World Junior Curling Championships – Semi Final Review
As we entered the Semi-Finals Team Whyte made one thing clear: the round robin is over, this is a new competition. Even with a comfortable 10-5 win over Switzerland in the group stage of the competition Scotland were keen not to take anything for granted in tonight’s game. Scotland took to the ice amidst the clamour of Swiss cow bells and Scottish singing and chanting knowing a win would secure them a medal.
Scotland looked a different side to the one who defeated Sweden last night; taking a more risk adverse approach they started the game defensively. This was an approach that Switzerland was also keen to adopt leading to three blanked ends out of the first four.
Scotland entered the break with a 3-1 lead, the result a combination of Swiss mistakes capitalised upon to score 3 with an easy draw in the 2nd end.
Switzerland’s play improved in the 6th end after giving up the hammer with them instead setting up effective guards to frustrate the Scots. With a rare missed shot by Scotland Skip Ross Whyte, which ran straight and missed the Swiss stone entirely, Team Hess capitalised by setting up a freeze to lie 2. With a more controlled weight Whyte’s second shot did enough to ensure Hess only managed the one, making the score 3-2 to Scotland.
With Switzerland lying two Whyte cleared with his now trademark double takeout before blanking again to ensure the hammer stayed in Scottish hands as we entered the final 3 ends. After being an alternate at last year’s Championships Ross Whyte demonstrated why he was now Skip of his own team.
In the ninth end Switzerland set up a freeze on 2 of Scotland’s stones, Scotland missed the double takeout and let Switzerland come back into the game with a huge score of two setting up a 4-4 tie as we entered the final end.
With his last shot Hess attempted to freeze the Scottish stone but over shot slightly leaving the button open for a draw with Ross Whyte’s final shot. Having not been required to draw much throughout the game Whyte threw a perfectly poised shot which landed right on the button to secure a 1 and the win for Scotland.
We caught up with an energetic Ross Whyte after the game and asked him about the game winning shot:
“It went well; it was a really tough game. Fair play to the Swiss, they played a really good game. In the last shot we had to draw the button, we had a wee bit of backing, but if we used the backing it would have to be a really good weight, so we were trying to throw the perfect button, and hope we made it, and got a good line on it. Luckily we did! I was just hoping my sweepers would do it for me to be honest, as soon as I threw it, I kind of left it to the boys, I knew they would get it there as long as I was pretty close. I always had a lot of confidence in the team.”
Scotland will now face Canada in the gold medal game after they defeated their neighbours from the USA 8-5. Whyte knows Scotland have it all to do again tomorrow if they want to take home the gold:
“Right now we’re guaranteed silver, however we’ve got to win the final to get the gold, so we’re going to go all out tomorrow. We’re playing Canada, it’s always a massive game for every nation to take on.”
“It’s fantastic being a young curler in Scotland right now, there’s so many young people coming into curling now, it’s growing all the time, and it just makes you look back and realise how inspiring all the top people in the game are right now. I hope it continues.”
No tickets are available for today’s World Junior Curling Championship final, however, the draw will be televised on the BBC and Live Streamed on the WCF Youtube channel.