Scotland wins Gold at the World Mixed Championships, Switzerland
World Mixed Championships, Palladium de Champéry, Switzerland
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The championship final was a tense encounter, Scotland dominated the first half and Canada the second half and the extra end sealed the win.
In the first two ends, under pressure, both teams traded singles. Then Scotland managed to get the upper hand, stealing 2 in the third and 1 in the fourth, to lie 4-1 up at the break. The second half started with singles for both teams in ends five and six, then Canada scored 2 in the seventh, giving Scotland the hammer in the eighth. In a congested house, the Scots came up short with the final stone giving Canada a steal of 1 and score 5-5. In the extra end there were more stones in play than Scotland would have liked and Canada were lying 2, then with the last stone of the game Scotland managed a double take out and score three to finish 8-5 and take the title.
Skip Grant Hardie said of the win: “It’s brilliant. I don’t know where to start. The whole team played brilliant all week and especially the during the play-offs they came to the fore. I’m absolutely delighted. They came at us really hard at the end. They’re obviously a great team to get to the final and we just managed to hold on. I’d thrown that line, four or five times in the game, so I was pretty confident but obviously with it being for the win you’re always a little on edge. I had the line and the guys swept it through to make it. It is absolutely brilliant.”
Congratulations to Team Scotland: Grant Hardie (skip), Rhiann Macleod, Billy Morton and Barbara McFarlane.
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Both teams came into the semifinal with 7-4 victories in the quarters and both finished second in their groups.
Scotland started with hammer and played a hit and stay to score 2 in the first end. Scotland put the Czechs under pressure in the second end and a failed run back gave up 2 for the Scots. The Czech skip failed to roll out to blank the end and was forced to score 1. The fourth end saw Scotland build a presence in the house and take 2, so 6-1 at the break.
Scotland kept the house clear so the Czechs blanked the fifth end and were forced to take 1 in the sixth. Scotland blanked the seventh and kept hammer for the final end with the four point lead. By keeping the house clear, Scotland denied the Czechs the chance to catch them and the Scots are through to the final against Canada.
The final will be shown live on YouTube at 1pm (UK time), see: here
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In the Quarter Finals Scotland faced Sweden and started well by winning the draw shot challenge and gaining hammer in the first end and using it to score 2. Scotland then forced Sweden to take 1 and Scotland took 2 in the third end. The Swedes managed to take control of the fourth end and scored 2, so reducing Scotland’s lead to 4-3 at the break.
The teams traded singles in the next two ends and then Scotland dominated the seventh end and scored 2, taking the score to 7-4. In the final end the Scots kept the house clear to deny Sweden the opportunity to catch them, so Sweden shook hands when they ran out of stones.
Scotland’s skip, Grant Hardie said: “We played an absolutely brilliant game there. As I said before the game, we had to make every shot just to beat them, because they’ve been on fire this week. We’re delighted that we were able to make just about everything out there and get the win. We made a lot of key shots to keep the pressure on them. They’re a good team so you’re always going to come under pressure against them and thankfully we were able to respond.”
In the Semi-Final Scotland will face Czech Republic on Saturday at 8am (UK time) in a game that will be broadcast on the WCF YouTube Channel here.
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This was always going to be a tight game after the first game when the two teams met in the group stage, where Scotland stole 2 in the last end to emerge victorious.
Today Scotland started with hammer in the first end and scored 2, then forced Spain to take a single and they followed it with a steal of 1. Scotland then scored a single in the fourth end and a steal of 1 in the fifth and forced the Spaniards to blank the next two ends and then ran them out of stones in the eighth end.
This puts Scotland into the quarter finals where they face Sweden at 6pm Friday (UK time). The winners will go on to Semi finals on Saturday morning.
The quarter final game between Canada and Russia will be covered on the WCF YouTube channel here.
Image Credit: WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik 2017
1/8th Final: SCO v ESP
With all the round robin games completed, the top 16 countries have qualified from their groups and now enter the playoff stage. Scotland were ranked 6th after the groups and have been drawn against Spain (ranked 11) who finished third in the same group as Scotland. The two sides met in the first game of the group stage, and Scotland won 9-7. The game will start at 12 noon UK time. The winner of that game will face the winner of Sweden or USA in the quarter finals.
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The last game in the group stage saw Scotland play Kazakhstan who were ranked 36th in the world and win loss record of 1-4. Kazakhstan started with the hammer but failed to use its advantage and saw Scotland steal 2 in the first end and single points in the next three ends. So the score at the break was 5-0. The Kazaks managed to score 1 in the fifth end then the Scots scored 1 in the sixth and seal of 2 in the seventh before shaking hands with the final score 8-1 after 7 ends.
Scotland will be back on the ice on Friday in the round of 16 for a place in the quarter-finals at either 8am or midday (to be determined after all group games are finished on Thursday night).
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The sixth game for Scotland was against New Zealand (19th in the world) who were unable to reach the playoff stages.
Scotland used the first hammer to score a 2 and New Zealand scored a 1 in the second end, matched by Scotland in the third and a steal of 2 in the fourth gave Scotland a half time lead of 5-1. New Zealand were limited to 1 in the fifth and Scotland took 2 in the sixth and a steal of 1 in the seventh and final end. This result has secured Scotland a place in the playoff stages alongside Korea, with one game in hand.
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Having not got a win under their belt at this event, Luxembourg came into this match unranked and so were always the underdog. Scotland scored 4 with hammer in the first end stole 1 in the second. Luxembourg scored 1 in the third and the Scots scored 3 in the fourth to make the score 8-1 at the break. In the fifth end Scotland stole 1 and Luxembourg scored a single in the sixth, and shook hands with final score 9-2.
This result leave Scotland in second place in Group C, with two games remaining in the group.
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Scotland’s fourth game in the pool stage was against Denmark who came into the event ranked 14th in the world and were sitting with two wins and two losses so far.
Scotland secured the hammer in the first end but failed to take the advantage and lost a steal of 1, then scored a single in the second end. The Danes took a single in the third and then Scotland piled on the pressure with some aggressive play to score 5 in the fourth to make the scoreline 6-2 at the break. In the fifth end Scotland stole 2 points and Denmark came back with 2 in the sixth. Scotland sealed the game with 2 in the seventh end and the Danish team conceded with the final score 10-4.
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The third game for Scotland was going to be the toughest in group C with Korea being the next highest ranked team, at 8th in the world.
The Koreans secured last stone in the first end and used it to their advantage by opening with a 2 in the first end. The reply from Scotland was strong with a 2 in the second and then two steals of 1 in ends three and four, giving Scotland a lead of 4-2 at the mid point. Ends five and six saw 1 for each with hammer and Korea took a 2 in the seventh end to be peels going into the last end with the hammer in Scotland’s favour. Korea managed to steal 1 in the last end so now top group C with Scotland in second place.
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In their second game Scotland played Ireland who were ranked 24 going into the tournament. Ireland started with hammer in the first end but failed to take the advantage and the Scots stole 2. The Irish were forced to take a single in the second end and Scotland came back with a three in the third and steal of 2 in the fourth end. Ireland only managed a single in the fifth end and conceded after Scotland scored 2 in the sixth.
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Scotland came into the event ranked 3rd from the previous years’ results and in their first game faced Spain, ranked 29th in the new world rankings. The game against Spain came in the fifth draw of the championship and turned out to be an exciting and high scoring game with three 3 point ends.
The Scots started with hammer in the first end getting a 2 on the board to open their account, the Spaniards came back strongly with a 3 in the second end and steal of one in the third. Then the teams traded 3’s to give Spain a 7-5 lead after 5 ends. With hammer in the sixth, Scotland scored 2 then Spain blanked the penultimate end to keep hammer going into the eighth end. Then in a dramatic last end the Scots stole 2 to win the game 9-7, a result that the team can be rightly proud of.
© All photos courtesy of Alina Pavlyuchik, World Curling Federation.