EUROPEAN CHAMPS TEAM MOUAT CLAIM PERTH MASTERS TITLE
National Champions Team Mouat who completed 2018 by winning gold at their first European Championships and reaching the final of the Boost National Grand Slam, started their new year lifting more silverware at the Mercure City of Perth Masters.
Mouat’s men, Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie and Hammy McMillan junior beat local Perthshire based rink, 2018 Olympic representatives, Team Glen Muirhead 8-3 in the final and skip Bruce Mouat was delighted with the outcome.
“It feels really nice to win this title, when you are growing up this is the competition that you watch in Scotland and it has been the best in Europe for a while, so it is really nice to have this title on our backs now and hopefully a few more this season,” said the Edinburgh based skip.
Mouat’s route to the business end of the first World Curling Tour event of the year was not straightforward, despite being the top ranked team in the field. He lost out to Ross Whyte, his fifth man at the Europeans and had to win two more matches, against Team Walstad from Norway and Team Glen Muirhead, in order to qualify through the B route of the triple knockout format event for the play-off stages today.
One of five Scottish teams in the quarter finals, they defeated Lukas Kilma from the Czech Republic 6-3, before beating Team Brydone 7-3 in the semi final. That set up their second game of the four day event against local favourites, skipped by Glen Muirhead.
“I think that was probably one of our best games there, I didn’t start the game off great but the guys kept me in it and gave me some good shots to play, so it was nice to see that we were going up and up throughout the competition,” said Mouat.
“The quarter final was an alright game for us, we kind of set off on the right foot which was nice and then the semi final and the final were just really good performances all round.
“Being the top ranked team in a event has happened to us a few times, it is nice to have that feeling, it puts a bit of pressure on you but it always gives you the momentum in games, others know you are ranked higher than them, maybe not performing better, but it gives you that edge going into games,” he said of his team’s first performance on home soil since winning the European Championships.
Glen Muirhead skipping his team mates Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead and Cammy Smith, said he was disappointed that he had been unable to make local knowledge count.
“I thought we were in the groove to be honest, we struggled a wee bit at the start of the week but then we started playing well and the surface was nice. It just comes down to one poor end from us and we lost a three and then you are trying to fight back a little, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
“You have to bring your A game against all these teams now otherwise you get punished,” said Muirhead, commenting on the quality of the field this week, especially the Scottish opponents.
Coverage from the event was broadcast by BBC ALBA and supported by the World Curling Federation.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Mitchell - Perth Masters