Tallinn, Estonia -- Scotland won their first men's European title since 2008 when Bruce Mouat's team (Photo: Richard Gray / WCF) beat the Swedish world champions by 9-5 in Saturday afternoon's final of the Le Gruyere AOP European Curling Championships 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia.
This was a first European appearance for this Scottish team - skip Bruce Mouat, third Grant Hardie, second Bobby Lammie and lead Hammy McMillan, supported by alternate Ross Whyte and coach Alan Hannah.
By contrast Sweden - skip Niklas Edin, third Oskar Eriksson, second Rasmus Wrana and lead Christoffer Sundgren, supported by alternate Daniel Magnusson and coach Fredrik Lindberg - were looking to win their fifth successive European title.
Sweden had been unbeaten in the championship until this game and so had last stone advantage in the first end. Despite this, it was Scotland who scored first, with a single point steal in the opening end.
However, in the second end, Sweden's skip Edin hit out a Scottish stone in the house to score two points and take a 2-1 lead. He followed that up in the fourth end with a delicate tap-back to score another two points, this time for a 4-2 lead.
In the sixth end Scotland's skip Bruce Mouat played a draw-shot to score two points for his team and level the game at 4-4. Another draw by Mouat in the eighth end produced another score of two points, giving Scotland the lead in the game for the first time since the first end, at 6-5. Sweden then blanked the ninth end and in the tenth end their skip Edin, unintentionally, hit his final stone on a front guard, handing Scotland a steal of three points, their historic victory and the European title.
Afterwards, skip Mouat said: "It's unbelievable. It was a very good game. I'm so proud of the guys for playing so well and getting the shots. To get this is just the cherry on top of what we've really been working for. I tried to remain calm, have that kind of poker face and stuff, but nerves were definitely there."
"[Sweden,] they're formidable. You can't expect an easy game against a team like Niklas and his guys. So we knew that we were going to have to fight here."
Meanwhile, Sweden's Edin said: "It was always going to come down to the last shot and the last few ends that would decide the game. But they played really well, so I'm not really that disappointed. We lost to a better team today."
Final men's results and standings
Gold game: Scotland 9-5 Sweden
Bronze game: Italy 8-6 Germany
G Scotland (into world mens)
S Sweden (into world mens)
B Italy (into world mens)
4 Germany (into world mens)
5 Norway (into world mens)
6 Switzerland (into world mens)
7 Russia 3-6 (into world mens)
8 Netherlands 2-7 (into world qualification event)
9 Finland 2-7 (into world qualification event / relegated to 2019 B-Division)
10 Poland 1-7 (relegated to 2019 B-Division)
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