Scotland were left to count the cost of a slow start to the men’s Curling World Championships after defeats to Canada and Sweden rounded off a disappointing outing in Canada.
Skip Ewan MacDonald’s rink initially struggled in Halifax, losing their opening four games before bouncing back with three consecutive victories.
But their faint hopes of reaching play-offs were extinguished on Thursday as they lost 7-1 to Canada in the first session – the tournament hosts booking their place in the first versus second play-off in the process along with holders Norway.
Despite their exit, Scotland still had one game left to play against Sweden – but it was another defeat as their victorious opponents also booked their place in the play-offs.
The match got off to a bad start for the Scots with Sweden skip Niklas Edin hitting out a Scottish stone to score four points.
And while responding – MacDonald drawing his last stone of the sixth end into the house to score two points and reduce Sweden’s lead to 6-5 – the Swedes score two shots in the seventh and three in the ninth to emerge 11-6 winners.
The Championships now moves on with defending champions Norway playing Canada in the Page 1-2 Play-off, with the winner going straight to the final, and third-placed Sweden facing the winner of a tie-breaker between Finland and the USA in the Page 3-4 game.
MacDonald meanwhile admitted Scotland were always playing catch up on the ice after their stuttering start to the Championships.
“I’m just extremely disappointed. Coming into this week, we’d all put in a lot of work and thrown a lot of stones and we were feeling good,” he said.
“We just got off to a really poor start and we were up against it right from the kick-off. We put ourselves under pressure.
“We knew how important it was to get out of the traps, and it didn’t happen.”
© Sportsbeat 2015