Magnificent Seven Titles For Skips Muirhead and Murdoch
Team Muirhead and Team Murdoch were crowned Scottish Champions at Perth’s Dewars Centre, a result that earned both skips their seventh national title.
Eve Muirhead’s rink won the women’s title with another powerful performance which saw them beat Team Fleming 6-4 and in doing so maintain their unbeaten record in the tournament.
“Every one of the seven titles feels as good as the last one. It is a pretty special feeling taking the Scottish title, so to win it again is great,” noted Muirhead.
“We are a year out from the Olympics and this result shows that the changes we made before this season are the right ones. This year we took on a new coach Glenn Howard and a new lead in Lauren and it has been a positive experience for all of us that has shown in the results we have had.
“As Team Muirhead we know we have a target on our backs, so we have to focus on one game at a time.”
They will now represent Scotland at the World Championships in Beijing in two weeks time and whilst there they will also be aiming to qualify GB a place for the next Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
“We won’t change much ahead of the worlds, we have two weeks to get better, we will continue to train hard to make sure we are in the best possible place, there are a few little things we can improve on and do better,” she added.
“We treat every tournament as a stepping stone and now we are heading to the worlds it is first things first. To get the GB spot for the Olympics will be our first job when we are out there.
For team mates Anna Sloan and Vicki Adams the championship win represented their sixth national title, whilst Lauren Gray was celebrating her maiden victory in the tournament.
“It feels great to have my first national title. I know only too well the crushing disappointment being on the other side. It is a hard loss to take and last year it took a few days to get over it,” said Gray, who skipped the team that was beaten in last year’s final.
“Now I am in a new position in a new team this year I am absolutely delighted that all of the hard work has paid off. “
Skip Hannah Fleming said after reaching her fifth final: “It is disappointing. We made a couple of half shots which was enough to give Eve an opportunity.
“Once Eve is up in a game she is very hard to overcome.
“We were in the best position coming into this week, we had prepared everything we had wanted to but it didn’t quite go to plan. Eve is so tough to play and today we just couldn’t make the shots today.
“We are a new team this year, we have reached four finals this season so there are positives going forward for next year,” Fleming concluded.
In the men’s final the Olympic silver medallists Team Murdoch saw their experience prevail when tested by World Junior Champions Team Mouat, beating the young rink 10-4.
Team mates Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and Michael Goodfellow added the title to their CV for a fourth time while David Murdoch claimed his seventh title, though on one of those occasions not as skip (2013).
Commenting on a tough match David Murdoch said: “It doesn’t matter who you play in the final, there are so many tough teams out there.
“They had just come off a big win at the World University Games just before this so they had a lot of confidence and we knew we had to boss the game early on.
“It is always a tough event to win and this year especially there was so much at stake. We had the self belief that we could make the shots and win our games and it is great to achieve that goal.”
Thinking ahead to the prospect of the World Championships next month, he added:
“The worlds a year before an Olympics will be super tough. We will be entering the lion’s den playing in Canada and there will be big crowds and the event will be a good spectacle. I am just glad that we are the team that is going to be part of that.”
It was disappointment for Team Mouat after reaching their first Scottish final following two wins yesterday against two teams ranked in the top 20 in the world.
Skip Bruce Mouat said: “I am really chuffed that we got this far in the tournament but obviously wished we had put on a better show in the final.
“It was tough losing the final. We wanted that extra win but it wasn’t to be.
“We have had a good month and today was the last game for our team this season and I am glad we gave this week everything.” Mouat concluded.
The 22 year old Lothians curler will now focus on the World Mixed Doubles Championship with partner Gina Aitken, where they will hope to qualify GB a place in the new Olympic discipline for the 2018 Games.
For results from the Scottish Curling Championships please click here.
PHOTOS: RCCC/Brian Battensby.