Aberdeen Set For Scottish Curling Junior Championships
The next big event in the Scottish curling calendar, The Scottish Curling Junior Championships, gets underway on Tuesday 21st January 2014 at Curl Aberdeen.
Nine junior men’s and nine junior women’s teams will be competing for their respective national titles at this annual event which brings together the best under 21 teams from across Scotland.
The Scottish Junior Men’s and Junior Women’s Champions will earn the right to represent Scotland at the World Junior Curling Championships where Scotland has achieved significant success in recent years.
2013 Scottish Junior Men’s Champions Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell and Cameron Smith (pictured left – photo Brad Askew) went on to become World Junior Champions when they represented Scotland at the 2013 World Junior Men’s Championship in Sochi, Russia beating their hosts by 6-2 in the final. This was the first World Junior Gold by Scottish men since 1996 and their success was later acknowledged by First Minister Alex Salmond at a celebratory reception held to mark the achievements of Scotland’s world curling champions and medal winning teams.
2013 Scottish Junior Women’s Champions Hannah Fleming, Lauren Gray, Jennifer Dodds and Abigail Brown (pictured right with coach Debbie Knox – photo Tom Brydone) just failed to defend their world crown going down by 5-6 to Russia in the final of last year’s world junior women’s championship. This was Fleming’s last appearance on the junior circuit but this year returns to compete in The Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish Curling Women’s Championship in February where she reached the final in 2013.
Competition will be fierce in the junior men’s event with a number of teams capable of dashing Smith’s hopes of a title defence including newly crowned Asham Under 21 Slam champions Team Bruce Mouat who face Smith in their opening game. Also in contention is Royal Club Academy Team Robin Brydone who have had some success on the European Junior Curling Tour this year winning Gold in Oslo.
The junior women’s event is also wide open with a field of teams looking to take the top spot held by Team Fleming the last two years. Gina Aitken retained her Scottish Mixed Doubles title with Bruce Mouat in December and will be looking to take her rink all the way before representing Scotland herself at the World Mixed Doubles Championship in Dumfries in April. Katie Murray’s rink has had a very consistent season finishing second at the Kinross Asham Under 21 Slam and winning both the Inverness and Lockerbie events to secure the overall women’s Slam title. Another team tipped for success is RCCC Performance Squad Team Jennifer Martin.
In both the junior men’s and junior women’s championships round robin play will determine three qualifiers who will then play a mini Page Play-off: Team one will play team two with the winner qualifying for the final, the loser will then play team three in the semi-final. Both the junior men’s and junior women’s finals will take place on Sunday 26th January at 2:15pm.
The Royal Caledonian Curling Club will be providing live game by game line scoring and results coverage online at Scottish Junior Championships
This year the Scottish Junior Men’s and Junior Women’s Champions will represent Scotland at the World Junior Championships in Flims, Switzerland from 26 Feb – 5 Mar 2014.