Rebecca Morrison’s women scored wins over Czechia and Sweden to move into play-off contention on the third day’s play at the European Curling Championship at Curl Aberdeen.
Home skip Morrison, with Jen Dodds, Sophie Sinclair and Sophie Jackson, were looking to strike back after their victory against Turkiye in their opening match was followed by narrow losses against Denmark and Italy.
They had to work hard early on against the Czechs, before seizing the initiative by getting their two at the third, following two blanked ends.
They continued to give no quarter either side of the midway break as the teams exchanged a shot apiece either side of another blanked end, before the pressure finally took its toll on their opponents and Scotland ran up a five at the seventh end to secure an 8-1 victory.
The double is there, the double is called, and Rebecca Morrison 🏴 makes the double look effortless. 👏
— World Curling (@worldcurling) November 20, 2023
Morrison double take-out was crucial
The early finish ensured that they had maximum energy to take into what looked set to be a crucial meeting with Sweden’s Team Wrana as the round-robin stages passed the halfway mark.
With Gina Aitken replacing Sophie Sinclair as they continued their policy of interchanges, they started without the hammer, but took charge from the off, stealing a shot at the opening end, then a further two at the next.
While the Swedes rallied to get off the mark at the next, then further reduce the leeway at the fourth, the game was all but secured when Morrison executed a double take-out with her final shot at the fifth end to claim a four which took her team into the midway break in buoyant mood, knowing the result was all but secure.
From that point it was about scoreboard management and while they conceded twos at the sixth and eighth ends, there were no major alarms as they ran out 9-7 winners.
Confidence soars after latest triumph
Morrison was delighted that the team showed their class to handle the heat when it mattered.
She said: “We were defending a really big lead against Sweden and it’s always difficult when teams are coming hard at you, so losing twos in that situation was no bad thing.
“It’s been a brilliant day. Everyone came out absolutely firing and I couldn’t have asked for much more from anyone on the ice.
“We’re just delighted to get those two wins today and it’s filled us with confidence for the four games ahead.”
Scotland were ruthless against a struggling Swedish side, stealing and scoring big, and built an early advantage that they managed over the second half. 🙌
Next up, Germany. 🇩🇪
— Scottish Curling (@scottishcurling) November 20, 2023
They head into another two-game day on Tuesday looking for the results that could all but secure a place in the semi-finals, starting at 9am against Germany, who have a record of one win and four losses.
At 7pm, they face world champions Switzerland, who have the only unbeaten record, but with whom they have had a succession of tight matches this season, winning the most recent of them.
Germany then Switzerland await next
Morrison added: “Two wins would be brilliant and would put us in a really strong position and if we play like we did today there’s a good chance that will happen.
“This week the atmosphere in the arena has been great and it is always an honour representing Scottish Curling at these events. It helps us knowing we have so many Scottish fans in here cheering us on.”
The top eight men’s and women’s teams at these Championships, which take place from November 18-25, will qualify for the World Championships later this season.
The BKT Tires World Women’s Curling Championship 2024 will be hosted in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada in March 2024 and the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship 2024 will take place in Schaffhausen, Switzerland in April 2024.