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Newly crowned National Champions Team Fleming used their recent tournament experience of Dewars Ice Rink to best advantage when they beat Olympians, Team Muirhead, 9-6 in the first of three World Play-Off matches.

A steal of three in the first end for the Scottish Champs gave them an early advantage and after keeping the Team GB representatives to a single at the next, Fleming’s quartet went on to capitalise on a few costly mistakes to claim a four at the third. It was a lead that they never relinquished and despite Muirhead’s rink endeavouring to dent that 7-1 margin by securing a two at the fourth and a single steal at the fifth to reduce the deficit to 7-4, Hannah Fleming’s side were able to maintain their winning momentum. The teams exchanged singles over the next four ends and with hammer in the final end, Fleming ran Muirhead out of stones to win the match.

A delighted Hannah Fleming said after the game: “We had a good strong start and took advantage of some of the mistakes Team Muirhead made in the early ends, so we’re really pleased with that.

“When you play a team like that you can’t get complacent and it was still a long way to go so we knew we had to keep playing our best to the end, because any slack shots they take advantage of.

“Tomorrow’s not going to be easy, but we’re going to have the same mind frame and even if it goes to three games we’re prepared for that, because they will push us to the end. Hopefully we can do it in two but if it goes to three we’re ready for it.”

European Champion skip Eve Muirhead said: “ I never thought we were totally out of it. Obviously we gave ourselves a Munro to climb after the first three ends, but we actually played pretty well and won the second half of the game, so I think we know what we need to do, set up the first part of the game and bring our A game.”

Team Fleming and Team Muirhead will play their second world play-off match - which will determine the side that will represent Scotland at the World Championships In Canada later this month – at 2.00pm tomorrow. Team Smith and Team Mouat are back in action at 10.00am tomorrow in their second match.

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