Murrayfield curler Bruce Mouat was unable to land his third major title in the past 12 months after claiming some big scalps on his way to his first national men’s final at the Scottish Championships in Perth.
The reigning World Junior and World Student Games gold medallist needed to survive a tie-breaker with old rival Grant Hardie to reach the medal play-offs, but once there he scored back-to-back victories over defending champion Tom Brewster and local skip Kyle Smith – both in the world’s top 20 – to progress to the final.
Olympic silver medallist and six-time Scottish champion David Murdoch lay in wait, and the Lockerbie skip was totally ruthless as he repeated his 9-2 round-robin win over Mouat. A four at the third end gave him a 6-2 lead, then a three at the fifth made it 9-3 at the halfway point before Mouat shook hands when trailing 10-4.
“We obviously wished we had put on a better show in the final, but I’m really chuffed that we got this far in the tournament,” said the Napier student. “We wanted that extra win in the final, but it wasn’t to be and that’s tough. We’ve had a good month and this was our team’s last game this season, so I’m glad we gave it everything this week.”
Mouat’s own season is not yet over, though, as he and club-mate Gina Aitken will go for gold at the Mixed Doubles World Championship in Canada in April.
Aitken herself had a week to forget in Perth, finishing out of the medals in fifth-equal position after winning two games out of six. Her younger sister Karina fared better but missed out on a top three spot when she lost in a tie-breaker to the eventual runner-up, Hannah Fleming.