4 March 2019

Scotland miss out on victory in World Wheelchair Curling Championship opener

Aileen Neilson’s Scottish rink saw their valiant fightback fall agonisingly short after missing out in their opening game of the World Wheelchair Curling Championships.

Neilson and her side are playing on their home ice of The Peak, Stirling, looking to complete the hat-trick of titles having also prevailed in 2004 and 2005, the latter at Braehead.

But their bid for another hold medal wasn’t able to start on the perfect note, losing out 5-4 to Switzerland in the very last end of the contest.

Team Scotland, featuring Paralympians Bob McPherson and Hugh Nibloe, as well as David Melrose and alternate Gary Logan, had already produced a spirited comeback, trailing 3-0 before hauling the game back to 4-4.

But victory was just to elude them as the Swiss team, led by Raymond Pfyffer, edged their way to the win in their opening match of the tournament.

Gary Logan is making his debut in the Scottish team

With the competition running through until March 10, this is far from the end of the road for Neilson and her rink, with 11 round-robin games to be played before the knockout stages.

And the Scottish contingent will be able to take heart from clawing their way back into the match, having trailed 3-0 after the first three ends of action.

Taking two points from each of ends four and six saw them right back in contention but, with a blanked end coming immediately after, Switzerland made the most of having the final stone in the last to seal victory by one.

Scotland won’t have to wait long until their next outing with Neilson – a Paralympic bronze medallist at Sochi 2014 – and her side back on the ice in Monday’s afternoon session when they face Latvia.

Germany also await in a double header of games for the home side, with this extended competition seeing 12 teams take part for the first time in a World Wheelchair Curling Championships.

Pictures: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart

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