Murrayfield curler Bruce Mouat landed his fourth title this winter, but his first outside Canada, by defeating Swiss skip Jan Hess 5-3 in yesterday afternoon’s Dumfries Challenger final.
It was Mouat’s second success at Dumfries Ice Bowl after also winning two years ago, although that looked highly unlikely when the Napier student lost two of his first four group matches. Saturday’s 9-3 victory over another Swiss player, Christian Bangerter, was just enough for him to scrape through in third place, but Mouat was a man transformed in the knockout stages.
The 23-year-old and his team-mates Hammy McMillan, Bobby Lammie and Grant Hardie beat Switzerland’s Stefan Staehli 7-2 and then snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in yesterday morning’s semi-finals when they came from 6-2 down to pip Denmark’s Mikkel Krause 7-6 at the first extra end.
The final was a cagey affair until Team Mouat counted two stones at the sixth end to open up what proved to be a decisive 5-2 lead.
“We got our break in the sixth and we were able to control it from there,” said Mouat. “We needed to win our last group game to qualify, but it’s like a whole new tournament in the knockout stages and we felt good going into the play-offs.
“We didn’t lose our cool when we were 6-2 down in the semi. We managed to put them under pressure for the first time in the game and forced a mistake from them. That’s the first time we’ve come from four-down to win.
“It’s amazing how well we’ve bonded as a team, winning four titles already. We’re really looking forward to winning some more in the new year.”