Curling’s “Scottish Sensation”, Eve Muirhead will represent the country which gave the world the game, when play gets underway at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in Lethbridge in March.
The four-time world junior women’s champ led her team of Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton to the Scottish title on Sunday, February 19, with a 9-3 final game victory over Gail Munro. With a 5-2 lead after six ends of play against Munro and her Stranraer team of Lyndsay Cumming, Katie Wright and Jodie Milroy, the twenty-one-year-old Muirhead made an open hit for 4 in the seventh. When Munro, the 2008 Scottish women’s champion, could only answer with a single point in the eighth, the gloves came off.
At the conclusion of round-robin play at the Dewars Centre in Perth, four teams found themselves tied atop the standings with identical 6-2 records. In subsequent playoff games, Muirhead downed 2002 world women’s champ Jackie Lockhart and her Aberdeen mates Karen Kennedy, Kay Adams and Sarah Macintyre by a score of 8-4, while Munro bested the Lockerbie foursome of Hannah Fleming, Lauren Gray, Alice Spence and Abi Brown 9-2. Lockhart and Fleming would have to start planning for next season, while it was on to the final for Muirhead and Munro.
Muirhead, who will be making her third appearance in women’s world play, won the silver medal in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, at the 2010 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship.
There, she and her team of Kelly Wood, Lorna Vevers and Anne Laird, lost a gold-medal game, extra end thriller to Germany’s Andrea Schopp.
With the 2014 Sochi Olympics in mind, Muirhead completely overhauled the makeup of her team and the resulting foursome has proven to be a powerhouse combination of youth and enthusiasm. In December of 2011, Muirhead guided Sloan, Adams and Hamilton to Scotland’s first women’s European Curling Championship title since 1975, with an 8-2 final game victory over Sweden.
Rest assured that this Scottish contingent, like their fans in the stands, will be a force to be reckoned with in Lethbridge. With none of the Muirhead foursome having celebrated their twenty-fourth birthdays, this team should give Scottish curling loyalists plenty to cheer about for many, many years to come.