OLYMPIANS TEAM SMITH WIN SECOND WORLD PLAY-OFF MATCH TO KEEP WORLD CHAMPS HOPES ALIVE

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Olympians Team Smith won the second World Play-off match narrowly beating National Champions Team Mouat 7-6 at Perth’s Dewars Centre.

It was a tense must win match for Team Smith, who had lost the opener 9-4 to the new Scottish Champions and a decider will now take place this evening to determine who will represent Scotland at the World Championships, in Las Vegas, at the end of this month.

The end was dramatic as the Olympians kept their World Champs hopes alive after Mouat’s rink had looked to be in control, leading 6-3 going into the ninth end. However a missed attempted take out by Bobbie Lammie gave Smith’s team a lifeline and they secured a three there which tied things up going into the final end, where Bruce Mouat had last stone advantage and was forced to draw against his opponent’s stone lying at the front of the house and his last stone was marginally heavy giving Smith’s men a steal of one to win the match.

Speaking of that final shot, skip Bruce Mouat said: “I don’t know how close that was but it was obviously just a few inches.

“I could have done without playing this evening. I thought we had that because we controlled most of the game, it was just unfortunate to lose it that way.

“We had a good chance (at the ninth end) to even force two. That would have been all right going down the last when we’d maybe have had an open hit or something. We’re a bit disappointed but we’ll come back fighting.”

A delighted Kyle Smith was pleased to have been given an additional bonus, joking that: “I’ve got out of milking the cows this afternoon now.”

He admitted that he and his fellow Olympians had got off to another slow start today.

“It was kind of similar to yesterday because we had a tough start to the game when I missed a simple draw and we gave them two after we started very well, so that was disappointing, but we came back, held in there and played a good ninth end when we got a couple of misses and took full advantage of that and in 10 you just have to ask the question and he missed. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

“We definitely needed a couple at the ninth and thankfully we got a couple of misses out of them and we put our draws in the right spot, we made the guards, so it was really pleasing that we executed when we got the misses and took the opportunity.

It feels as if we have some momentum now, because we were kind of dead and buried with two ends to go, three down. So to win that shows the character we have and the belief that if we keep going and asking the question sometimes it pays off.

That definitely gives us a lot of confidence for later on. He’s (Bruce) beaten us quite a few times, so it’s definitely nice to get one over them, but they’ll bounce back. They’re a good team, so it will hopefully be a good contest later on for the spectators."

Team Smith and Team Mouat will play their decider at 6.30pm. In the women's event Team Muirhead and Team Fleming will play their second match at 2pm, with the Olympians again needing to win to take the contest to a decider after Team Fleming won the opener 9-6.

Photos: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart.

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