Scotland skip Ross Whyte hopes his rink’s 100 per cent record shows they are genuine title contenders at the World Junior Curling Championships in Aberdeen after sealing semi-final qualification.
Whyte steered his rink to a seventh win in succession yesterday against Switzerland and they have two pool games remaining today, with China first up this morning and then Sweden in the evening’s closing tie at Curl Aberdeen.
Each opposition has been swept aside by the Scots and it should make the rest of the competition take notice with the semi-finals beckoning tomorrow.
Whyte said: “We hope people realise we’re actual contenders here.
“We wanted to set a good pace throughout the week and hopefully we can get two good games today going into the play-offs.
“We’re a team that takes it a game at a time. We’ve managed to stay in our own wee zone and at the start of the week, we’d have taken this position.”
Switzerland opened with a single but with the hammer in end two, Whyte delivered a four for the high-scoring Scots, extending their run as the most prolific team of the tournament.
The deficit was reduced to one with a double in the next end and a risky fast stone from Whyte in the fourth, looking to get the Swiss away from the button, backfired and allowed their opponents to tie the match.
But, unflustered, Whyte came in with the final stone of end five to claim a double for Scotland, giving them a 6-4 advantage at the mid-way point.
Jan Hess, Whyte’s counterpart, delivered for his side with a single in the seventh but not to be outdone, Whyte showed his class to bail out the Scots in the eighth and seal the 10-5 win.
Facing a two-point defeat with guards in front of the house, Whyte delivered the penultimate stone to clear all three Swiss rocks and with Hess missing with his final attempt, the Scottish skip was able to seal victory with a four-point win on the hammer.
Whyte said: “It definitely helped our situation.
“We weren’t sitting too great; we were lucky to make it and the Swiss missed.
“There’s definitely pressure there but we had a plan. If I missed it, we knew what we could do after that.
“It was good to get one over them and I’m sure they’ll be there at the end of the week.”
The women’s hopes of making the last four took a hit yesterday morning with a crushing 10-4 loss against Sweden.
Despite a change of skip, with Aberdeen’s Rebecca Morrison dropping to vice-skip and Amy MacDonald replaced in the line-up by Sophie Jackson, the Scots were no match for the unbeaten leaders, who booked their place in the play-offs with the victory.
Jackson was the skip last year when Scotland were beaten finalists in South Korea and she had the home nation 3-1 up after the third end.
However the next four ends saw Sweden score seven unanswered points, which proved insurmountable.
They faced the United States in the final game of the day, needing a victory to keep their play-off aspirations alive. (INSERT SUMMARY)
Scotland’s last pool game is against Russia tomorrow.