Team Flaxey win Perth Ladies International

perth ladies winners flaxey
TROPHY: Perth Ladies International winners Team Flaxey (pic: facebook.com/perthladiescct)

‘International‘ was the key word in this weekend’s Curling Champions Tour event in Perth, as none of the eight teams making it into the knockout stages were Scottish.

In the end Team Flaxey of Canada defeated Team Tirinzoni of Switzerland in the final to take the prize at the Dewars Centre.

More on that later, after a quick check on Team Murdoch’s early form at the World Men’s Curling Championship…

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Scotland are represented at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Edmonton, Canada, by Team Murdoch – David Murdoch, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow, Ross Paterson (alternate), Ian Tetley (coach).

Their opening match pitted them against Norway – for once not represented by Thomas Ulsrud’s rink, as Steffen Walstad’s quartet qualified in their place.

The Norwegians scored two in end two and three in end four, but the Scots grabbed two in the third end, two in the fifth and a steal in the sixth to tie it up at 5-5.

Twos in ends seven and 10, though, gave the game to Norway 9-6.

The Scots bounced back to W1 L1 against the USA – which was a tight game up to the eighth end, as the teams traded ones and twos, but a disastrous end eight from the Americans handed Scotland the chance to score five, which they made to win 9-4.

They followed that up with a 7-4 win over Japan, scoring twos in ends three and five, and stealing one in end six.

So with Canada topping the early standings on W3 L0, Scotland are one of six teams on W2 L1.

 

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Back to Scotland, and the EDF Energy City of Perth Ladies International, which involved 24 teams from across the world – eight of those Scottish.

None of the home nation’s representatives made it beyond the round robin stage – though Team Smith came closest, as they finished alongside Teams Tippin (Canada) and Wrana (Sweden) on W3 L2 in Section A, but the Canadians’ draw shot was better – just – so they progressed to the last eight alongside Team Tirinzoni of Switzerland.

Teams Flaxey (Canada) and Feltscher (Switzerland) qualified from Section B at the expense of the Scottish rinks of Karina Aitken and Hannah Fleming, plus Anna Fowler’s English team.

Section C featured Teams Gina Aitken and Muirhead – the latter having just won Worlds bronze in Beijing of course – but neither could finish in the top two in the group, as Teams Middaugh (Canada) and Sinclair (USA) made it through instead.

Finally, Section D saw Teams Fukisawa (Japan) and Fleury (Canada) progress.

Saturday night’s quarter-finals saw wins for Teams Flaxey (6-5 over Fleury), Feltscher (4-3 versus Fukisawa), Tirinzoni (8-4 over Sinclair) and Tippin (4-2 against Middaugh).

Two Canadian rinks and two Swiss made it Sunday’s matches then, where Flaxey scored three in end four, two in end seven and one in the eighth to beat Tippin 7-4, while the all-Swiss semi went to Tirinzoni 6-3, largely thanks to a steal in end two and two in end six.

The final began with four blank ends from Tirinzoni (who, it must be pointed out, were playing with only three players, so did incredibly well to make the final!), before Flaxey stole one in end five.

After the teams traded twos Tirinzoni was forced to one in end eight, meaning an extra end – where Flaxey (Alli Flaxey, Clancy Grandy, Lynn Kreviazuk, Morgan Court) used hammer advantage to score two and win the game 5-3 to clinch the Champions Curling Tour event title.

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Finally, there were two other events in Scotland this weekend, starting with the National Virtual Club Challenge on Saturday in Braehead.

Sixteen teams took part, leading to a high road final between Stirling and Dundee 2 – which Dundee 2 (Neil Mackintosh, Steven Lafferty, George Dewar, Ally Donald, Jenni Lyall) won 4-1 to take the spoils.

Then on Sunday it was the Newcomers Trophy at Greenacres.

Twelve teams were involved, divided into purple and green sections, before a high road final contested by Teams Ryder and Maxwell – with the latter (Jay Maxwell, Callum McLain, Erin Furey) winning that decider 3-0 for the silverware.

Weekend round-up: Titles for Team Muirhead and Aitken/Mouat

Team Muirhead
Perth Ladies International winners – Eve Muirhead, Vicki Adams, Sarah Reid and Mairi Milne (photo: Tom J Brydone (facebook.com/brydoneimages))

There was Scottish success in two different curling disciplines this weekend, as Team Muirhead triumphed on home turf in the Perth Ladies International and Gina Aitken/Bruce Mouat won the Latvian Mixed Doubles Curling Cup II.

Muirhead’s victory was all the more special given their efforts in kick-starting the event (which gained greater exposure through live coverage on BBC Alba), and that they achieved it without Anna Sloan, who picked up an injury on the eve of the tournament.

Then there is the small matter of the start of the World Men’s Curling Championship, where Scotland are represented by Team Brewster…

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It’s Basel where we start – Scotland (Tom Brewster, Glen Muirhead, Ross Paterson, Hammy McMillan, Scott Andrews (alternate)) began World Men’s like a house on fire but at the time of writing they sit W2 L2.

They scored twos in ends two and five, stole three in end six and finished with a two in end nine to beat Korea 9-3, before overcoming Norway with two in end three and steals of one in ends seven and eight for a 6-3 win.

But they then lost 9-6 to Russia (four in end four and three in end six proving fatal) and, despite a four in end seven, gave up a steal of one in end 10 to lose 6-5 to Japan.

It’s a rut they need to get out of, and the fightback starts against Canada (!) at 1pm today – a game you can watch live here.

All scores throughout the tournament here, plus updates on the Roaring Game Blog Facebook and Twitter.

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The City of Perth Ladies International attracted teams from Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as seven Scottish rinks.

Tirinzoni
Silvana Tirinzoni delivers (photo: Tom J Brydone)

That reflected the pulling power of Team Muirhead internationally, as did the impressive list of event/team sponsors and the live coverage by BBC Alba and the Curling Champions Tour on YouTube.

The competition started with four sections of five teams, with Section A won by Team Hasselborg of Sweden ahead of Team Sweeting of Canada.

Sweeting only narrowly edged Team Fowler of England to second spot, winning their head-to-head 6-5 after an extra end.

Muirhead – without third Anna Sloan due to a knee injury, so Chelsea Duncan and then Mairi Milne subbed in, pushing Sarah Reid to second and Vicki Adams to third – headed Section B with four wins from four, ahead of Team Ogasawara of Japan.

Team Tirinzoni of Switzerland won all their round robin games to top Section C; Teams Barbezat (Switzerland) and Fleury (Canada) both finished W2 L2 – Fleury winning the tiebreaker 7-5.

And Section D saw Team Pätz of Switzerland qualify for the quarter-finals with four wins, followed by Team Driendl of Germany.

Come the last eight, Muirhead and Tirinzoni continued their impressive runs by beating Fleury (7-4) and Sweeting (4-3) respectively, but the other two group winners went out – Hasselborg lost 6-4 to Driendl and Pätz were shocked 7-1 by Ogasawara.

In the semi-finals, Muirhead scored threes in ends one and three, then stole two in end seven, to beat Driendl 9-5, while Tirinzoni overcame Ogasawara 10-2 (four in end one, three in end two and two in end four).

The final was a predictably tight affair, both teams missing opportunities for twos at various points. But Muirhead controlled the scoring in the even ends, took a two in end four and sealed the one needed to win the game 5-4 and the title.

For more photos from the event, check out Brydone Images’ gallery here.

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There was also a title win for Scots abroad – after Judith and Lee McCleary came third in the Latvian Mixed Doubles Curling Cup I last weekend, Gina Aitken and Bruce Mouat took part in Latvian Mixed Doubles Curling Cup II.

Aitken/Mouat beat Huembelin/Gubler of Switzerland 12-3, then Trubačs-Boginska/Purmalis of Latvia 11-1.

In round three, they lost 7-6 to Bryzgalova/Krushelnitskiy of Russia, but bounced back in rounds four and five to defeat Wang/Ba (China) 8-6 and Yu/Xu (also China) 7-3.

That set up a rematch with the Russian pair who’d beaten them previously, but this time Aitken/Mouat scored two in end two, then stole one in end three, four in end four and another one in end five to win 8-2!

aitken,mouat
Bruce Mouat and Gina Aitken (photo: facebook.com/LatvianMixedDoublesCurlingCup)

The win sets Aitken and Mouat up nicely for the World Mixed Doubles later this month.

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One of the teams Aitken/Mouat will face at Worlds in Karlstad will be Canada – represented by Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant.

Thirty-six teams battled it out in the Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship in Saskatoon this weekend, with Peterman/Gallant overcoming Laura Crocker/Geoff Walker 12-8 in the final.

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Finally, several further events took place in Scotland over the weekend.

The National Virtual Club Challenge (involving RCCC ‘virtual clubs’ whose members are in their first two years of curling) took place in Braehead, involving 28 teams.

The final was contested by Stirling 1 and Forfar – Stirling (Norman Ainslie, John Glass, Iona Paterson, Bob Sherrard, Laura Lee) winning 5-0 – while third spot went to Dundee 2, who won 4-3 against Braehead 2 after an extra end.

And the Scottish Student Sport Curling Championships were held in Stranraer, with 16 teams taking part from Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot Watt, Stirling and Strathclyde universities, plus a rink of graduates.

The high road final was won by Strathclyde 2 (Stuart Taylor, Robin McCall, Gavin Barr, Jayne Stirling), 8-1 against the graduates, while Edinburgh 5 (Andrew Johnston, Eilidh Yeats, Szymon Sacher, Rosie Duckworth) beat Glasgow 2 in the low road final, 5-4.

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High road winners, Strathclyde 2 (photo: Jayne Stirling)