Team Muirhead Master Basel With First Tournament Win of Season
Eve Muirhead drew the four foot at the final end to clinch her team’s first tournament win of the season and their first ever victory at the Women’s Masters in Basel.
After conceding a two at the opening end of the final of the prestigious Swiss event to Team Sigfridsson, the Scots levelled at the third and, after going one behind at the next, took charge with a five at the fifth end.
They lost a two at the next and the Swedes stole another shot at the seventh to tighten things up going into the last, but Muirhead showed why she is considered to be the best skip in the game when she calmly delivered that final shot.
A jubilant Eve Muirhead said after the final: “Winners!”
“This weekend in Basel especially showed our grit and determination as a team to keep going and not give up.
“We battled through the C road with lots of games and really brought our A game to the play-offs which is crucial.
“Delighted to win this event, first Scottish team to do so and it brings us great confidence moving in to next weekend.”
It was the third final Team Muirhead had reached in the four tournaments they have contested in an impressively consistent start to the season and it also provided a test run for next week’s European Championship Play-downs when they met Scottish rivals Team Fleming in the semi-finals.
In what will be a straight head to head they will face one another in a best of five series in Perth and the Winter Olympic bronze medallists put down a marker with a comfortable win, stealing a four at the second end to claim a five shot lead which they maintained to the finish, running out 8-3 winners.
In the qualifying stages Hannah Fleming and her team of Jen Dodds, Alice Spence and Vicky Wright had maintained the fine form of the previous week, when they reached the final of the Stockholm Ladies Cup.
In Sweden they had won six successive matches in dominating a pool which contained both the reigning world and European champions, on their way to the final and this time around, in a competition played over a different, triple knockout format, they lost just one, in their opening match, to Germany’s Team Schlopp, immediately relegating them from the A road.
Their response was impressive, however, as they powered their way through the B road, beating local Swiss rinks Teams Barbezat, Stern and Mani before easing past world no.20 ranked Team Sigfridsson in the B road final to earn their quarter-final place.
Team Muirhead took a contrasting route, looking to have resumed business as normal after the previous weeks disappointment when narrowly missing out on reaching the knockout stages in Sweden, by winning their way to the A road final with wins over Switzerland’s Team Gribi and Japan’s Team Matsumara.
However they were beaten in the A road final by Korea’s Team Kim and in the B road semi-final by Russia’s European champions Team Sidorova, leaving them facing elimination in the C road where they showed their mettle as they edged out Matsumara in a match that was tighter than their first encounter, coming through 5-4 second time around, then Barbezat in another match that went to the final end, winning that one 6-5.
Please click here for more information:
The Euro Play-downs take place at Perth’s Dewars Centre from Wednesday 12 – Sunday 16 October.
Photos: Tom J Brydone.