brewster and Mouat also did well in Switzerland, while Team Kinnear won the EJCT Oslo junior men’s title.
Over in Canada, Teams Muirhead and Smith warmed up for the next Grand Slam tournament of the season – the National – by competing in a couple of World Curling Tour events.
There were three Scottish rinks at the Champery Masters in Switzerland, and all three made the playoffs.
Team Brewster (Tom Brewster, Duncan Menzies, Scott Andrews, Alasdair Schreiber) cruised through the round robin stage with a W5 L0 record – beating Teams Edin, Hess, Mancini, Retornaz and Schwaller.
Team Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie, Hammy McMillan) also topped their pool, thanks to wins over Teams Kauste, Snitil, Stjerne and Van Dorp, plus a loss to Smilga of Latvia.
And Team Drummond (Greg Drummond, Ross Paterson, Gregor Cannon, Michael Goodfellow) topped Pool D, also with a W4 L1 record – overcoming Teams Baumann, Lottenbach, Pfister and Sik, and losing to Team Attinger.
Three became one following the quarter-finals, however, as Drummond beat Mouat 4-3, while Brewster exited at the hands of Van Dorp.
Drummond saw off the Dutch rink in the last four though, scoring four in end six in a 6-5 triumph.
That put them into a final against former world champions Edin, and it was the Swedes who moved ahead early on, scoring two in the second end and stealing one in the third.
Another two in end five gave the Scots too much to do, Edin winning 6-3 to claim the title.
This is, nonetheless, the most impressive performance so far this season from Drummond, after a slow start to the season, and one they’ll be looking to push on from.
“We were able to utilise Misha Botting’s sports psychology services over the course of the event and his input has provided a good base for us going forward.
“Playing Niklas Edin in the final was always going to be tough but it was a good test for our team at this stage in the season.
“We were just disappointed that we weren’t able to execute our game plan.”
Team Smith (Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell, Cammy Smith), meanwhile, were in Quebec for the ARENA Challenge de Curling de Gatineau.
As a warm-up for the GSOC Masters (October 24-29 in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, with Smith facing Gushue, Ulsrud, Shuster and McEwen), it was a short-lived one – only lasting four games.
Defeats to Chandler and Allen tipped Smith onto the C-Road, where they beat Homan but then lost to Murphy to depart the competition – which saw the title go to Rui Liu of China, thanks to an 8-2 victory over Team De Cruz in the final.
One to forget about from a Smith perspective.
Also in Canada, Team Muirhead (Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray) were in action in the Canad Inns Women’s Classic in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
Wins over Holland and McCarville put them within touching distance of the playoffs, only for Englot to beat them in the A-Road final.
Defeat to Carey put them on the C-Road, where the Scots got back to winning ways against Meilleur and Tirinzoni, but Einarson proved too strong in the C-Road final, winning 9-6 (despite threes from Muirhead in ends four and seven).
The competition was won by Team Roth of the USA, who beat Team Hasselborg 5-4 after an extra end in the final.
Muirhead, like Smith, are taking part in the Grand Slam in Lloydminster – they take on Sidorova, Flaxey, Sinclair and Hasselborg.
Back in Europe, there were three Scottish rinks at the EJCT Oslo event in Norway – with quite a contrast between the men’s and women’s outcomes.
Neither Team Bryce (Amy Bryce, Molly Keen, Layla Al-Saffar, Jane Barr) nor Team Morrison (Rebecca Morrison, Amy MacDonald, Hailey Duff, Leeanne McKenzie) were able to make it out of the group stage.
Bryce finished with a W1 L4 record, having beaten Moberg but lost to Dami (11-10, Bryce scoring six in the fourth end!), Tanner, Ramsfjell and Hoehne, while Morrison won two – against Mesloe and Norrlander – but lost three – to Halse, Loertscher and Keiser (the eventual winner of the event).
On the men’s side, however, Team Kinnear (Callum Kinnear, Duncan McFadzean, Ryan McCormack, Matthew McKenzie) got out of their section on W4 L1 – as they lost their opening game to Heinimann but then claimed victories over Nygren, Bjoernstad, Hermansson and Kringlebotn to make the playoffs.
There the wins just kept on coming, with Lochmann seen off 5-1 in the quarter-finals, and Ramsfjell 5-2 in the semis.
That means a rematch with Heinimann in the final, but there were no problems for Kinnear this time, as steals in ends three and five, then three in end seven, won them the match 6-1 and thereby the title.
The Kinnear rink were unfortunate not to make the playoffs at last season’s Scottish Championships, and here is more evidence of their exciting potential.
Finally, the Stirling Wheelchair International Invitational, at The Peak, saw eight of the world’s best wheelchair curling teams gather to compete.
Russia defeated Scotland 5-4 in the final, with Switzerland in third place.
Team Hardie delivered the World Mixed Curling Championship 2017 title for Scotland, defeating Canada 8-5 in the final in Switzerland.
It was a superb achievement for the Scots, who also defeated Sweden and the Czech Republic en route to the world crown.
Back in Scotland this weekend, Fraser Kingan and Jayne Stirling were surprise winners of the Scottish Curling Mixed Doubles Championship in Aberdeen.
Team Hardie (Grant Hardie, Rhiann Macleod, Billy Morton, Barbara McFarlane) were Scotland’s representatives at the World Mixed Curling Championship 2017 in Champéry, Switzerland, as one of 37 teams at the event.
They began with wins over Spain (9-7) and Ireland (9-2), but then lost their third match to Korea, 6-5, after giving up a steal in the eighth end.
Undeterred, the Scots then reeled off four straight wins (beating Denmark 10-4, Luxembourg 9-2, New Zealand 8-2 and Kazakhstan 8-1) to safely progress to the playoffs, where they faced a rematch with Spain in the last 16.
The other British teams at the event had mixed fortunes, with England (Andrew Woolston, Lesley Gregory, Martin Gregory, Kirsty Balfour) winning three and losing three in Group E to place fourth, and their last stone draw of 65.93cm qualified them for the last 16 – where they were edged out 6-5 by Norway.
Ireland (Alan Mitchell, Jacqueline Barr, Ross Barr, Clare McCormick) finished fourth in Group C on a W4 L3 record, only to miss the playoffs on last stone draw, while Wales (Adrian Meikle, Dawn Watson, Andrew Tanner, Laura Beever) came fifth in Group A with three wins and three defeats.
As for Scotland, they beat Spain 4-2 and then faced a quarter-final clash with Team Wranaa of Sweden, one of the favourites, and a fine team performance (with twos in ends one, three and seven) saw them win 7-4.
Now on a roll, Scotland beat the Czech Republic in the last four – 6-2, with twos in ends one, two and four – to set up a final showdown with Canada, skipped by Trevor Bonot.
After forcing the Canadians to one in the first end, Scotland took one in end two, stole two in the third end, and another one in the fourth, to lead 4-1.
Canada did pull it back, with two in end seven and a steal in the eighth, but Scotland kept their cool, making a double takeout to score three in the extra end – their 8-5 win giving them the world crown.
Skip Grant Hardie said: “The whole team played brilliant all week and especially the during the playoffs they came to the fore. I’m absolutely delighted.
“They [Canada] came at us really hard at the end. They’re obviously a great team to get to the final and we just managed to hold on.
“I’d thrown that line, four or five times in the game, so I was pretty confident but obviously with it being for the win you’re always a little on edge.
“I had the line and the guys swept it through to make it. It is absolutely brilliant.”
It’s a fantastic achievement for Team Hardie, who had no coach at the tournament (but plenty of travelling supporters!).
And for the skip, it’s the continuation of a great start to his season – having already won two events with Team Mouat – with plenty more to come.
With mixed doubles now an Olympic sport, there were Olympians aplenty at the Scottish Curling Mixed Doubles Championship at Curl Aberdeen – Scott Andrews, Tom Brewster, Greg Drummond, Michael Goodfellow and Claire Hamilton all Sochi 2014 participants.
Eighteen teams were split into three sections, with those groups being topped by Bobby Lammie/Rachel Hannen (W3 L2), Bruce Mouat/Gina Aitken (W5 L0) and Fraser Kingan/Jayne Stirling (W4 L1).
With Lammie/Hannen and Kingan/Stirling progressing straight to the semi-finals (on draw shot rankings), the quarters pitted Scott Andrews/Claire Hamilton against Euan Kyle/Naomi Brown and mixed doubles specialists Mouat/Aitken against mixed doubles specialists Judith and Lee McCleary.
Aitken/Mouat have won the last two Scottish Championship titles (four in all), but their 2017 challenge ended with an 8-5 loss to the McClearys, while Kyle/Brown won the other last eight clash 7-5.
Come the semi-finals, Lammie/Hannen beat Kyle/Brown 6-2, and Kingan/Stirling saw off McCleary/McCleary 7-3 (meaning there would be a first-time champion this year).
In the final, Lammie/Hannen got off to a flying start, scoring three in the first end, but singles in the next three ends drew Kingan/Stirling level at 3-3 at halfway.
The momentum was with Kingan/Stirling, and they blew the match open with a huge steal of four in the fifth end.
Although Lammie/Hannen pulled two back in the sixth, a further score of three sealed the win for Kingan/Stirling, 10-5.
Having qualified for the World Mixed Doubles, Stirling said: “I’m still a bit shocked actually, and obviously really, really excited.
“We’re starting to put together our preparations for going to the Worlds.”
Kingan added: “From now until Sweden we’ll be getting loads of practice in, and trying to enter some Mixed Doubles competitions in between times; hopefully that will give us the best chance to do well on a world stage.”
Finally, the Stevenson Trophy (Under-17 Slam) also took place this weekend, with 20 junior rinks taking part in Lockerbie.
After the round robin stage (five sections of four teams), and a quarter-final between Teams Middleton and Buchanan (won 13-4 by the former), the semi-finals brought wins for Team Craik over Middleton and Team Gallacher over Davie (both 5-4).
Craik (Angus Bryce, Matthew McKenzie, Niall Ryder, Ross Craik, Laura Watt) took the title, scoring three in end three and twos in the fifth and sixth ends to win 9-5 in the final against Gallacher.
The final went the way of Bingyu Wang’s rink, the Chinese team beating Feltscher 9-3 to claim the title.
For Hannah Fleming, who had not beaten Muirhead since 2013, this win (and overall tournament performance) will give her and her team-mates hope of narrowing the gap to their Scottish friends and rivals as the season goes on.
The second event in this year’s Goldline Scottish Curling Tour, the Dumfries Open, saw 10 teams take part – initially separated into two pools of five.
Team Jamieson topped Pool A with four straight wins, while Team Gallacher clinched Pool B and the other direct route into the semi-finals.
To see who would join them, Bryce met Taylor and McNay faced Pougher of Wales in the quarter-finals – which went the way of Bryce (8-3) and McNay (7-5).
Both of those rinks then won in the last four, Bryce seeing off Jamieson 7-4 and McNay breezing past Gallacher 7-1.
The final was a see-saw affair, with Bryce stealing their way into a 3-0 lead but McNay scoring three in the third end to level, before the teams traded singles up to end seven, where McNay scored two.
Bryce were forced to one in the eighth end, taking the game into an extra end, but McNay held hammer and scored one to win 7-6 – meaning it was they (Cameron McNay, David Baird, Robin McCall, Gavin Barr) who took the title.
The Scottish Curling Senior Mixed Championship was held at Stranraer Ice Rink over the weekend, again with 10 teams in two groups.
The round robin stage ended with Teams Adam, Cannon, Kesley and McQueen making the semi-finals.
There, Adam beat McQueen 9-2 and Cannon overcame Kesley 8-5, setting up a final which was won 6-5 after an extra end by Adam (Graeme Adam, Alison McLennan, Stuart Wilson, Carolyn Hibberd).
There were 16 teams involved in the first Asham Under-14 Slam of the season at intu Braehead.
The final saw Team Munro (Robyn Munro, Findlay Hare, Rory Dodds, Ben Kyle) beat Braehead Rockers 5-3 in four ends.
Finally, at the World Mixed Curling Championship 2017, in Champéry, Switzerland, Scotland (Grant Hardie, Rhiann Macleod, Billy Morton, Barbara McFarlane) have two wins and a loss so far.
They opened with wins over Spain and Ireland, only to then lose 6-5 after an extra end to Korea.
Their next match sees them face Denmark; you can stay up to date with the scores from the tournament here.
The quarter-finals proved the limit for the Scottish rinks in action this weekend, with Team Mouat’s unbeaten start to the season finally ending in Basel, while Team Jackson gave a good account of themselves in Stockholm.
Team Drummond joined Mouat in the Swiss Cup Basel last eight, but neither could go any further, as the big European titles were claimed by current/former world champions in Teams Gushue and Paetz.
There were four Scottish rinks in Switzerland for the Swiss Cup Basel – Teams Brewster, Drummond, Mouat and Smith.
Brewster (Tom Brewster, Duncan Menzies, Scott Andrews, Alasdair Schreiber) began with three straight wins – over Retornaz, Sciboz and Stjerne – to make the A-Road final, only for them to miss out 6-5 against Ulsrud of Norway.
That proved the beginning of the end for them, as two more 6-5 defeats – against Kauste and Van Dorp – finished their challenge.
Drummond (Greg Drummond, Ross Paterson, Gregor Cannon, Michael Goodfellow, Derrick Sloan) opened with a thumping 8-1 win over Wunderer, but then lost to Baumann and Bruggmann to drop to the C-Road.
But victories over Heinimann and Walstad took them to the C-Road final, where they won their rematch with Baumann 6-1 to secure a playoff spot.
Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie, Hammy McMillan) had won two tournaments in Ontario last month without losing a match, and they made it W15 L0 in Basel by seeing off Hess, only for the winning record to come to an end against De Cruz.
They responded by beating Snitil and Van Dorp, only to lose to De Cruz again to drop to the C-Road, where another win over Hess put them into the C final against Smith.
Smith (Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell, Cammy Smith) had reached that point courtesy of wins over Staehli and Van Dorp, defeats to Gushue and Edin, and then victories against McCormick and Stjerne.
Team GB’s chosen ones for the Olympics lost to Mouat in the quarter-finals of the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard, and it was the same story here – Mouat stealing their way into a 4-0 lead and winning 5-2.
That left Drummond and Mouat as the Scottish sides left standing for Sunday’s quarter-finals, but De Cruz scored twos in ends seven and eight to beat Drummond 7-4, while Mouat went toe-to-toe with Ulsrud but lost 5-4.
Canadian rink Gushue took their fifth Swiss Cup Basel title by defeating Ulsrud 5-2 in the final.
At the Stockholm Ladies Cup, Team Fleming (Hannah Fleming, Jen Dodds, Alice Spence, Vicky Wright) had their challenge ended early with three defeats – to Sundberg, Christensen and Paetz.
They did end on a high though, with a 5-4 win over Jentsch.
not the weekend we had hoped for but we know exactly the areas we need to work on and will be sure to do all we can in training this week 👌
Team Jackson (Sophie Jackson, Naomi Brown, Mili Smith, Sophie Sinclair), meanwhile, edged into the playoffs (via draw shot) with a W2 L2 record – beating Matsumura and Wang, defeated by Sidorova and Wrana.
The quarter-finals pitted them against Paetz, and a three in end six proved crucial for the Swiss rink in their 6-4 win – and they went on to secure the competition crown, beating Kim 9-8 after an extra end in a high-scoring final.
Team Hamilton (Claire Hamilton, Gina Aitken, Rachael Halliday, Rachel Hannen), meanwhile, played their second competition in Canada – the Avonair Cash Spiel in Edmonton, Alberta.
They went out with three losses – to Marthaller, Kaufman and Nichol – although there was a Scottish winner of sorts… Nadine Scotland’s rink taking the title.
Finally, the Kinross Junior Classic (Asham Under-21 Slam) also took place over the weekend.
Teams Kinnear, Morton, Craik and Haswell qualified from men’s Groups A and B, with Teams Findlay, Bryce, Morrison and Davie progressing from the women’s pools.
The men’s final pitted Craik against Kinnear, and it was the former – made up of James Craik, Mark Watt, Angus Bryce, Niall Ryder – who triumphed, scoring three in end two and four in end four on their way to an 8-4 win.
The women’s final brought victory for Morrison (Rebecca Morrison, Amy MacDonald, Hailey Duff, Leeanne McKenzie), who scored two in end one and three in the fourth to beat Davie 5-3.
The first Goldline Scottish Curling Tour event of the season took place this weekend, with Team Bryce claiming the Braehead Open title.
Elsewhere, the new Team Hamilton competed at the Colonial Square Ladies Classic in Saskatoon, Canada, and fell just short of a quarter-final spot.
The Braehead Open involved 22 teams in two sections, playing three pool matches ahead of the last 16.
The rinks making the quarter-finals were Teams Bryce, Carson Gray, Hardie, Hare, Ireland, Marshall and Woolston.
Bryce and Hare met in the final, which was 3-3 after five ends, but after Hare scored two, Bryce claimed three, meaning Bryce went into the final end 6-5 up but without hammer.
They managed to force the error, though, stealing one for a 7-5 win – and added to the Tallinn International they won earlier in the month, that’s two wins from two events for Team Bryce (Cameron Bryce, Ross Whyte, Robin Brydone, Euan Kyle).
The new-look Team Hamilton (Claire Hamilton, Gina Aitken, Rachael Halliday, Rachel Hannen) were the latest Scottish rink to head across to Canada – for the Colonial Square Ladies Classic in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
In a triple knockout format, they began with a 7-6 loss to Flaxey to slip onto the A-Road, but wins over Eberle and Fleming set up a B-Road final with Jennifer Jones’ rink.
The Olympic champions won that encounter, and Hamilton’s campaign was ended in the C-Road final, as they lost to Holland, just one match short of a quarter-final place.