Scottish Success at Latvian Mixed Doubles
Bruce Mouat and Gina Aitken (pictured right) won the 7th Latvian Mixed Doubles Cup, which they competed in from 31st March – 3rd April. This event was actually so popular that this was the second time it was held in two weeks. The previous weekend Scottish pair Judith and Lee McCleary took part and came in third place.
This is the last event before the World Championships, so National Teams from Switzerland, Russia, China, Latvia, Germany, and New Zealand, Lithuania and Netherlands were using this as final preparation. Sixteen teams were split into four sections of four. The Scottish duo qualified top of their section by beating the Swiss and Latvian teams, and this led into three further qualification games. Here they played the Russian National team of Bryzgalova / Krushelnitskiy coming back from 5-1 down but losing 7-6.
The final two matches were against China 1 and China 2. Against Wang/Ba, a tap-back by Aitken for a five at the second end gave Mouat/Aitken control and they ran out winners 8-6. The final qualification game was against Yu / Xu. The Chinese started strongly and stole two singles, but in the third end two great tap ups from Mouat set up a score of 3. Further steals in ends four and five gave the Scottish team control and when they scored 2 from their Power Play in the seventh, they went on to win 7-3 and earn a place in the final.
The final was a rematch with the Russian National team. This time Aitken/Mouat started strongly forcing a 1 then taking a 2. At the third a perfect freeze to the one foot by Mouat followed by an accurate guard by Aitken gave the team a steal of 1. Excellent play in the fourth by both players piled the pressure on the Russian pair and forced an error with Krushelnitskiy’s last stone for a big steal of 4. The Russians called a power play at the fifth and were lying well until Aitken played a great freeze which resulted in another steal. They conceded after six ends with the score 8-2. China beat Germany in the 3rd/4th play off.
Bruce and Gina won the Scottish Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in December at intu Braehead. This was the third time the pair have won the Mixed Double Championship and it has earned them the right to represent Scotland at the World Mixed Doubles which take place in Karlstad, Sweden from 16th April. This will be the third time they will have represented Scotland at the World Mixed Doubles, they are pictured left competing at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in 2014 (photo © WCF / Richard Gray 2014)
Report: David Aitken