Scotland’s curling team has won the European Curling Championships for the second consecutive year, after defeating Norway 9-8 in a nail-biting final in Aberdeen on Sunday. The Scots, led by skip Bruce Mouat, came back from a 5-2 deficit in the fifth end to clinch the gold medal with a last-stone draw in the tenth end.
A dramatic comeback
The final was a tense affair, with both teams exchanging points in the first four ends. Norway, skipped by Steffen Walstad, took a commanding lead in the fifth end, scoring three points with a double takeout. However, Scotland did not give up and fought back with two points in the sixth end and a steal of one in the seventh end, reducing the gap to 5-6.
A thrilling finish
The eighth end was crucial, as Scotland scored three points with a brilliant hit and roll by Mouat, putting them ahead 8-6. Norway responded with two points in the ninth end, tying the game at 8-8 and setting up a dramatic final end. With the last stone of the game, Mouat had to draw to the four-foot circle to secure the victory. He executed the shot perfectly, sending the home crowd into a frenzy and earning the applause of his opponents.
A historic achievement
Scotland’s win was their 11th European title, and their second in a row, after they beat Sweden in the final last year in Tallinn, Estonia. Mouat, who was also part of the 2018 team, became the first skip to win back-to-back European titles since Sweden’s Niklas Edin in 2014 and 2015. He was joined by third Grant Hardie, second Bobby Lammie, lead Hammy McMillan, and alternate Ross Paterson.
The Scottish team also qualified for the World Men’s Curling Championship 2024, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in April. They will be joined by Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Denmark, and Russia, who finished in the top eight of the European Championship. The World Championship will also serve as a qualification event for the 2024 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
A proud moment
After the game, Mouat expressed his delight and gratitude for his team and the fans. He said: “It feels amazing. It was such a tough game and we had to dig really deep to get the win. I’m so proud of the boys and how they played. They made my job a lot easier. It’s also incredible to win in front of our home crowd. They were amazing and gave us so much support. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
Walstad, who won the silver medal for Norway, congratulated Scotland and praised their performance. He said: “They played really well and deserved to win. They made some great shots and put a lot of pressure on us. We tried our best and gave them a good fight, but it wasn’t enough. We’re still happy with the silver medal and the qualification for the World Championship. We’ll try to improve and come back stronger next time.”