Aberdeen’s David Edwards won the right to represent Scotland at next month’s European Curling Championships in Switzerland when he beat Lockerbie’s Olympic silver medallist David Murdoch by 8-6 in the extra end of the third game of the best-of-three finals at the European playdown event in Perth yesterday.
To reach the final series, Murdoch’s team had topped the round-robin rankings while Edwards and his team of John Penny, Scott Macleod and Billy Morton had to defeat fellow-Aberdeen skip Tom Brewster, by 6-2 in a sudden-death tie-breaker for second place on Saturday.
Edwards went on to win the first game in the final series by 6-4, only to see Murdoch level in the second game with a 5-4 victory.
Murdoch seemed to have the advantage in the crucial third game of the finals series yesterday afternoon, when Edwards could only score one point in the tenth end to level the game at 4-4, but, without last stone advantage, Edwards stole two points in the extra end for the 6-4 win that now means he will make his international debut as skip next month.
By contrast, Perth’s Olympic bronze medallist Eve Muirhead and her team of Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and new lead player Sarah Reid had a straightforward route to Scottish selection, going through their round-robin programme undefeated with four wins out of four before needing just two of the three finals games to beat Lauren Gary’s team by 9-1 on Saturday night and then 5-3 yesterday morning. Muirhead’s team were European silver medallists last season and hope to go one better this time.
In the last decade, Scotland’s men’s and women’s teams have enjoyed considerable success at the European Championships, winning ten medals including three gold, four silver and three bronze. Last year, Scotland’s men’s team, led by Murdoch and featuring Brewster, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and Michael Goodfellow took bronze.
The top seven nations at the men’s and women’s European Championships, which will take place in Champéry, Switzerland from 22-29 November, will qualify for next year’s World Curling Championships.
Should Scotland achieve this the teams to represent the nation at the World Championships will be decided at the Scottish Curling Championships at Dewars Centre in Perth in February.