Team Mouat win World University Games gold for Great Britain

mouat-wugs
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.

***

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.”

***

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)!

wp_20170205_17_14_06_rich-2

More photos and reports from the event are available here.

***

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.

***

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.

 

‘Another week, another final’: Team Muirhead runners-up in Saskatoon

mhd-2016-17-lineup
Team Muirhead: Eve Muirhead, Kelly Schafer, Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray (photo: British Curling/Tom J Brydone)

Team Muirhead reached their second consecutive final in Canada, battling their way along the C-Road at the Colonial Square Ladies Classic, before falling at the last to Bingyu Wang’s Chinese rink.

Also in Canada, Team Brewster were the top performing Scottish rink at the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic, going out in the quarter-finals to eventual winners Team Koe.

And in Scotland, the first leg of the Asham U21 Slam took place – the Greenacres Junior Masters titles being won by Team Bryce and Team Jackson.

***

Team G Aitken (Gina Aitken, Rowena Kerr, Rachael Halliday, Rachel Hannen) and Team Muirhead (Eve Muirhead, Kelly Schafer, Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray) were the two Scottish rinks competing at the Colonial Square Ladies Classic in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

In what was a triple knockout event, with A, B and C-Roads, Team Aitken won their first match by defeating Team Englot 5-4 after an extra end, having picked up twos in ends two and six.

They lost their next match, 6-4 against Team Fujisawa of Japan, and then dropped to the C-Road after being beaten 9-2 by Team Eberle.

There they routed Team Rocque, who are seventh on the World Curling Tour Order of Merit, by a 10-0 scoreline (steal of five in end two, three in end three), before being eliminated by Team Silvernagle, 6-5 after an extra end – but this was a positive experience for the young Scots rink.

As for Team Muirhead, they opened with a 5-4 victory over Team Lawton (scoring two in end seven and stealing two in end eight) and then overcame Team Pätz of Switzerland 5-3, again with a steal of two in the eighth.

However, they lost 8-4 to Team Hasselborg of Sweden in the A-Road final (giving up a four in end one), and then suffered a second successive defeat to Swedish opposition, Team Sigfridsson winning 6-4 to knock the Scots onto the C-Road.

Two wins needed to make the quarter-finals: two wins achieved. First they beat Team Martin 6-5, and then defeated Team Campbell 8-4, and that set up a quarter-final rematch with Sigfridsson.

This time the Scottish-Swedish clash had a different outcome, as Muirhead scored two in end three, one in end five and stole two in end six to win 5-3.

In the semi-finals they faced Team Jones (with Cheryl Bernard skipping in place of Jennifer Jones, who’s on maternity leave) and began well, with threes in ends two and four, before scoring two in end six and stealing one in end seven to win 9-5.

So that meant a second successive final for the new-look Muirhead foursome, this time facing Team Wang of China, the 2009 world champions having lost their first match in Saskatoon but reeling off six subsequent wins to make the title decider.

Wang scored two in end four to lead 3-1 at halfway; Muirhead replied with a two of their own, but three for Wang in end six proved decisive – the Chinese rink winning 7-4.

No dwelling on defeat for Muirhead and their new tactical coach Glenn Howard, though – two second places from two season-opening events with two new players is not to be sniffed at.

And skip Eve Muirhead told British Curling: “Another week, another final… from last week in Edmonton we continued to build on our performance, having some great games but also lots of learning curves.

“There of course is still room for improvement but this early in the season we as a team feel we are in a great place, and are aiming to continue to show the benefit of the work we have done on ice and off during the summer months.”

***

Meanwhile, there were three Scottish teams competing in the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic in Cornwall, Ontario.

Team Fleming (Hannah Fleming, Jennifer Dodds, Vicky Wright, Alice Spence) were one of 15 rinks in the women’s section, with the top six qualifying for the playoffs.

Fleming opened with a 6-5 extra end win over Team Morrissey, but then lost 8-3 to Team Homan.

A 6-4 defeat to Team MacPhee followed, which meant that a 5-4 victory over Team Inglis (thanks to a decisive two in end six) was not quite enough to make the knockout stages.

The competition was won by powerhouse Homan, who topped Team Flaxey 7-1 in the final.

In the men’s event, Team Murdoch (David Murdoch, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow) also fell narrowly short of the playoffs on a W3 L2 record.

After a 7-6 loss to Team Bailey, they achieved three successive wins – 6-5 against Team Shuster, 11-1 over Team McCrady (including a steal of six in end four!) and 5-4 versus Team Brown after an extra end.

But with four wins required to make the last eight, an 8-2 defeat to Team Koe proved to be the killer blow for Murdoch.

That left Team Brewster (Tom Brewster, Glen Muirhead, Ross Paterson, Hammy McMillan) as the sole Scottish representation in the quarter-finals, having posted a W4 L1 record in the round robin.

They overcame Team De Cruz of Switzerland 6-3, Team Kean 8-5, Team Carruthers 7-4 (scoring three in end one and four in end three) and Team Hemmings 7-6 (after a steal in the extra end), with their only loss coming against Team Epping (7-6 after an extra).

In the quarter-finals they faced Team Koe, the reigning world champions, and exchanged twos in the first couple of ends.

Koe, though, scored two in end four and three in end six, and two for Brewster in end seven was not enough to avert an 8-5 defeat.

No shame in that, of course, especially as Koe went on to win the competition, bashing Team Gushue (with Charley Thomas filling in for Brad Gushue and Mark Nichols playing skip) 9-3 in the final.

Skip Tom Brewster reflected: “It’s been a good two weeks for us. We feel like we’ve improved over the two spiels we’ve played in.

“Shorty has been excellent, a really well organised event with a very strong field. We’re happy with how we’ve performed over the weekend and we had a good performance against the world champions in the quarter-final.”

***

The Greenacres Junior Masters kicked off the Asham U21 Slam for the 2016-17 season, with 12 men’s and nine women’s teams taking part at Howwood.

Team Bryce (Cameron Bryce, Robin Brydone, Euan Kyle, Frazer Shaw) topped men’s section A, courtesy of wins over Teams Hair (18-0), Craik (5-3), Carson (12-3), Baird (5-2) and Joiner (9-3).

Men’s section B was headed up by Team Whyte (Ross Whyte, Callum Kinnear, Ryan McCormack, Duncan McFadzean), who defeated Teams McNay (8-3), Moodie (14-2), Lockhart (8-1), Cormack (10-3) and McLean (5-1).

As for the women, it was Team K Aitken (Karina Aitken, Rebecca Morrison, Hailey Duff, Laura Barr) who were first in section A, having beaten Teams Blair (17-0), Dakers (5-3) and Dandie (8-4).

And Team Jackson (Sophie Jackson, Naomi Brown, Mili Smith, Sophie Sinclair) qualified first from section B, victors over Teams Hunter (11-0), Davie (10-4) and Keen (13-0), and drawing 4-4 with Team MacDonald.

In the men’s semi-finals, Bryce took a 5-0 lead after two ends and ultimately defeated Cormack 7-1, while Whyte beat Carson by the same scoreline, having taken threes in ends one and two.

In the last four on the women’s side, Aitken scored twos in ends six and seven to overcome MacDonald 7-5, while Jackson edged out Dakers 4-3, having been 3-0 up after three.

Bryce claimed the men’s title courtesy of a 7-2 win over Whyte in the final, with little to separate the teams until a four for Bryce in end six blew it open.

In the women’s final, Jackson scored two in end one, stole one in end two and added another two in end six to overcome Aitken 6-3.

That meant two titles in three weeks for Bryce and Jackson, who had also triumphed at the EJCT Braehead Junior International at the start of the month.

Carson beat Cormack 10-3 to take third on the men’s side, while MacDonald won 8-6 versus Dakers for women’s third spot.

Scots fall just short in Oakville and Edmonton

edin-oakville
Viking conquest – Team Edin in Oakville (photo: facebook.com/CurlingChampionsTour)

Scottish rinks Team Smith and Team Muirhead had great runs at the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard and HDF Insurance Shoot-Out respectively, only to be denied glory at the last.

Smith had their magnificent winning run in Canada ended at 12 games by Team Edin at the semi-final stage in Oakville, the Swedes going on to win the competition.

The new-look Muirhead rink, meanwhile, were beaten in the Shoot-Out final in Edmonton by Team Scheidegger, who pulled off a remarkable comeback win.

***

Team Smith (Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell, Cammy Smith) had won the Oakville OCT Fall Classic last weekend, so had form going into the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard, one of 20 teams in the men’s tier 1 event (triple knockout format).

Smith began with a 7-0 win over Team Kean, scoring three in end one and stealing their way to victory in just four ends, before beating Team Epping 5-2, with two in end six and a pair of steals in ends seven and eight.

That set up an all-Scottish clash with Team Brewster (Tom Brewster, Glen Muirhead, Ross Paterson, Hammy McMillan), who’d scored threes in ends two and four to beat Team Shuster of the USA 7-1 – but here it was Smith who triumphed, a two in end four crucial in their 4-2 win.

So now Smith faced Team Edin of Sweden for a place in the quarter-finals – and they got off to a brilliant start, scoring four in end one, winning the game 5-2 in five ends.

As for Brewster, they were beaten 5-4 by Team Carruthers to drop to the C-Road, where they defeated Epping 5-2 but then lost 8-3 to recent Baden Masters winners Team De Cruz, the damage done in the first end as the Swiss scored five.

Team Murdoch (David Murdoch, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow) were undone 6-1 by De Cruz in their first match, but won on the B-Road against Team Retchless 6-3, with a three in end one.

But further defeats to Team Balsdon (6-5, having given up four in end two) and Team Dunstone (7-3, after going 5-1 down after three ends) saw them exit the competition.

As for the women’s competition, Team Fleming’s (Hannah Fleming, Jennifer Dodds, Vicky Wright, Alice Spence) first competition of the season saw them start against Team Sinclair of the USA – who won 5-2.

On the B-Road, a four in end three (after having given up a four in end two!) helped them on their way to a 7-6 victory over Team Perron, following that with a 5-3 win over Team Auld.

But a four in end two propelled Team Tirinzoni to an 8-5 victory over the Scots, who were then knocked out by Team Harrison 7-6, Fleming hauling themselves from 6-2 down to level but being denied another steal in end eight thanks to Jacqueline Harrison’s superbly-judged tap.

And in men’s tier 2 of the Tankard, Team Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Derrick Sloan, Gregor Cannon) went out in the pool stage on a W1 L3 record.

They lost 7-2 to Team Brunner of Switzerland and 6-5 to Team Maus, before overcoming Team Duhaime 6-3, only to be beaten 8-2 by Team Sakrete to have their fate sealed.

That left Smith as the last Scottish team standing in Oakville. They faced De Cruz in the quarter-finals, the Swiss looking for a hat-trick of wins against Scottish teams in Oakville.

It wasn’t to be this time, though – Smith scored two in end two and stole ones in ends five and six to triumph 5-1 and move into the last four.

There they had a rematch with Edin, but this time there was a different outcome. Smith started with two, and after the Swedes replied with three, they notched another two to lead 4-3.

But Edin posted two in end four (video above), Smith was forced to one in five, and Edin blanked the next two ends to take their one in end eight and win the match 6-5 and end Smith’s brilliant run.

The Swedes went on to win the Tankard title, defeating Team Morris 6-3 in the final.

Team Tirinzoni won the women’s title (defeating Team Flaxey 8-5 in the final), while Team Van Dorp of the Netherlands beat Team Horgan 4-2 to triumph in men’s tier 2.

***

Teams Aitken (Gina Aitken, Rowena Kerr, Rachael Halliday, Rachel Hannen) and Muirhead (Eve Muirhead, Kelly Schafer, Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray) were placed in the same pool at the HDF Insurance Classic in Edmonton, Alberta.

Aitken – in their first competition since their new line-up came together – struggled, losing to Team Schmiemann 5-4 after an extra end, Team Fujisawa of Japan 8-1, Team Eberle 11-2 (7-0 down after just three ends) and Team Driendl of Germany 6-3.

But Muirhead, with Gray in at lead and Schafer covering for Anna Sloan, rolled off the wins – 5-4 against Fujisawa, 8-3 against Eberle (a textbook game – two with hammer, force to one without), 7-3 over Driendl (threes in ends six and seven) and 7-1 against Schmiemann.

Their final pool match pitted them against each other, with Aitken stealing their way to a 5-2 lead after six ends. Muirhead, though, scored two in end seven and stole singles in end eight and the extra to snatch it 6-5.

Muirhead’s quarter-final match against last season’s Scotties winners Team Carey was more routine, as they stole two in end two on their way to a 4-1 lead at halfway, before a two in end seven finished the Canadians off at 7-2.

Team Rocque were their opponents in the last four – twos in ends two, six and seven ensured Muirhead’s progress against the hometown rink by a score of 6-3.

The final saw Muirhead face Team Scheidegger – who had surprisingly knocked out Team Sweeting in the quarter-finals – and things started well for the Scots as they scored two in end one and three in end three, leading 5-2 after four ends.

But from there the Canadians reeled off four successive steals of one to win the match 6-5 – an opportunity missed for Muirhead, as the plucky Scheidegger rink won the day, but a fine run in their first competition of the season with two new players.

***

Elsewhere in the curling world this weekend, the World Curling Federation’s Annual General Assembly took place in Stockholm, Sweden.

The 54 member associations approved the WCF’s proposed resolutions for sweeping and brushes in elite level curling, allowing the world governing body to “set rules, specifications and policies for sweeping techniques and brush technology” for the first time – see the full news story here.

In short, these rules define the accepted sweeping motion (can be in any direction), approved sweeping devices for each player (no brush/brush head changes), and the penalties for breaching the standards (player/team disqualification).

Brushes will be made from a single fabric, from a single source, made widely available for purchase – and to be used from next month’s World Mixed Curling Championships.

And it seems the new rules in response to #broomgate have gone down well with the elite curlers they have been designed for – Niklas Edin and Glenn Howard for sure.

In addition to the sweeping rulings, other announcements were made, including that the Andorra Curling Association will host its first championship (the European Curling Championships C-Division 2017) and Champery in Switzerland will be the setting for the World Mixed Curling Championship 2017.

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.

Greenacres Junior International: Teams Whyte and Aitken triumph

The first Asham Under-21 Slam event of the season brought success for two Royal Caledonian Curling Club Academy sides, Teams Whyte (in the men’s competition) and Aitken (women’s).

The event, held at Greenacres Curling Rink, Howwood, involved nine men’s teams, split into two pools, and six women’s teams – a round robin format being followed by semi finals and finals.

Team Barr (Grant Barr, Kerr Sands, George McConnell and Thomas Halder) topped Group A with three wins and a tie.

They were joined in qualifying for the semi finals by Team Brydone (Robin Brydone, Callum Kinnear, Callum Greenwood, Craig Waddell), who had a record of won three, lost one.

The qualifiers from Group B were Team Whyte (Ross Whyte, James Baird, Gavin Barr, Euan Kyle, David Baird), on three wins from three, and Team Carson (Luke Carson, George Ballantyne, James Craig, Mark Taylor), on two wins and one loss.

The women’s group was headed up by Team Aitken (Karina Aitken, Amy MacDonald, Sophie Sinclair, Laura Barr), who won four and drew one of their round robin games, followed by Team Murray (Rebecca Morrison, Hailey Duff, Mili Smith – and, with Katie Murray being at the World Mixed Curling Championship in Switzerland, Mairi MacDonald), on four wins and one loss.

Also making the last four were Team Bryce (this weekend being skipped by Lauren Morgan, with Leeanne McKenzie, Jenni Cannon, Becca Baird), on won three and lost two, and Team Young (Lesley Young, Beth Dandie, Kathryn Spain, Jane Barr), who won two, lost two and drew one.

The men’s semi finals pitted Team Barr against Team Carson, and it was Carson who triumphed, scoring five in end five on their way to a 9-3 victory.

The other semi was between Teams Brydone and Whyte, and again the Group B side came out on top, but it was much closer.

Despite a score of four by Whyte in end seven, the game was level at 5-5 after eight – in the extra end, Whyte took one to win the match 6-5.

The women’s semi finals saw wins for Team Aitken over Team Young (7-6, largely thanks to steals in ends five, six and seven) and Team Bryce against Team Murray (10-9, with a stolen point in an extra end).

Team Whyte had only just beaten Team Carson (8-7) in the group stage, but they had a firm grip on their encounter in the men’s final after four ends, leading 4-1.

That was too big a gap to be bridged, and it was Whyte who claimed the tournament win with a result of 6-4.

The women’s final, by contrast, went to an extra end as Teams Aitken and Bryce could not be separated at 6-6 after eight.

Team Aitken needed to steal for victory and they did just that, coming through 7-6.

Team Barr won the men’s third place match 6-4, and Team Murray claimed the women’s 3/4 by a score of 5-4.

The next Under-21 Slam (four events designed as a performance pathway for junior curlers, with tournament experience and competing for prize money) is the Kinross Junior Classic on October 2-4.