TEAM PATERSON WINS RIGHT TO REPRESENT SCOTLAND AT EUROPEANS
Ross Paterson will lead the Scottish men’s challenge at next month’s Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships in Helsingborg, after he and his team-mates completed a fine play-off campaign which saw them get the better of reigning European champions Team Mouat, before beating Glen Muirhead’s team, who represented Great Britain at last year’s Winter Olympics in the three match final.
After Mouat’s quartet were knocked out in the round-robin qualifying stages, winning just one of their matches while Team Paterson topped the charts with three wins, the final went the distance. Paterson won the opener 7-5 on Saturday evening before Muirhead responded by claiming a 7-3 victory this morning and the decider went to an extra end where a nose hit double with his final delivery earned Paterson another 7-5 win.
“I’m delighted and very proud,” the victorious skip said afterwards.
“I felt we were the best team here this week with our performances. What’s most pleasing is that we had a job to do this week to get over the line and we’re now going to the Europeans which was our first main goal of this season. We’re now going to do everything we can to get a medal.”
The last of Paterson’s three visits to the Euros saw him line up in the same rink as Muirhead and he paid tribute to his former team-mate, saying: “Hats off to Glen, he’s always an incredibly tough opponent and in that last final we had to be patient and come from behind to get that win with the last stone at the extra end.”
“Our ability to come back in that game shows the big desire among our team,” said Paterson.
“Last year we wouldn’t have come out on the right side of that game and that is most pleasing, knowing how much we’ve grown and developed as a team, showing we’ve got much greater resilience, with an ability to dig deep when we have to.”
Knowing that they have already beaten the defending champions, as well as Muirhead’s Olympians means there should be no shortage of self-belief as they head for Sweden, but they will draw most on their own efforts.
“We’re just concentrating on our own team, getting the very best we can out of one another,” said Paterson.
“Sure, we’ve beaten Mouat and Muirhead this week and you have to play at your best to beat these top teams, so we had to bring our A game however, rather than focusing on who we’ve beaten, what we’ll take confidence from is winning the right games at the right time.
“It was tough to win this, but I feel absolutely delighted to be going to the Euros as a skip for the first time. It feels now that I’ll be master of our destiny but I’m lucky to have such a fantastic team and we’re all particularly pleased for Duncan Menzies who will be making his first senior international trip representing Scotland, which makes it even more special for him. I’ve never medalled at the Euros, so our next goal will be to achieve that and the gold would be the icing on the cake.”
Two time former winner Eve Muirhead will lead Scotland’s women into action at the championships, from 15 to 23 November 2019.
It will be the fifth time that Sweden has hosted the European Championships, which also functions as the qualifier for the 2020 World Curling Championships, at which nations compete for qualifying points for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. The World Women’s Curling Championships will be hosted at the CN Centre in Prince George, in British Columbia, Canada from 14-22 March 2020.
Scotland will host the LGT World Men’s Curling Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow from 28 March - 5 April 2020. More details on that event and tickets can be found at: www.wmcc2020.com
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Winners photo: Bruce Crawford, SCottish Curling
Other images: Graeme Hart.