Team Mouat win World University Games gold for Great Britain

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Team Mouat: Cate Brewster (coach), Alasdair Schreiber, Derrick Sloan, Gregor Cannon, Bobby Lammie, Bruce Mouat. Pic: twitter.com/BUCSsport

Team Mouat triumphed at the 2017 World University Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan, by winning men’s curling gold after winning 11 straight games.

Team Aitken represented Team GBR in the women’s competition, but fell short of the playoffs after a tiebreaker defeat to Switzerland.

Elsewhere this week, Team Hutcheon took victory at the Aberdeen City Open, while Team Muirhead took part in the Pinty’s All-Star Skins in Banff, Alberta.

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The World University Games attracted strong curling representation, with Gustav Eskilsson, Victoria Moiseeva, Kelsey Rocque, Steffen Walstad and Isabella Wrana among the skips involved.

Team GBR was made up of Team Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Derrick Sloan, Gregor Cannon, Alasdair Schreiber) on the men’s side and Team Aitken (Gina Aitken, Rowena Kerr, Rachael Halliday, Rachel Hannen, Angharad Ward) on the women’s.

The round robin stage proved straightforward for Mouat – as they won all nine of their games!

They saw off Russia 9-5, Canada 9-4, Norway 7-4, Sweden 8-3, hosts Kazakhstan 10-1, the Czech Republic 5-4, Japan 10-4, the USA 9-7 and Korea 5-3.

It was much less clear-cut for Aitken, although having lost 7-3 to Russia in their opener, they reeled off wins against Kazakhstan (10-4), Germany (8-7), Switzerland (6-5), Canada (9-5), Norway (7-6) and Korea (9-6).

But they were then beaten 8-7 by Sweden and 8-4 by China, which tipped them into a tiebreaker against Switzerland.

And it was the Swiss rink of Briar Huerlimann who came through, scoring twos in ends four and nine, plus stealing one in end six, for a 6-4 win.

Mouat had of course safely made the playoffs, but they were made to sweat by Norway – Team Walstad being reigning Universiade champions, and recent German Masters winners – in their semi-final, with the Norwegians 5-3 up after five ends.

Mouat scored three in end seven to tie it up at 6-6, then stole one in the eighth, but Walstad grabbed two in end nine to regain the lead – only for Mouat to score two in the final end for a thrilling 9-8 victory.

GBR faced Sweden for men’s gold (the same countries as in the 2013 World University Games final, only with Mouat v Eskilsson instead of Smith v Eriksson) and Mouat got off to the ideal start – scoring two in end one and stealing another two in the second end.

The Swedes were 5-2 down at halfway, but hit back with twos in ends seven and eight, which gave them the lead at 6-5.

But rather than crumbling, Mouat responded superbly – making a takeout for two in end nine to inch back ahead 7-6, before stealing one in the 10th to win out 8-6 and claim the gold!

Norway won men’s bronze, while on the women’s side the medallists were Canada (gold), Russia (silver) and Sweden (bronze).

Bruce Mouat said: “It feels great that the men have finally won the gold.

“It was a really good final – we started really well and finished really well.

“To finally get the gold around our neck and to do it in such fashion is just absolute class.”

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Thoughts are turning to the Scottish Curling Championships later this month, and several of the rinks competing in that event were present at the Aberdeen City Open this weekend.

The 18 competing teams were divided into two sections – and the Red Section was topped by the rinks skipped by Andrew Hutcheon, Tom Brewster and Greg Dunn (all on W3 L1 records), with Curl Aberdeen 1 (a changing line-up of local players) joining them in the playoffs.

David Edwards and Stuart Taylor’s rinks topped the Blue Section, joined in the playoffs by those of James Pougher and Susan Kesley – the best two of six teams to finish on W2 L2 records.

The quarter-finals saw Team Edwards ease past Curl Aberdeen 1 by a 12-2 scoreline, while Team Hutcheon defeated Team Kesley 7-2 and Team Dunn saw off Team Taylor 5-3.

And in the other last-eight tie Pougher’s Welshmen knocked out Scottish champion Brewster, scoring three in end seven and stealing one in the eighth to win it 7-5.

Team Pougher then edged out Edwards to make the final, winning their semi 8-7 after an extra end, while Hutcheon defeated Dunn 5-4.

The final began with the teams trading twos, but Hutcheon then took control – scoring twos in ends four and five, then three in the seventh – to take the victory 9-3 and claim the Scottish Curling Tour event title.

So the local team took the plaudits – congratulations Andrew Hutcheon, Murray McGregor, Andrew Dolman, Angus Roberston (pictured below)!

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More photos and reports from the event are available here.

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Also in Scotland this weekend, Team Kinnear maintained their dominance of the Asham Under-17 Slam events by winning in Perth.

After six sections which were topped by Teams Morton, Gallacher, Kennedy, Farmer, Craik and Kinnear, the quarter-finals saw Morton beat Farmer 4-3 and Gallacher see off Kennedy 5-3.

In the semi-finals, Craik eased to a 7-1 win over Gallacher, while Kinnear defeated Morton 4-1.

The final brought a ruthless performance from Kinnear, as they scored twos in ends three, four, six and seven en route to a 9-3 victory.

The low road final was won by Team Haswell, 11-3 conquerors of Team Gow.

Kinnear (Callum Kinnear, Ryan McCormack, Duncan McFadzean, Matthew McKenzie) were named as Scottish Under 17 Asham Slam winners for the season, with Farmer (Beth Farmer, Kirstin Bousie, Katie McMillan, Alexandra Mackintosh) crowned the top female U17 team for 2016/17.

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Finally, Team Muirhead took part in the Pinty’s All-Star Skins alongside Teams Carey, Jones and Sweeting – plus Teams Edin, Jacobs, Koe and McEwen on the men’s side.

Unfortunately for Muirhead (Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray) their introduction to the competition – where the teams compete for the monetary value of each end, or ‘skin’ – was a rude one.

Pitted against Sweeting, they were well beaten, the Canadians collecting $19,500 in prize money to Muirhead’s $1,500 – you can watch brief highlights of the match here.

Sweeting were beaten to the women’s title by Jones, while Koe defeated Jacobs in the men’s final.

 

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Granite glory for Team MacDonald at Aberdeen City Open

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Aberdeen City Open winners Team MacDonald (photo: Gavin Fleming)

Team MacDonald warmed up for their Scottish Curling Championship defence by winning the Aberdeen City Open, defeating Alan MacDougall’s English rink in the final.

Ewan MacDonald’s rink were one of 20 teams in Aberdeen, split into two groups (red and blue sections) – the top four from each making it into the quarter-finals.

MacDonald’s men topped the red section on four wins from four, those coming against Macleod (10-2), Perras (9-5), Aitken (8-4) and Fowler (13-6).

Gina Aitken and Scott Macleod’s rinks were second and third in the group (both W3 L1 records), and Adrian Meikle’s Welshmen edged their way into fourth – finishing W2 L2 alongside Fowler, Perras and Wilson but having the better ‘shots up’ record.

In the blue section, it was Stuart Taylor’s rink who went undefeated, beating Menzies 11-4, Lockhart 11-2 and Gray 7-4, and drawing 4-4 with Fleming.

That draw for Hannah Fleming’s team saw them qualify for the quarter-finals in fourth spot on W2 D1 L1, in behind Teams Gray (W3 L1) and MacDougall (W2 D1 L1).

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Team Taylor (photo: Stuart McLachlan)

In the last eight, MacDonald continued their fearsome form by defeating Fleming 7-1 thanks to a three in end one and twos in ends three and four.

Gray overcame Macleod 6-4 with twos in ends four and six, while MacDougall beat Aitken 5-2 and Meikle scored three in end eight to sneak past Taylor 7-6.

In the semi-finals, MacDonald faced Gray in an all-Scottish clash, with MacDonald coming out on top 6-4, scoring a crucial two in end six after Gray had stolen one to level at 3-3 after five.

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Gray v MacDonald (photo: Stuart McLachlan)

In the other semi, Meikle came from 5-1 down after five to tie it up at 6-6 after eight, but MacDougall had hammer in the extra end and scored the one needed to make the final.

In that final, MacDonald were forced to one in the first but then stole one in end two, two in end three and another one in end four to lead 5-0.

MacDougall got on the board in end five but two from MacDonald in end six saw handshakes at 7-1.

Gray took third place with a 5-3 win over Meikle in the third/fourth game.

More photos from the weekend (courtesy of Stuart McLachlan and Maggie Wilson) are on Facebook here.

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Judith and Lee McCleary represented Scotland at the Aarau Mixed Doubles, reaching the semi-finals.

They cruised through Group B, winning five from five – taking victories over Guzieva/Ali of Russia (9-5), Gribi/Gribi of Switzerland (6-5), Hümbelin/Gubler of Switzerland (13-3), Matulovà/Derzsi of Slovakia (13-2) and Colceriu/Coliban of Romania (9-6).

They then defeated Szekeres/Nagy of Hungary 6-4 in the quarter-finals, but were beaten by Jäggi/Freiberger of Switzerland 8-5 – the Swiss rink went on to lose to their compatriots Perret/Rios in the final, while the McClearys lost 7-6 to Hegner/Attinger, also of Switzerland, in the third/fourth game.

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In Canada, the Brier playdowns continued – with the headline news being Team Glenn Howard overcoming Team Epping 6-5 to become Ontario champion.

Team Laycock won in Saskatchewan, meanwhile, and Mike Kennedy took the New Brunswick title.

Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Northern Ontario will see their representatives decided this coming weekend.

And the USA national championships are currently in progress – Team Clark lead the way for the men after three games, while it’s Brown and Roth who sit W3 L0 in the women’s event.