Murdoch Pleased With Form After Reaching Swiss Cup Final
British Curling’s Winter Olympic silver medallists Team Murdoch made a timely return to form as they worked their way through the best field assembled in Europe this season to reach the final of the Swiss Cup in Basel.
There were strong performances by all four Scottish teams taking part with Team Brewster the only one to miss out on the play-offs and then only because they were edged out 5-4 by compatriots Team Smith in the decisive match.
Kyle Smith’s rink went on to beat one team of Scandinavian world champions, when they saw off Thomas Ulsrud’s Norwegians 8-7, before being beaten at the final end by another as Sweden’s Team Edin, the reigning European champions, took a single at the final end of a tight encounter for a 5-4 win.
Dave Murdoch’s men had meanwhile beaten another team of fellow Scots 5-3 in the quarter-finals, world junior champions Team Mouat having mixed it impressively with the seniors in the absence of Bruce Mouat with Bobby Lammie standing in at skip.
Murdoch went on to end home hopes with another 5-3 win over Switzerland’s Team de Cruz before they lost the final 5-4 to Niklas Edin’s men, but the experienced Scottish skip was highly satisfied with the way they had performed, coming through the A road and winning six successive matches to get to that final.
“We felt coming into Basel this weekend that we had all practised well and that showed in the confidence we had all weekend,” he said.
“With the Euro Play-downs in just over a week it’s a good time to be hitting form. We had consistency and to be undefeated heading into the final in a strong field is the level we are looking to maintain. We can’t wait to get started in Perth.”
That three way contest, which will decide who represents Scotland on home ice at Braehead in November’s European Championships, looks like being hard fought as they once again come up against the team led by Tom Brewster, the fifth member of the Olympic silver medal winning team and Team Smith, who shocked their more experienced opponents to win last year’s Play-downs and earn their senior Scotland debuts.
Having begun the season well by claiming a title then reaching the semi-finals of the second event they contested on a two week trip to Canada, they also have reason to feel confident about their chances of victory at Perth’s Dewar’s Centre next week, with skip Kyle Smith observing: “We played well against Ulsrud and played the semi well too. A steal of two (by Edin) in the sixth put us on the back foot but we are in good stead for the Play-downs.”
The European Play-downs get underway next week at Perth’s Dewars Centre from Wednesday 12 to Sunday 16 October and will decide which mens and womens team represents Scotland at the European Championships in Braehead in November.
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Photo: Tom J Brydone.