8 March 2019

Team Scotland secure play-off spot at World Wheelchair Curling Championships

Team Scotland held their nerve to win their final round-robin match against Canada and seal their place in the knockout stages of the World Wheelchair Curling Championships.

With a number of teams vying for the final few play-off spots, three-time Paralympian Aileen Neilson and her rink edged out the Canadian team 5-3 in a tense affair in Stirling.

It was their second victory of the day following their earlier triumph over Estonia and saw the hosts finish third, with the top six teams advancing to the weekend’s play-offs.

Scotland took a 2-0 lead after the opening two ends against Canada, before their opponents hit back by stealing two points to level the scores after the third end.

The two sides remained all-square going into the final three ends but Scotland took to the front after the sixth end before sealing victory with a further point in the eighth.

After her team’s win, Scotland skip Neilson said: “I can’t talk highly enough about my team. They played fantastic.

“I felt we were always making shots, I felt confident and we just had to maintain that for eight ends. Now we need to build on that and come out fighting.”

Sochi 2014 bronze medallist Neilson and her team finished the round-robin stage with an overall record of 7-4 and will now face Slovakia for a place in the last four.

Earlier in the day, Team Scotland – which includes Paralympians Hugh Nibloe and Bob McPherson as well as David Melrose and Gary Logan – defeated Estonia in just six ends.

The hosts claimed a dominant 9-3 victory as they followed up their dramatic 5-4 victory against Russia the previous night.

The Scottish breakthrough came in the third end when they scored four points to take a 4-2 lead, which they followed up with a steal of two points in the fourth end.

Then, in the sixth end, Neilson made a draw for three points and a 9-3 lead, at which point Estonia conceded the match for Scotland’s sixth victory of the round-robin matches.

After the Estonia game, Neilson said: “We knew we just really had to get a win on the board coming out here this afternoon and getting a four in the third end really helped our momentum.

“Then, to secure that with a steal of two after really putting the pressure on the opposition, we’re delighted.”

** Picture: WCF / Tom Rowland **

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