EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS TEAM MOUAT SUCCESSFULLY DEFEND SCOTTISH CHAMPS TITLE
Whereas they had claimed their first title while the Muirhead quartet were at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, this time Mouat’s men were up against all of Scotland’s leading players. The three British Curling programme teams duly all fought their way through to the play-offs.
“It was very satisfying last year, but this one is probably a bit more special. We’re just really excited to win because we knew it was going to be tough and we had a flat start, but we really stuck in as a team,” said skip Bruce Mouat.
The defending champions only dropped one game in the whole tournament, their opening encounter with fellow programme curler Robin Brydone.
“He definitely gave us a reality check and we really had to focus after that, because when there’s only eight teams and three of those teams qualify, you really have to focus on not losing two games, because then it could be a bit of a struggle if you have a bad game. We never really panicked after that and we always seemed to be in control of most games, except against Glen the first time.
“They’re Olympians, so obviously they’re going to be great and all four of them have really played well this year. They’ve been in finals and won in Canada, which is a great achievement, so that shows that British Curling’s got some really great teams right now. Ross (Paterson, whose team was beaten by Muirhead in the semi final) and myself have obviously won the Slams, so we always knew it was going to be difficult.
“We’re really excited about playing in a World Championships in Canada, which was a dream as a kid growing up. That’s exactly where you want to be. It’s dream come true. A lot of Scottish fans came over to Vegas to support us, so hopefully they’ll come again and I think there’ll be a great atmosphere.” he said.
In spite of losing their previous two encounters with Mouat, Glen Muirhead had continued to believe they could get the better of the European champions third time around so was naturally disappointed that they could not do so.
“They’re a good team. Outwith ourselves they’re the best team out there, so it was always going to be the toughest game we faced. We threw the first game away against them, but they’ve all been close games, right down to the last end. It’s just disappointing that I missed a couple that I maybe wouldn’t have missed earlier on in the week, but that’s the finals for you isn’t it and I guess they gave us a few chances as well, shots they wouldn’t have missed.”
The men’s World Championships take place in Lethbridge, Canada from March 30 – April 7 and Team Mouat will be aiming to improve on their bronze medal finish in Las Vegas last year.
Team Glen Muirhead
Photos: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart.