GRAND SLAM AND NATIONAL CHAMPS TEAM MOUAT WIN PLACE AT WORLDS
After winning their first bout 9-4, Mouat’s men were taken to a third match encounter earlier today after they narrowly missed out 7-6 to Smith’s quartet in the second World Play-Off game.
In the final match that would decide the team to represent Scotland on the world stage, Team Mouat claimed a three to lead 6-2 at the fifth end, which was a key moment in the match.
Bruce Mouat speaking after the final match, having lost to Team Smith earlier in the day, said: “The pressure was mounting after this morning’s big disappointment, so it meant a lot.
“That was a tough one to take, but what we did post-game was really important. We had a really good chat and getting a nap was the most important thing for me. We came back and really wanted it and played probably our best curling in a while so I’m really excited.”
Another three at the seventh put the result beyond doubt, allowing Mouat to start contemplating the prospect of heading to a first senior World Championships in a season that has already seen him make curling history as the youngest skip ever to win a Grand Slam title at The Boost National, while the team were the first Scots to claim one of those prestigious titles.
“I honestly can’t say I’ve looked that far ahead (to the Worlds) and I don’t know who’s going to be playing, but we’re obviously going to be trying to get to the play-offs first and see how we go from there,” he said.
Team Mouat comprising skip Bruce Mouat, Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie and Hammy McMillan junior were newly formed at the start of the season and have also won the Oakville Classic and Stu Sells titles in Canada, as well as the Dumfries Challenger Series before most recently adding the Scottish Championships title to their list of accolades two weeks ago. Hardie also became a Mixed Curling World Champion this season whilst Mouat also continued his Mixed Doubles duties, winning an event in Gavle, Sweden with partner Gina Aitken in February. Skip Mouat admits they will not be fazed by anyone as they head to their first World Championships and their first tournament in America.
“We’ll not be nervous to play anyone. We’ve got Dave Murdoch coming with us who is very experienced and we’ve got Hammy who’s played World Championships, so we’ll see how we get on but I feel quite confident,” Mouat added.
Skip Kyle Smith, who had hoped his team would make their debut at the world champs following their first appearance at the Olympics said: “It’s nice that we had this opportunity to get to the World Championships.
“We’ve come up short, but we had the opportunity and that’s the main thing for me. Of course it was going to be tricky coming back after so much going on, but I thought we played pretty good, those boys were just too good for us this weekend,” he added.
The Men’s World Championships take place in Las Vegas, USA from 31 March – 8 April.
Photos: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart.