Scotland men win Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championship 2021 title
Scotland – undefeated so far in the event – met defending champions Sweden in Saturday evening’s men’s gold medal final of the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2021, held in Lillehammer, Norway.
Scotland started with last-stone advantage, and in the opening end, the Swedes forced Scotland skip Bruce Mouat into making a nose-hit to open the scoring with just one point.
In the second end, Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin played a draw with his last stone, to score two points and take a 2-1 lead. Scotland’s Mouat opted to draw his final stone of the third end into the house to score one point and level the game at 2-2.
In the fourth end, Sweden’s Edin faced two Scottish stones sitting in the house when he played his last stone. However, his take-out attempt missed completely and went through the house, giving the Scots a steal of two points for a 4-2 lead.
In the fifth end, Sweden’s Edin attempted a tap-up, but his stone rolled too far, to once again give the Scots a steal of two points and move their lead to 6-2. The Swedes brought themselves back into the game in the sixth end, when their skip Edin was able to draw for two points and reduce Scotland’s lead to 6-4.
The Scots restored their four-point advantage in the seventh end when skip Mouat played an open draw into the house to score two points and take an 8-4 lead.
Sweden’s Edin played a take-out on a Scottish stone on the wing to blank the eighth end and keep his team’s hopes alive. However, in the ninth end, Sweden were facing two Scottish counters when Edin came to play his final draw. He scored one point and then conceded the game, with the score at 8-5 to the Scots.
This win for the Scottish men resulted in a unique double. With Scotland’s women beating Sweden by 7-4 earlier in the day, the Scots completed a golden double for the first time in the Championships’ 46-year history.
After what is his team’s second European gold medal, [they won previously in 2018] skip Mouat said, “I mean… what a week we’ve had. I’m just really proud of everyone who’s put in all the work. I’m going to enjoy this one.”
He added, “We didn’t really put any pressure on them at the start of the game. And that’s what we said after the third end. We managed to get a break, and they don’t always come, so we’ll take it.”
The Scotland gold medallists: skip Bruce Mouat, third Grant Hardie, second player Bobby Lammie, lead Hammy McMillan, alternate Ross Whyte and coach Alan Hannah.
The Swedish silver medallists: skip Niklas Edin, third Oskar Eriksson, second player Magnus Wranaa, lead Christoffer Sundgren, alternate Daniel Magnusson and coach Fredrik Lindberg.
Men’s gold medal result: Sweden 5-8 Scotland.