GRAND SLAM WINNERS TEAM MOUAT WIN DUMFRIES CHALLENGER
British Curling’s Team Mouat were crowned champions at the Dumfries Challenger Series after beating Team Hess from Switzerland 5-3 in the final to finish 2017 on a high note.
Mouat’s newly formed rink at the start of the 2017-18 season claimed two Tour titles in Canada before returning there to enter the record books as the first Scottish men’s team to win a Grand Slam and they have continued their winning form after a stuttering start to their Dumfries campaign.
Skip Bruce Mouat said after the tournament: “It wasn’t our best competition but we managed to pick up our game in the play-offs and a rough start to our semi final meant we fell behind there, but a solid last three ends helped us to win that match.”
Mouat’s men held their nerve at 6-2 down at the sixth end to score a three at the seventh and steal at both the last and extra ends to see off Denmark’s Team Krause and keep their championship title hopes alive. The final was a more straightforward affair for the Scots who upped their game when it mattered most, claiming singles in the second, third and fifth ends before a two at the sixth took them clear.
“We controlled the final with one of our best performances. We are hoping to continue this current success into the New Year with the Scottish Championships coming up,” he said.
Team mate Hammy McMillan added: “It’s been a good first half of the season. We now have to keeping it going for next year.”
Elsewhere, Olympians Team Smith and Team Muirhead were competing in Japan at the Karuizawa International. Team Smith were unable to retain the trophy for Scotland won by Team Brewster and Team Murdoch in each of the last two years, however they bounced back from losing a tight semi final 5-4 to Korea’s Team Chang-Min Kim to also finish on a win in their third place play-off, beating Sweden’s Team Mabergs 6-4.
Team Muirhead also made it to the business end of their tournament before they lost 5-2 to Switzerland’s Team Tirinzoni in their quarter final.
Team Smith and Team Mouat now have a brief respite from competition but will be training hard for the Perth Masters which has a high quality line up to kick start the New Year (4-7 January).
PHOTO: Perthshire Picture Agency – Graeme Hart.