Team Muirhead: 2017 Scottish Curling Women’s Champions!
The Women’s Final of the Scottish Curling Championships took place at Dewars Centre, Perth on Saturday 25th February with Team Muirhead being crowned 2017 Scottish Curling Women’s Champions. Team Muirhead will once again represent Scotland at the World Women’s Curling Championship – this year taking place in Beijing, China, 18th – 26th March 2017.
Team Muirhead (Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Lauren Gray) started the game with hammer. A quick first end was blanked but when Team Fleming (Hannah Fleming, Jennifer Dodds, Vicky Wright and Alice Spence) piled on the pressure in the second end Eve was forced to draw for one. The ice was swinging, and it seemed the teams weren’t quite comfortable with it yet with a couple of small mistakes in the third end. Eventually Hannah was left the hit and stick for a one.
Another blank in the fourth end left it 1-1 going into the fifth. Eve’s first stone wrecked on a guard, giving Hannah a chance to draw to the opposition stone which was sitting centre of the house, just behind the t-line. Hannah was slightly heavy, leaving Eve a take out – her sweepers worked it hard and a great shot gave Team Muirhead a three, to lead 4-1 at the fifth end break.
A small guddle of stones at the back of the house became the focus of the last few stones in the sixth end. Hannah was left a tricky take out for two, she managed to knock back the shot opposition stone, however it caught on one or her own stones, leaving her with a one. Without hammer, Hannah had a draw to sit two with her last stone in the seventh end, it was a touch heavy and slightly overcurled, leaving Eve a runback for two – however one of the opposition stones jammed on a Team Muirhead counter sitting at the back of the 12 foot, giving Hannah a steal of one and narrowing the gap on the scoreline.
The eighth end saw a lot of back and forward between the teams – with a few stones in play at all times but a lot of take outs being played in the later stages. A straight-forward hit and stick for Eve gave her a two in the end, with the linescore 6-3 to Team Muirhead going into the ninth end. Facing a house with just a single yellow opposition stone, Hannah elected to freeze with her first. Eve, not wanting to risk losing a two, elected to remove all stones from play. Hannah drew to the house for one, going into the last end without hammer, score 6-4 to Team Muirhead.
Team Muirhead did everything in their power to prevent Team Fleming from stealing the two she needed for an extra end, clearing stones as soon as they were played and rolling out to avoid leaving cover in the tenth end. When Hannah’s first stone came up light handshakes were offered, with Team Muirhead winning their third consecutive – and seventh ever – Scottish Curling Championship title!
All line scores from the Championships are available at: Scottish Curling Championships
Photos © 2017 Brian Battensby