Tom Brewster's Scotland team sealed a place against table-toppers Canada with two wins yesterday at the World Men's Championship in Basle, following up a 9-6 victory over the Czech Republic and an 8-6 win over the USA, writes Mike Haggerty.
These games concluded the Scots' round-robin campaign on eight wins and three losses, the same as Norway, but Scotland are ranked second as they beat Norway in their head-to-head.
The Scots were 5-0 up after just three ends against the USA, but they hit a sticky patch in the middle of the game and were pulled back to 5-4.
Eventually, in the 9th end, skip Brewster drew for two points and an 8-5 lead, and although USA got a point back in the 10th, it was not enough and Scotland recorded their eighth win of the week.
Brewster said, "it's a tough slog out there. We got five up but that ice is tough to hit on, you couldn't put the brush down." As he looked forward to the prospect of facing Canada at least once more, he added: "They're not unbeatable".
Earlier, against the Czechs, the Scots took the lead in the third end and were never headed, scoring two in the 9th end and a single in the 10th for their win when Czech skip Jiri Snitil failed in a difficult attempt to level the game.
Imogen Bankier and Chris Adcock were rewarded for their victory at last weekend's Finnish Open by climbing into the world's top 10 for the first time.
The win in Vantaa earned them 4000 ranking points and lifted them two places to No.10 one place above their previous highest. The Anglo-Scottish pair are now 6400 ranking points ahead of GB rivals Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork, who remain at No.21 after missing the tournament in Finland.
Glasgow's Susan Egelstaff moved up three places after her efforts in reaching the Finnish semi-finals. She is No.33 in the rankings while GB rival Elizabeth Cann also went up three places to No.56 after reaching the last eight in Finland.
ABERDEENSHIRE have unveiled the overseas duo who will spearhead their bid for domestic honours, writes William Dick. The Mannofield club have snapped up Sri Lankan batsman Harsha Cooray as professional while Angad Singh will perform the amateur role. Cooray has starred for Falkland in the SNCL for the last two seasons, scoring more than 1200 runs at an average of 63 and also claiming 49 wickets. Singh is a South African-based all-rounder who will boost 'Shire's seam bowling attack.
Glynhill Kelburne and Grove Menzieshill are on a mission of recovery, to win their respective men's and women`s European Club Champions Trophy and return Scottish clubs to the elite EuroLeague after both were relegated from this competition over the last couple of years, writes Craig Madden. Kelburne travel to Lille to play HC Roma (Italy) today, then Whitchurch (Wales) and SV Arminen (Austria) in the pool competition, with the winner going into Monday`s final.
"This a tough format with four games in as many days against hardened European opposition. I've seen footage of Roma and Whitchurch who will provide their own challenge for us, but I would anticipate the final pool match against the Austrians to be the crucial encounter," said Mark Ralph, Kelburne's player coach.
"But most of our players have experienced this cut-throat type of European competition, so they know that it will be both a physical and mental test, and it will require self-discipline to be successful."
Grove have a similar tough assignment in Belfast with the powerful Eastern European pair of Victorya Smolevichi (Belarus) and MSC Sumchanka (Ukraine) in the pool along with Libertas San Saba (Italy).
Exam commitments have robbed the Dundonians of Danielle Johnston and Hazel Hall, while Jen Wright will also not make the trip. Grove kick off against Smolevichi today in what could be a physical contest.
Jeff Hutchins is under pressure to make the cut ahead of the World Championship in Slovenia, writes Nigel Duncan.
The Dundee CCS Stars forward was the only Scottish-based player named in Tony Hand's provisional 25-man squad and final preparations begin on Tuesday in Altrincham, after which Edinburgh-born coach Hand will make the final selection, cutting two names from the squad.
Hutchins, who was Dundee's top points scorer this season, said: "Being involved last year was fantastic and it was great to come back with a silver medal. I just hope that momentum can carry on from last year into Slovenia."
GB will face hosts Slovenia, along with Austria, Hungary, Japan and Ukraine in the six-team tournament between April 15 and 21.
Scotland lost their unbeaten record at the men's European Junior "C" Championships at Ravenscraig, Motherwell, where they went down 16-25, 16-25, 13-25 to favourites Cyprus.
The Scots face Ireland tonight and a victory would keep them in the medal hunt.