Stranraer’s Vicki Adams and her teammates Eve Muirhead , Anna Sloan and Sarah Reid finished thier season on a high when winning the Players’ Championship in Toronto yesterday.
Team Muirhead stole points in the final two ends to lift her team to a 4-2 victory over Anna Sidorova of Russia and capture the women’s title, the team’s third career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title and their second this season.
The Sterling-based rink — who also won the inaugural women’s Canadian Open in December — also claimed the 2014-15 Rogers Grand Slam Cup as the overall women’s points leader.
“Oh it’s fantastic,” Sloan said. “We’ve had a tough season of inconsistencies but this week we just really dug in. I think it just showed that we are a strong side, that we’re here to compete, and we played really well there.”
Muirhead, Sloan and Adams (with Claire Hamilton at lead) won both titles the last time the Mattamy Athletic Centre hosted the event in 2013, the same year they captured the world championship.
Vicki told The Galloway Gazette: “That was a really good end to the season winning the players championship and the Rogers Cup and really seals off what has been a fairly up and down season but we a re super happy and gives us a good starting base for next season although we still have our last competition in Switzerland to play this weekend.”
“It feels just as good the second time around if not better,” Sloan said. “I think the first year, we were playing well, we were playing consistently and everything was going our way. This season has been tough. The results haven’t been going our way. (But now) just loving it.”
As Rogers Grand Slam Cup champions, Team Muirhead collected an extra $35,000 bonus and they’re already thinking of what to spend the cash on.
“It’s pretty nice,” Sloan said with a laugh. “We’re all full-eyed on what we want to spend it on. Maybe a couple shopping trips are coming our way but yeah it’s just great.”
Team Sidorova, who defeated Muirhead to win the bronze medal at the worlds last month, opened with the hammer but Team Muirhead didn’t let that faze them. After blanking the first, Sidorova drew to the button for a single in the second end to take a 1-0 lead. Muirhead looked to score two in the third with a runback but rolled out and counted just one to tie it.
Sidorova was forced to take a point in four to retake the lead at 2-1. Muirhead attempted to split and get two in the fifth but could only count one knotting it up again. Sidorova blanked the sixth and gave up a single steal in seven when she attempted to score three but her shot overcurled.
Sidorova needed to make a double raise to force the extra end but didn’t get it close enough and Muirhead picked up another steal to close out the game.
Team Sidorova had been on fire during the second half of the season winning the Glynhill Ladies International tour event in January and capturing gold at the 2015 Winter Universiade in February on top of their bronze from the world championship last month.
It was Sidorova’s first time playing in a Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling final. The Moscow-based rink featuring Sidorova, third Margarita Fomina, second Aleksandra Saitova and lead Ekaterina Galkina started off 1-2 in the round robin and were on the brink of elimination but won five straight to reach the final.
Muirhead is the only European-based skip to guide her team to Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles.