SCOTLAND INTO THE FINAL AT THE WORLD WHEELCHAIR CURLING CHAMPS

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Hosts Scotland are through to the final and are guaranteed a medal at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Stirling.

Skip Aileen Neilson and her team mates David Melrose, Robert McPherson and Hugh Nibloe were never headed by Norway in their semi final tonight after claiming a two at the second end to move into the lead, going on to control the match before running out 7-3 winners.

That result demonstrated the ongoing resilience of the team that will improve on their bronze medal finish at the 2017 World Wheelchair Curling Championships, after they had fought back from relegation.

An emotional Aileen Neilson said after their semi final victory: “I am quite speechless to be honest, which doesn’t happen very often. I am just delighted that the team played well and made the shots when we had to and the support we have had this week from family and friends and spectators has really helped to create such a great atmosphere.

“It is fantastic that we are guaranteed a medal, we had a shaky start to the week and our coach Sheila Swan has really helped to prepare us well for this major championship.

“We knew that any of the teams this week were capable of playing their A game and then the results just happen. We know that we have to come out tomorrow and deliver our best performance against China and to be on the podium on home soil tomorrow is a dream come true,” Nielson added.

British Curling’s Head Wheelchair Coach Sheila Swan said: “It is a little bit surreal but we will enjoy tonight and get back down to business tomorrow.

“We are going to have to perform to our best ability as China are a really good team and they have proven that throughout this week as the top qualifiers from the round robin and they have not faltered since. But I fully believe that we have the calibre to go out and challenge for the gold medal tomorrow.

“We have a great squad who have worked incredibly hard this season and I would like to congratulate all of them including those who have not been selected this week for pushing hard from underneath and making everyone raise their game. We also have an incredible team behind the team, who provide excellent services and expertise and I hope this result is a just reward for the whole squad and the support team,” she added.

China beat Korea 5-2 in the other semi final this evening and the Paralympic champions will be aiming to add a world title to their CV. The gold medal match will take place at 2.30pm (GMT) after Korea and Norway have contested the bronze medal match at 10.00am GMT.

Results after the round robin: 7W 4L:

Scotland v Switzerland 4-5
Scotland v Latvia 7-8
Scotland v Germany 9-7 (EE)
Scotland v Norway 7-4
Scotland v Korea 7-6
Scotland v China 3-7
Scotland v USA 7-6
Scotland v Slovakia 5-9
Scotland v Russia 5-4
Scotland v Estonia 9-3
Scotland v Canada 5-3

Play-off result:
Scotland v Slovakia 7-6 (EE)

Semi final result:
Scotland v Norway 7-3

Bronze medal match:
10.00am - Norway v Korea

Gold medal match:
2.30pm – Scotland v China

Ticket prices are £10 for Sunday’s Bronze and Gold medal matches.

For information on accessible seating please contact Box Office on 01786 473 544 / 274 000.

All tickets can be bought at: https://culturestirling.org/world-wheelchair-curling-championships/

You can follow the build-up and results of the World Wheelchair Curling Championship on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling | @wwhcc2019) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation | /wwhcc19) and by searching the hashtags #WWhCC2019 #curling

SCOTLAND TEAM:
Aileen Neilson (skip) – 47yrs, born East Kilbride, lives Strathaven
David Melrose – 52yrs, born Haddington, lives Duns
Robert McPherson – 50yrs, born Motherwell, lives Bellshill
Hugh Nibloe – 37yrs, born Stranraer, lives Stranraer
Gary Logan – 47yrs, born Berwick-upon-Tweed, lives Cornhil on Tweed, Northumberland

Pics: WCF / Tom Rowland

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