|Lee and Judith McCleary. Photo © NZ Curling / Rob Potter|
29 Aug 2017 – Scotland made an emphatic statement when they scored a maximum six point end early in their last pool game at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ Mixed Doubles curling tournament in Naseby this morning.
The stakes were high, with the third and last playoff spot from Pool A up for grabs. Korea and Norway had already assured themselves of places in the knockout rounds.
The early boost for the Scots proved invaluable as their Spanish opponents drew level after six of the eight ends. But the Scots scored in both remaining ends to get through.
| • Audi quattro Winter Games NZ website
• 2017 Mixed Doubles curling tournament
“You can never be sure of anything in Mixed Doubles,” said Scotland’s Judith McCleary after their win. “We’ve been there before against the Spanish, scoring 5 in the first end and then losing the game! But today when it got to 7-all we just focussed, used our powerplay and got the job done.”
“We definitely had a goal of making the playoffs here,” added her playing partner and husband Lee. “There’s a lot of good teams here, but now we’ve just got to believe in ourselves and play our own game.”
Norway and Korea also had wins this morning, and the New Zealand 1 side of Bridget and Scott Becker gave the local crowd a boost with a win against the Swiss World Champions.
Estonia and Hungary played the main game in the early afternoon round, and again the stakes were high. The winner was straight into the playoff games while the loser had to wait on other results. Marie Turmann and Harri Lill stole a nail-biting final end for Estonia to record a one shot win.
Finland also stole the last end of their game, and so the Finns – who thought they were out of contention last night – now find themselves in a tiebreaker this afternoon against the Hungarians.
Canada completed a clean sweep of their pool games, and the New Zealand 2 side finished their competition in style with a consolation win over China.
Quarterfinals will be played this evening, semi-finals tomorrow morning and the gold medal match at 3:30pm tomorrow afternoon will be televised live on TVNZ Duke.
Standings at completion of Round Robin:
- Pool A – 7 wins: Canada – 5 wins: Estonia – 4 wins: Hungary, Finland – 3 wins: Japan – 2 wins; Australia 1, China – 1 win: New Zealand 2
- Pool B – 7 wins: Korea – 6 wins: Norway – 5 wins: Scotland – 3 wins: New Zealand 1, Switzerland – 2 wins: Spain, New Zealand 3 – 0 wins: Australia 2