Scotland end Swedish dominance to take European curling honours

Scotland end Swedish dominance to take European curling honours

24 November 2018 / 17:36
Bruce Mouat led Scotland's men to their first European curling title in a decade after coming from behind to end Swedish dominance with a 9-5 win in Estonia.

Mouat, Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie and Hammy McMillan had trailed 4-2 after four ends of the gold-medal match but turned the game on its head to lead 6-5 heading into a tense final end.

Olympic silver medallists Sweden had the hammer but fell short with their final stone, allowing Scotland to steal three and secure their first European crown since 2008 when David Murdoch led his nation to victory.

The Tallinn victory also brought the curtain down on Swedish triumph, a rink that had secured four European Championship titles in succession heading into the week.

“It’s unbelievable. It was a very good game. I’m so proud of the guys for playing so well and getting the shots," said skip Mouat, whose side were making their continental debut.

"To get this is just the cherry on top of what we’ve really been working for. I tried to remain calm, have that kind of poker face and stuff, but nerves were definitely there.

“Sweden are formidable. You can’t expect an easy game against a team like Niklas and his guys. So we knew that we were going to have to fight here.”

Scotland took the opening points in the first end but Sweden were more potent when given the hammer, easing into a 4-2 lead after four ends with two each in the second and fourth ends.

A blanked fifth end saw the tide turn however, with Scotland drawing level when drawing for two in the sixth end.

Sweden then pulled one ahead with three ends to go but Scotland went in front for the first time in the match, with a blanked ninth end seeing them 6-5 ahead with one end to play.

The final few stones were understandably tense with Sweden – who had won all nine round-robin games as well as their semi-final – close to running out of time.

That pressure told as Scotland were allowed to place key stones close to the target, with the final error from Swedish skip Niklas Edin proving costly – coming up short to miss the chance of an extra end.

That saw Scotland steal three to add punch to the scoreline, with the European debutants certainly showing they belong on the global stage.

Pic: WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Sportsbeat 2018