Muirhead Retain Go Coco Scottish Championship Title
The Women’s Final of the Go Coco Scottish Curling Championships took place at a packed Dewars Centre, Perth on Saturday 20th February with Team Muirhead being crowned 2016 Scottish Curling Women’s Champions. Team Muirhead will now represent Scotland at the World Women’s Curling Championship in Swift Current, Canada, 19th – 27th March.
Muirhead put the pressure on Gray from the start, with hammer in the first end. When Lauren freshed her first shot Eve took advantage to place a second counter, Lauren hit it with her second stone but rolled out, giving Eve the chance to draw into the house for two in the first end. Both teams seemed to have a bit of difficulty reading the ice in the second end. A couple of misses from Team Muirhead saw Team Gray sitting three with each skip having one stone left to play. Eve played a good freeze to force Lauren to make a difficult draw for two, which was just slightly too heavy – resulting in a one for Team Gray.
The third end saw Team Gray in control. A nice double from Team Gray’s Vicky Wright, left them lying two behind the guard, forcing Team Muirhead to peel the guard. Gray managed to keep her cool, and her yellow stones were consistently sitting shot. Eve’s first stone left her lying one, but after Lauren picked it out, Eve was forced draw for one with her final stone.
In the fourth Team Gray managed to get a stone tucked away nicely, Team Muirhead tried to freeze but there was a little bounce, which left Jennifer Dodds the opportunity to hit it. However without a roll Anna Sloan was easily able to take it out – but rolled out leaving Team Gray still lying shot. Eve’s first took a long time to curl, resulting in it ending up behind the t-line, which gave Lauren the opportunity to hit and roll a tiny bit to be hidden behind the guard. Eve tried to come on on top of Lauren’s stone but was heavy, which left Team Gray a shot for three to put them in the lead.
Both teams were strong in the fifth end and by skips stones there was one yellow and one red in the house, with Muirhead lying shot. Both skips played straight take outs with their first stones, Lauren hit the red Muirhead stone out and rolled in behind her own stone, leaving her lying two, again forcing Muirhead to draw for one, making the score level with four each at the halfway point.
Eve seemed to have a slight upper hand in the sixth, some nicely placed stones resulted in the first steal of the game, with Muirhead getting two. Team Muirhead kept the seventh end as clear as possible, hoping to force a one, but when Eve’s last stone was swept out Lauren was able to throw through to blank the end, meaning she would retain hammer for the eighth end.
A good set up by Sarah Reid in the eighth end had team Gray chasing from the start, but a guard which over curled left Jennifer Dodds an opportunity to take a double. The guard ended up being significant as Team Muirhead got two stones buried and Lauren Gray was unable to reach the four foot, resulting in another steal of two, and an 8-4 lead for Muirhead.
The ninth end was kept fairly straight forward throughout and ended with Lauren Gray blanking. In the tenth Mairi Baird set up with two corner guards, but team Muirhead peeled them off and continued to run Team Gray out of stones, to win the game.
All line scores from the Championships are available at: 2016 Go Coco Scottish Curling Championships
Photos: Brian Battensby