As she and Bruce Mouat continued their domination of domestic mixed doubles curling Gina Aitken offered a demonstration of the ruthlessness required of champions by sweeping her parents aside the way to defending their Scottish title at Braehead yesterday.

The Edinburgh-based pair claimed their fourth victory in the event in five years, beating the only team to have denied them in that period when they beat husband and wife partnership Judith and Lee McLeary 8-0 in a final that was much tighter than the scoreline suggested since they registered just one two, at the third end and edged all the rest of the seven played.

They had earned their place in the final with a 12-4 semi-final win over Aitken’s mum Morna, who had bravely stepped into the breach after another of their daughters, Karina, had taken unwell following the round-robin stages and dad David, who is also their coach, but as Gina subsequently observed, with a wry smile: “I suppose he was winning both ways.”

In broader tournament terms there was considerable satisfaction, but awareness of the renewed responsibility their win has given them.

“We definitely got stronger towards the end. We’ve played a lot of mixed doubles this season so we felt that helped us,” said Aitken.

“We’ve still got lots to do, though. This was a great achievement and we’re really happy, but we know there’s a lot more work ahead of us before the worlds in April where we need to make sure we get enough Olympic points to qualify Team GB, so that’s the next goal and we know we’ve got lots of work to go.

“It’s a goal for us to get there, but I we not are the only people going for it. Obviously Jude and Lee are going for it. Some others are taking more interest in it and I wouldn’t say we’re dominant because against Jude and Lee we always have close games.”

She noted, too, that with the likes of Ross Paterson, who plays second for Scottish men’s champions Team Brewster, as well as Sarah Reid and Claire Hamilton, who have both played lead for Team Muirhead in recent seasons, the latter picking up an Olympic bronze medal in Sochi, it was the strongest field they have encountered in the Scottish Championships.

That was welcomed by British Curling’s performance director Graeme Thompson who noted that if Aitken and Mouat can complete the job of earning one of the eight Olympic spots for Team GB, a process they began last year when claiming fourth place at the World Championships, other leading curlers may come into the mix to compete with them.

“Bruce and Gina have done a fantastic job, getting lots of experience, but if we get to the Olympics we’ve got a plan where we’ll try to put the best pair on the ice, which is what we’re duty bound to do,” he said.

Since the Scottish champions also recently won the Bern International tournament against a world class field, however, they are very much in pole position and Mouat, who skipped his rink to victory at the World Junior Championships earlier this year, is anticipating additional domestic competition.

“Judith and Lee are up there with the best on the tour, so we knew Scotland would be in good hands if they go to the worlds, but we’re going now so hopefully we can put in another good performance to get more points for GB,” he observed.

“There are definitely a lot of teams coming in now though. We saw funded athletes coming in this time , so there are a lot of players who, if they don’t get a spot in the men’s or the women’s, they’ll start training up for that and the competition’s just going to get harder from now on.”