Joy for Ayrshire curling team as they pick up bronze medal at World Seniors

Pictured are the bronze medal winning Scotland team, consisting of Karen Kennedy (Skip), (third) Gail Thomson, (second) Alison Cunningham, (lead) Gillian King and (alternate) Margaret Richardson
Pictured are the bronze medal winning Scotland team, consisting of Karen Kennedy (Skip), (third) Gail Thomson, (second) Alison Cunningham, (lead) Gillian King and (alternate) Margaret Richardson -Credit:World Curling Federation/Raleigh Emerson

Members of the Ayrshire-based team that clinched third place for Scotland during the Senior Ladies World Curling Championships in Sweden have today spoken of their pride at landing a bronze medal.

The Scotland team, consisting of Karen Kennedy (Skip), (third) Gail Thomson, (second) Alison Cunningham, (lead) Gillian King and (alternate) Margaret Richardson, secured a podium spot in Östersund with a 6-3 victory over Switzerland.

It’s a sensational achievement for the Ayrshire ladies, who earned the right to play in the world championships after clinching the Scottish Senior Ladies Curling Championship, at Hamilton Ice Rink, earlier this year.

Speaking exclusively to Ayrshire Live, Ayr-based curler Gail Thomson, who plays for Sorn CC and Ayr CC, said: “It was always a dream of mine to represent Scotland; to have my name and Scotland on my back was something I thought would never happen.

“Except for Karen, the rest of the team had no international experience. I wasn’t sure how we would cope with the pressure and nerves of the occasion, but I think it brought out the best in us.

“It was a great team effort all week, everyone was supportive of each other. After losing to Canada, we regrouped and probably played our best game against Switzerland in the bronze medal match.”

Ali Cunningham, who is based in Darvel and represents Galston Haymouth CC and Ayr CC, said: “Dreams do come true! To be able to represent my country as a competitor in the sport I love, with fantastic team mates was incredible.

“What an utterly amazing experience we’ve all just had at the World Seniors.

“Fantastic arena and city, friendly and very skilled opponents on great ice, with awesome support from those who came to Ostersund and from those at home.

“Huge thanks to our generous main sponsor, the University of Strathclyde and also British Curling Supplies who helped with clothing and kit etc.”

Irvine-based Karen Kennedy, who represents the Reform CC said: “I’m so proud of the team performance over the week and delighted to come home with a medal after playing in our first Championship together.

“Thanks must go to the organising committee, volunteers and ice makers for their efforts in making the event run smoothly and providing excellent playing conditions, allowing for good games against strong opposition.

“None of this would have been possible without our main team sponsor, University of Strathcylde. We also received help from British Curling Supplies with our kit.

“A final thank you to our family and friends, who travelled to Oestersund, to support us and virtual fans through our Facebook page and livestreaming.”

The ladies started the tournament in fine fashion, beating Denmark 14-4.

The Scots then followed up that win with another victory, this time a 6–3 result against the United States.

Scotland’s third match in the round robin event saw them pitted against England, but the Ladies showed their true mettle, notching a 9-6 win.

A 10-3 victory over Australia was followed up by a 9-1 thrashing of New Zealand, earning them a place in the quarter finals.

In the last eight the Ladies took on Japan and this time the girls edged to a narrow 5-4 win.

In the last four they took on Canada and despite their best efforts, they were beaten 10-3.

Scotland then took on Switzerland in the bronze medal play-off match and the ladies secured the bronze with a 6-3 win.

Eventual gold medal winners were Canada, who won both the women’s and men’s teams competitions.

Scotland’s bronze medal success has been hailed on social media.

Kay Smith said: “Congratulations Ladies. Thoroughly deserved, you dug in well all week. Have a lovely celebration.”

And Sarah Greggan posted this message: “Well done Scotland Team, congratulations on winning the bronze medal.”

Anne Wilson added: “Congratulations, well done girls. Bronze at the worlds is some achievement.”

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