8 March 2019

Scotland gear up for day of destiny at World Champs

Team Scotland face a day of destiny at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Stirling after mixed results on Thursday left them in a battle royale for a play-off spot.

With just two round-robin matches remaining for each country on Friday, Scotland currently sit in a five-way tie for third with a record of 5-4 and, with the top six teams advancing to the weekend’s play-offs, at least one of those squads will miss out.

Three-time Paralympian and Sochi 2014 bronze medallist Aileen Neilson leads her rink into a match against Estonia at 2pm on Friday before a potentially crucial contest with Canada – one of the other teams currently tied for third – at 7pm.

Scotland started Thursday with a heavy defeat to Slovakia, as a slow start left them with too big a deficit to overcome.

Slovakia took one in the first end, then stole four in the second and took another in the third to lead 6-0 with only five ends remaining.

The Scots fought back to 6-4 but their opponents then killed the game off over the last few ends to seal a 9-5 triumph and add another layer of importance to Thursday evening’s clash against Russia.

And it could hardly have been more dramatic as the game came down to the final stone.

The teams were locked at 4-4 heading into the final end, with Russia having the all-important hammer, and Neilson’s final stone clipped a front guard, although the Scots were still lying shot thanks to a stone at the back of the house

And with the pressure on, Russian skip Andrei Meshcheriakov inadvertently nudged a stone on the way in with his final effort – meaning Scotland stole one and secured a nerve-shredding 5-4 win that kept their play-off hopes alive heading into the final day of round-robin action.

Pictures: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart

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