Scotland Have to Settle for Silver: Scotland 5, Canada 6
It was a case of so-near but…for Tom Brewster and his Scotland team of Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and Michael Goodfellow as, having shown well for the first four ends, they went down by 5-6 to Canada’s Jeff Stoughton and his team of Jon Mead, Reid Carruthers and Steve Gould in Sunday evening’s final of the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Regina, Canada.
This was the third time during the Championship that Canada had beaten Scotland and it was the closest game of all three.
This was also a second world title for Stoughton, who had last won as long ago as 1996 (against Warwick Smith), although Hammy McMillan had beaten him in 1999’s final.
One of Brewster’s pre-game priorities was to stop Canada from establishing an early lead and, after Canada scored just one in the first end and Brewster blanked the second, Scotland achieved that when they took the early advantage as Brewster had a draw for two shots in the third end. After this, the Scots stole another shot in the fourth to push the score to 3-1 and put pressure on the host nation.
The game turned in the fifth end when pressure play by Canada and slackness from Scotland, including a shot from third player Greg Drummond that was too long, allowed skip Stoughton to finish the end off with a simple draw for three and a 4-3 lead. The Scots could only score one in the sixth end to draw level, and then, after blanking the seventh, Canada moved further ahead in the eighth with another draw for two.
After this, the Scots could only manage a single point in the ninth when Brewster’s attempt to tie the game up again hit, but rolled out instead of staying in the house. With the title in his sights, Stoughton controlled the tenth end, and when Brewster finally came up short with his final effort, Canada had their 6-5 victory and their thirty-third win since this Championship was inaugurated.
Naturally, Stoughton was ecstatic after his win. He said, “It’s unbelievable. It’s not going to sink in for a couple of weeks I think. The guys played wonderfully well all week”.
He conceded that the Scots had given him a run for his money. “They [Scotland] had control early. But the fifth end was the turning point and we got control back. We had a struggle in the first five ends until we pulled it out”.
Asked how this title compared with his previous gold, in 1996, he said, “I’ve no idea, I don’t remember! It’s just an unbelievable feeling right now”.
After the game, a bitterly disappointed Scottish skip Tom Brewster, who was celebrating his 37th birthday, said, “It’s great to get silver but I am a wee bit disappointed. I think we had a good chance here today and just didn’t pull it off – fair play to them they played great”.
“We gave up a bad three and we just didn’t play a great end in the fifth, and we should have made two in nine – it just ran real straight on me”.
Reflecting overall, he said. “it’s been fantastic – in two weeks’ time we’ll look back and think brilliant – right now I’m gutted. But that’s the way it goes”.
During the final ceremonies, the Word Curling Federation announced that Norway’s skip Thomas Ulsrud (who finished fourth overall after losing the bronze medal play-off by 6-7 to Sweden’s Niklas Edin) was named the winner of the Collie Campbell Award, voted by the players to the curler who best exhibits sportsmanship and ability.
The 2012 World Men’s Curling Championship will be staged in the St Jacobshalle, Basel, Switzerland from 31st March until 8th April, and at the event’s conclusion the WCF flag was handed over the Basel organisers for safe keeping.