Weekend round-up: Team Mouat win at Forfar, Brewster and Gray battle hard in Canada

Team Mouat won the latest Goldline Scottish Curling Tour event, the Forfar Open, while Teams Brewster and Gray put together good runs in World Curling Tour events in Canada.

Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Gregor Cannon, Angus Dowell) won their pool ahead of Teams MacLeod (going into the quarter finals in second spot), Taylor and Kirk with three wins.

The other qualifiers were Teams Bryce, Hardie, Joiner and McGlynn, plus Teams K Aitken and Jackson from the women’s pool.

Mouat secured themselves a place in the final with a 6-4 quarter-final win over McGlynn and 7-2 victory over Bryce in the last four.

Joining them in the final were the rink they’d beaten 8-7 in the group stage, McLeod (Scott McLeod, Derrick Sloan, John Penny,¬†Ross Fraser), who knocked out Scottish Curling Tour leader Hardie in the quarters (6-5) and then saw off Jackson 4-2.

The final was 1-1 after four ends, but then tipped in Mouat’s favour as McLeod’s final draw of end five was heavy, gifting a steal of four.

McLeod managed to claw their way back to 5-4, but a two in end eight sealed the win for Mouat 7-4.

***

Over in Canada, Team Brewster (Tom Brewster, Ross Patterson, Hammy McMillan Jr, Duncan Menzies) competed in the DEKALB Superspiel in Morris, Manitoba.

Playing a triple knock-out system, Brewster lost their first match to Team Atkins, thus were knocked down to the B-Road.

There they saw off Teams Wunderlin and Irving, before a loss to Team Dunstone.

A C-Road defeat to Team Thomas (who have been making the #broomgate headlines this weekend) saw them go out, just one game short of a quarter-final qualifying decider.

Meanwhile, Team Gray (Lauren Gray, Jennifer Dodds, Vicky Wright, Mhairi Baird) participated in the Dave Jones Northbridge Mayflower Cashspiel in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the only non-Canadian team involved.

Gray topped their pool, defeating Teams Robichaud (4-3), McEvoy (6-4) and Breen (8-3) while only suffering one loss, 7-4 against Team Jones (Colleen, not Jennifer!).

In the quarter finals, Gray saw off Robichaud again, this time 5-1, but were then beaten in the last four by eventual winners Team Brothers, 4-3 with steals of one in ends seven and eight.

Edinburgh International: Team Smith win European Championship warm-up

Team Smith finished top of a strong field at the latest Goldline Scottish Curling Tour event, defeating Team Van Dorp in the final of the Edinburgh International to claim the title.

The event saw 24 teams divided into four sections, the top two from each group going into the quarter finals.

Section A featured Scottish European Playdowns runners-up Team Brewster (Tom Brewster, Glen Muirhead, Ross Paterson, Hammy McMillan), as well as fellow Scots Team McLeod (Scott MacLeod, Colin Howden, Derrick Sloan, Ross Fraser), plus Teams Biedermann, Pougher, Rantamäki and Sik.

Brewster topped the group with a 100 per cent record, beating Sik 6-2, Pougher 9-2, Rantamäki 6-5, MacLeod 7-1 and Biedermann 7-1.

They were joined in the playoffs by MacLeod, who defeated Pougher 5-3, Biedermann 6-4, Sik 6-5 and Rantamäki 6-3.

In Section B were Scottish rinks Team Bryce (Cameron Bryce, Zack Stewart, Fraser Kingan, Frazer Shaw) and Team Smith (Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell, Cammy Smith), plus Teams Gulbis, Kiiskinen, Schulze and Van Dorp.

Van Dorp (Jaap Van Dorp, Wouter Gosgens, Laurens Hoekman, Carlo Glasbergen, Joey Bruinsma) topped the section by beating Smith 5-4 in the first match, and then beat Kiiskinen 6-5, lost to Bryce 5-4, defeated Schulze 8-4 and won 6-3 over Gulbis.

Smith recovered from their opening loss to see off Gulbis 4-1, Kiiskinen 7-1, Bryce 5-2 and Schulze 5-1 to qualify alongside the Dutch rink, ahead of Bryce in third.

Taking part in Section C were Teams Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Gregor Cannon, Angus Dowell) and Shaw (Graham Shaw, Brian Binnie, Graham Cormack, Rob Niven), along with Teams Attinger, Baumann, Kauste (the 2014 winner) and Nagy from overseas.

But the Scots could only finish third and fifth in the group, as Kauste and Attinger qualified, both with four wins from five.

Reigning Scottish champions Team MacDonald were in Section D, along with compatriots Team Combe (Moray Combe, Sandy Christie, Neil Sands, Gary Rutherford), plus Teams Eskilsson, Jasieki, Ruch and Stjerne.

MacDonald’s rink were skipped by David Edwards in Edinburgh, John Penny joining Edwards, Ruairidh Greenwood and Euan Byers¬†in place of the injured Ewan MacDonald – and they came first in the section as they beat Stjerne¬†10-7, Jasieki 10-4,¬†Ruch 9-4 and Combe 7-4, before a 7-3 defeat to Eskilsson.

Combe edged Eskilsson and Stjerne for second in the group, defeating Jasieki 6-4 and Eskilsson 6-5, losing 6-4 to Stjerne and MacDonald 7-4, then seeing off Ruch 8-3.

The quarter finals pitted Brewster and Smith together in a repeat of the European Playdowns final. Again, Smith came out on top, stealing three in end five and scoring two in end seven on their way to a 6-1 win.

MacDonald saw off Attinger 7-2, also stealing three in end five, while Finnish side Kauste eased to a 7-0 win over Combe.

The closest last eight clash was between MacLeod and Van Dorp – the Dutch team led 2-0 after four ends, MacLeod pulled it back to 2-2 after seven, but Van Dorp then scored the one required to win in end eight.

In the semi finals, Smith scored four in end three and two in end six to beat Kauste 7-4, while a three in end five and two in end eight saw Van Dorp past MacDonald 5-4.

So Smith and Van Dorp met in the final – two teams who will be playing each other again at the European Championships in Esbjerg.

Smith had the better start, scoring twos in ends two and four for a 4-2 lead at halfway. A three in end six then proved decisive, the Scots taking the match and the title 8-5.

After a disappointing pool stage exit at the Champery Masters, this was a return to form for Team Smith, an encouraging sign ahead of their trip to Esbjerg.

See photos from the event on the Scottish Curling Tour Facebook group, courtesy of Jayne Stirling Photography.

Weekend round-up: Team Hardie win Dumfries Open, Scots medal in Oslo

While Teams Muirhead and Smith were securing their European Championships places in Perth this weekend, there were also competitions held in Dumfries and Oslo, Norway.

The Dumfries Open, part of the Goldline Scottish Curling Tour, involved 11 men’s and four women’s teams who were competing for prize money of ¬£700 for the winner.

Men’s section one was topped by Team Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Duncan Menzies, Bobby Lammie, Gregor Cannon, Angus Dowell), who won all four of their group matches, against Teams Sloan (10-0), Taylor (7-6), Howat (8-1) and Hardie (10-4).

Mouat were joined in the quarter finals by Hardie (Grant Hardie, Blair Fraser, David Reid, Billy Morton) and Taylor (Stuart Taylor, Alasdair Schreiber, Fraser Davidson, Chay Telfer).

The winners of men’s section two were Team Bryce (Cameron Bryce, Zack Stewart, Fraser Kingan, Frazer Shaw), who lost their opening match 7-6 to Team Macleod but then defeated Teams Whyte (7-6), Pougher (7-3), Hamilton (6-2) and Lill (6-4).

Also going through from section two were Whyte (Ross Whyte, James Baird, Gavin Barr, Euan Kyle, David Baird) and Macleod (Scott Macleod, Colin Howden, Derrick Sloan, Ross Fraser).

The qualifiers from the women’s section were Teams¬†G Aitken (Gina Aitken, Rowena Kerr, Laura Ritchie, Heather Morton) and Jackson (Sophie Jackson, Naomi Brown, Rachael Halliday, Lauren McIntyre), Aitken beating Teams Murray (6-5), Jackson (8-6) and Ward (5-3), and Jackson winning over Ward (6-5) and Murray (8-4).

However, it was to be an all-male semi-final line-up as Bryce, Hardie, Mouat and Whyte won their quarter-final ties.

Hardie then saw off Bryce 7-5 and Mouat defeated Whyte 5-3 in the last four.

In the final, Hardie gained revenge over Mouat for their defeat in the group stage, scoring three in end six to win the game 5-3, thereby adding the Dumfries Open title to the Braehead Open one they claimed last month.

There were also Scottish teams competing in Norway, at the European Junior Curling Tour event in Oslo.

Teams K Aitken (Karina Aitken, Amy MacDonald, Sophie Sinclair, Laura Barr) and Brydone (Robin Brydone, Callum Kinnear, Callum Greenwood, Craig Waddell) both won enough group matches to reach the knock-out stages of the girl’s and boy’s competitions respectively.

Aitken beat Fransson 10-1, Ramsfjell 8-7 and Keiser 10-3 on the opening day, and had one win (5-4 versus Stritt) and one loss (7-5 versus Witschonke) on the second.

As for Brydone, they won 10-3 over Shadman, lost 5-4 to Hess and beat Ramsfjell 4-3 on the first day and followed that with victories over Myran (6-4) and Stucki (4-3).

While Brydone went straight into the boy’s semi finals, Aitken had to play a quarter final – which they won 7-2 against Westman.

Brydone won their semi final 4-3 versus Lottenbach, but Aitken lost out 5-3 to Schmied in their last-four tie.

Aitken did claim bronze, however, beating Gauchat 9-3 with threes in ends four and six and a steal of two in end seven.

Brydone, meanwhile, took silver – beaten 6-0 in the final by Ramsfjell.

Although they fell short of the top of the podium, both Scottish teams coming away from Oslo with a medal was impressive, adding to the experience gained from this international tournament.

Team Jackson spotlight

Team Jackson (L-R): Sophie Jackson, Naomi Brown, Rachael Halliday, Rachel Hannen

Team Jackson were selected¬†as one of¬†Scottish and British Curling’s ‘Performance Foundation’ teams for 2015-16, competing on a junior level and looking to gain experience to carry into tournaments higher up the chain in the future.¬†

Here their skip, Sophie Jackson, introduces the team, reflects on representing Scotland at the World Mixed Championship in Switzerland and talks about their goals ahead.

Q: Could you introduce the members of the team?
A: Our lead, Rachel Hannen, has been curling for 13 years and has a long family history within curling. Rachel is very outgoing and the joker of the team which really helps to keep the team laughing in tough times (especially when we are all very tired!). It also helped with the initial team bonding as we were all getting along and having a good time instantly.
Our second, Rachael Halliday,¬†has also grown up with curling;¬†she has been curling for 12 years. Rachael is very caring and a huge team player, helping to keep everyone’s head up in good times and bad.
Naomi Brown, our third, is the same as the other girls with big curling names in the family and has been curling for 10 years. Naomi is the youngest on the team but she is such a great support for me, especially with it being the first season of my skipping career. She is always chirpy and happy.
I, unlike the other girls, have no family history of curling РI got into it through primary school. I have now been curling for eight years.

Q:¬†The team have¬†had positive results already this season, winning the Braehead Junior International¬†– are you happy with how it’s gone?
A: We are very happy with our positive start to the season, showing promise for later on. However, this is only the start and provides us with building blocks for the real showdown later in the season. So we are trying not to get to hung up on results and instead focus on continuing to develop as a team.

Q: You represented Scotland at the World Mixed Championship –¬†how would¬†you sum up that experience?
A: My experience at the World Mixed was an unmissable one. It provided many challenges, especially with the difference of a mixed team. The dynamics of the team are completely different from an all-female team. I learned lots of lessons from the experience, with it being my first world championships, which will stand me in good stead for the future.
I also enjoyed playing lead for a change, the position I originally played, so it was nice to experience playing that position at a high level. Overall we had a great week, with seven¬†wins out of nine, so¬†we can’t really complain.

Q:¬†What are¬†the team’s¬†ambitions for the 2015-16 season from this point?
A: We hope to keep up our good form in our competitions to come; but they are all stepping stones to the Scottish Junior Championships which is our main focus. And then hopefully following that, a good World Juniors. We are all willing to put in the work, which is a big part of having a strong team dynamic, as we all want the Scottish title as much as each each other.

Q: What do you make of the strength of Scottish women’s curling at the moment, especially the development teams?
A: Scottish women’s curling, in my opinion, is currently weak in terms of¬†the number of teams competing;¬†however, the teams competing are very strong performance level-wise which is promising.
Hopefully we will continue to see junior teams come through and play the Ladies Championships and give the top development teams a run for their money.

Braehead Open: Team Hardie come out on top

Team Hardie were victorious in the first Scottish Curling Tour event of the season in Braehead, edging Team MacDonald 6-5 in the final.

Twenty teams played in a Schenkel format, which meant two groups of 10 playing three preliminary matches with the aim of making the quarter finals.

Teams Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Duncan Menzies, Bobby Lammie, Gregor Cannon, Angus Dowell) and Jackson (Sophie Jackson, Naomi Brown, Rachel Halliday, Rachael Hannen) were the direct qualifiers from Section A.

Mouat had a 100 per cent record, defeating Team Taylor 9-2, Team MacFarlane 7-3 and Team Jackson 6-4.

Jackson won two and lost one, the wins coming against Team McCall (9-2) and Team Valfridsson (10-3).

In Section B, the top two going straight into the quarter finals were Teams Bryce (Cameron Bryce, Zack Stewart, Fraser Kingan, Frazer Shaw) and MacDonald (Ewan MacDonald, David Edwards, Ruairidh Greenwood, Euan Byers).

Both finished on W3 L0 records, Team Bryce beating Team Fowler 9-4, Team Horton 11-4 and Team Wilson 6-2, while MacDonald were winners over Team Wales 7-5, Team Taylor 11-4 and Team Ireland 11-3.

The quarter-final playoffs saw wins for Teams Hardie over MacFarlane 9-2, Team Ireland 7-3 against McCall, Team Lumsden 4-2 over Wilson and Team Havercroft beat Horton 7-3.

Team Hardie (Grant Hardie, Blair Fraser, David Reid, Billy Morton), having made it into the last eight the hard way, progressed to the final with wins over Team Jackson (8-6) and then Team Bryce in the semi final, 8-2.

Team MacDonald saw off Team Havercroft (Jonathan Havercroft, Sam Fowler, Ben Fowler, Stuart Brand) 7-2 in the quarter finals and that set up a meeting with Team Mouat in the semis.

The teams were tied at 4-4 and it came down to a draw shot rather than an extra end for a place in the final – Ewan MacDonald just edging the draw to the button to take his team through.

There, a steal of three in end six proved pivotal as Team Hardie came out on top 6-5 against the reigning Scottish champions for the title and prize money of £650.

Team Stuart Taylor won the mini schenkel event – contested between the eight teams which did not qualify for the quarter finals or quarter-final playoffs – ahead of Team Kubeskova.

The next Goldline Scottish Curling Tour event is the Dumfries Open, October 16-18.

For photos from Braehead, go to the Jayne Stirling Photography Facebook album here.