Slam Title and World Cup Final Bronze in First Year To Remember For Team Paterson
Skip Ross Paterson formed a new team at the start of the 2018-19 season and after setting ambitious targets they completed that first year together with a podium finish at the Curling World Cup Grand Final.
“Initially I was disappointed as we went into our last pool game with a three point lead and it felt like an opportunity missed, but having been at a World Cup qualifying event in Sweden earlier in our season, we knew we had to win five out of six games to get into the final,” he said.
Team Paterson’s only loss prior to the final pool game had been to Canada’s Team Koe and during their second winner takes all encounter, it was former world champion Kevin Koe and his rink who made it to the final and went on to win the title.
“It was a long way to go to Beijing, so we went to win and that would have been the icing on the cake for our season finale, however we came away with third so it was a positive end to the season and it was still a good result,” Paterson continued.
“We had three big events at the end of our season, The Players Championship, The Champions Cup and then the World Cup Grand Final. We reached the semi final at the Players and lost out to Team Bottcher who won the title. At our next event we played well at the Champions Cup but did not get a win, which shows that sometimes you need a bit of luck as well. So after that it was good to get some points on board at Beijing which has put us in good shape for the start of the next season”.
It was during that event that two of Paterson’s rink received the accolade of being members of the All Stars team, made up of the top performers at the Grand Final. Third Kyle Waddell and Second Duncan Menzies along with Canadian skip Matt Dunstone and Sweden’s lead Christoffer Sungren comprised the All Stars team and Paterson said he was extremely pleased for them.
“When we put the team together at the start of the year it was based around four guys who wanted to work hard, believed in ourselves and were ambitious. There were going to be no half measures and we wanted to aim high.
“Our first year has been satisfying. Hopefully we have now shown on Tour that we are a team that is here to compete and we know there are more improvements we can make and there is still lots of growth to come.”
In his new role as skip and with other team members also playing in new positions, Paterson feels they didn’t have the fastest of starts.
In both Tour events - the Ashley HomeStores Classic and then the Grand Slam Boost National - Paterson was facing fellow Scots in the finals, which helped demonstrate the strength of the men’s British Curling programme teams. They lost out to Olympians Team Glen Muirhead at the Classic and subsequently went on to face defending champions Team Mouat in the first ever all-Scottish Grand Slam final, where they won the National title.
“It is obviously a key highlight for us, to get a Grand Slam title in our breakthrough year. There are a lot of good teams which will go through many Slams before getting a title to their name, so it certainly helped us to kick on. When you are in the thick of it, sometime the curling season can feel a bit like a roller coaster ride, but at the end of it, with time to look back and digest it all, I am proud of what we have achieved getting into the top ten in the world.
“Improving our rankings was a key goal, but we did surpass what we thought we could do in our first year and the taste of success is a great motivator and it shows we deserve to be where we are. It was a big decision to take on my own team and to have the support of the boys and I think we should all be proud of our efforts.”
“It is important that we maximise our downtime, it will involve lots of golf hopefully but there will also be a lot of gym work. During the season it is often about maintenance gym work, whereas now it’s about focusing on improvement before we get back on the ice in July,” he said.
“It’s funny… when you are going well you want to continue, but a rest will be good too. It is time to take a step back, reflect, re-set the goals for next year and start planning.
“It has been a great year, there are no regrets and there is more to come from us.”
In an historic all-Scottish Grand Slam final, Team Paterson beat European Champions and defending champions Team Mouat to take the Boost National title. Improved their world rankings to reach top 10.
Triumph over adversity:
Operating as a three man team at the Red Deer Classic when lead Michael Goodfellow succumbed to food poisoning, Ross, Kyle and Duncan made it to the semi final at that event. They followed that result by reaching the final at the Ashley HomeStore Classic in their next event in another all Scottish final with Team Glen Muirhead, ahead of their first Slam win. Duncan Menzies then travelled back from that successful Canadian Tour to stand in for an injured Scott Andrews when he teamed up with Gina Aitken to win the Scottish Mixed Doubles Championships.
Kyle Waddell – Third – 90% - “It was a good week in China, the event was run well and I didn’t actually realise they were doing an All Star team. It was nice to finish the week in the All Star team, but with Duncan finishing top 2nd and Mike and Ross also playing well I felt we could have come out of that week with the win. But that’s curling, we still had a good week and it was a positive finish to a successful first season. “
Duncan Menzies – Second – 87% - “It’s been a great year for us and winning those titles and making the All Stars team all shows that the hard work we are putting in with British Curling is paying off, we are working along a clear road towards our goals and we are confident that the guidance we are receiving will get us there. We hope that we can continue this progress into next year and meet and surpass the goals that we have set ourselves.”
Images: Curling World Cup Bronze Medallists - ©WCF / Celine Stucki, Boost National images - Anil Mungal, Action images @ NCA - Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart.