PyeongChang hopes high for wheelchair curlers after tournament win
Aileen Neilson’s rink are perfectly poised for PyeongChang selection after sealing a second tournament victory in a week at the US Open International Wheelchair Bonspiel.
The Scottish wheelchair curlers followed up last weekend’s win at the Cathy Kerr tournament in Ottawa with a 6-5 triumph over Canada in the US Open final.
Scotland started strongly, with a point in the first end and by the end of the third they were up 3-2, but Canada snatched the lead with a three-point fifth end.
Sochi bronze medallist Neilson made sure her team came good in the end, though, as they picked up a single before scoring two in the sixth to clinch victory.
Team Scotland beat Team USA 5-3 to reach the final, their fifth consecutive win at the competition, after section victories over USA 2, Carolina and Korea.
The rink, which won World Championships bronze in March, planned to use the events to try out different combinations of players ahead of the Paralympic Games.
The events in North America are the last major international competitions before the team is selected for PyeongChang and the trip across the pond has certainly proved fruitful.
Neilson was joined on the ice by fellow Sochi medallist Angela Malone, who was recently awarded an MBE for services to wheelchair curling.
While for former rugby player Hugh Nibloe, who joined the team for this Paralympic cycle, the trip has been an opportunity to compete for the first time on North American ice.
And Sochi bronze medallists Gregor Ewan and Robert McPherson, as well as John Doyle, all contributed impressive performances to help claim the win.