Scotland’s wheelchair curlers were in action at the GB Wheelchair Curling Championships in Hamilton from 4th-6th February. The Scots were up against a strong international and domestic field in what would be the perfect warm up for the forthcoming PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games.
Scotland progressed through the round robin phase with five wins from five matches, including victories over international sides from Germany and Denmark and Aileen Neilson’s rink went into the semi-finals with high hope of taking the GB title. A maximum of ten points, with 23 ends won, meant Scotland topped Group A after Sunday and Monday’s action. Group B saw Korea match Scotland with a 100 per cent record, while Sweden also showed their strength to finish second with four wins from five matches.
The Scots progressed to a semi-final meeting against a strong Swedish rink and it turned out to be a close run thing with Scotland emerging the winners by 5-4. With Korea beating the rink skipped by Torino 2006 Paralympic silver medallist Michael McCreadie 6-4 in their semi-final, it set up a clash between the two unbeaten sides in Tuesday’s final.
Unfortunately, It was not to be a third British Open title in a row for Aileen with team mates Gregor Ewan, Hugh Nibloe, Robert McPherson and Angie Malone, as the Scots were beaten 6-3 by a strong Korean outfit in an extra end.
“The final was an extremely close game with only blank ends and singles being exchanged,”
“Team Scotland had to steal in the extra end and were lying shot until the Korean skip played a great take out through the port to take the victory.
“The event provided a great opportunity to compete in a high class line up and was a great confidence boost beating the German and Swedish Paralympic teams just before the Games.
“We have received lots of messages of support from friends and family and it is nice to know that everyone back home will be rooting for us when we are in PyeongChang competing for Great Britain.”
The Scottish rink will now don the colours of ParalympicsGB as they compete in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games from the 9th – 18th March with their confidence boosted after a successful GB Championships.