Aberdeen’s Rebecca Morrison was thrilled after leading her rink to glory in the Scottish Curling Championships at the Dumfries Ice Bowl.
Just a week after British Curling brought Team GB its only gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, the depth of women’s curling in Scotland was on display as Team Morrison held off the tenacity of national junior champions Team Henderson in a tense final.
In the end experience just about made the difference for a team that comprised three players who had come through this season’s British Curling squad system, including five-time Scottish mixed doubles champion Gina Aitken as well as the newcomer to their line-up, former Scottish Championship winning skip Sophie Jackson.
As Eve Muirhead had done when winning Olympic gold in Beijing, skip Rebecca Morrison acknowledged that the innovative nine player squad system introduced by British Curling this season, had served her team well.
“We’re delighted to get that win,” she said.
“The season has been quite a tough one for us, but we have really got a lot of determination in us from what we’ve been through with the squad system and it’s made us all better players. We have a lot of fight in us after what we’ve been through.”
Their youthful opponents had similarly shown their fighting qualities, however, as they refused to buckle after conceding a potentially decisive four at the third end to fall 5-2 behind.
Henderson was forced to a single at the next end, allowing Team Morrison to control the hammer from that point, but they were unable to break clear, blanking the next two ends, before their opponents manufactured the chance to steal and bring the scores to 5-4 at the seventh.
Yet another blanked end ensued, before Morrison felt forced to take a single at the ninth end, leaving her team 6-4 ahead playing the last, but allowing Henderson last stone advantage.
With the outcome on the line and with two of her opponents’ shots lying, Henderson saw a chance to play a raised double takeout with her final stone to save and perhaps even win the match and, with Morrison, Aitken, Jackson and Sophie Sinclair left hoping they had done enough, she was only fractionally off line with her attempt.
“It was a tough battle with Fay and she made a really good attempt with that last shot which didn’t quite come off. I was quite nervous as she played it, but we couldn’t be happier right now,” said Morrison.
“Looking to the future, we’re not quite sure what the rest of the season holds for us.
“I’m sure that the coming week will make that clearer, but we just want to continue to grow as players and hopefully as a team and right now we’re just chuffed with this result and we’re going to soak up the moment.”
Meanwhile, Ross Paterson guided his team to success in the men’s event.
Six years after winning the Scottish Championship with Team Brewster, Paterson produced the shots that added his current teammates’ names to the roll of honour as they came through a tight battle with Team Whyte to claim a 6-5 win.
Congratulations @TeamPaterson1 👏
Scottish Curling Champions 2022 🤩🥇 pic.twitter.com/yqk0fqdo2i
— Scottish Curling (@scottishcurling) February 27, 2022
He noted that having former skip Brewster back in the camp, now working with them as coach, had made an impact as they seek to return to the level that saw them win a Grand Slam title in Canada together – only the second Scottish men’s team ever to do so – in their first season together in 2018/19..
“Tom had a big influence on my career previously when I played with him, so to have him back on board this season has been brilliant. He’s been great with the guys, he’s helped us a lot and we’ve been up at his club Curl Aberdeen for training which has helped us a lot, so his involvement has been invaluable to us and we really appreciate him.