Today’s 7-4 win for Scotland’s senior curlers against Ireland proved crucial as it secured their passage through to this weekend’s quarter-finals of the World Senior Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia.
The battle on the ice between the two nations also saw Stranraer Ice Rink clubmates Norman Brown and Hugh Aitken (Scotland) and Neil Fyfe (Ireland) pit their skills against each other at world championship level.
In the round-robin stages, Norman and Hugh, playing with Gordon Muirhead, David Hay and Mike Hay, beat the Czech Republic 8-4; Japan 9-3; Kazakhstan 14-2 and Italy 6-3 but lost to Latvia 7-6 and Canada 5-6 (after an extra end) to finish in second place in their section.
Neil and his Irish teammates - Bill Gray, David Whyte and David Hume - have beaten Kazakhstan 9-1; Latvia 5-3, Czech Republic 11-3 and Italy 10-2 but lost out to Japan 4-7 and Canada 5-6 (after an extra end) to finish third in the same section.
Ireland now face a play-off to get to the quarter-finals against the other two third ranked teams in the same section.