Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Sweden:
"At the very last stone of the tenth end I was wondering who would be suffering from the most nerves: our team of Hannah Fleming, Lauren Gray, Alice Spence, Abi Brown or the growing Scots support in the crowd here in Ostersund at the World Junior Championships. Or possibly it was the coaches, Debbie Knox and Cate Brewster, with alternate Jennifer Martin, on the bench.
Having won the last stone draw at practice it was Italy who blanked the first two ends before having to take a single in the third. Scotland bounced back immediately with a hit for three in the fourth and stole a single in the fifth to lead 4-1 and everything was looking good for the win.
But this is curling, and not for the first time at these WJCC Scotland seemed to lose its way giving up three singles on the trot and suddenly the score read ITA 4 SCO 4. The nerves were jangling; mine were anyway, as Hannah and her team tried to keep in the game.
Scotland blanked the ninth which gave them the hammer in the tenth and we were to need it. With Italy lying shot but in the open Hannah had to hit and stay anywhere in the house for the win. A sweet release and long before the stone had reached its target the Scottish supporters were on their feet cheering the victory.
With Canada beating Russia, the Czech Republic beating Norway, and Japan defeating Switzerland, with two games to go Hannah's team can, at the worst, be in a tie-break situation.
At the bottom end of the table, Switzerland, Italy, Norway and the USA cannot make the playoffs."
RESULTS: Japan 10 Switzerland 4; Scotland 5 Italy 4; Canada 10 Russia 6; Sweden 11 USA 5; Czech Republic 11 Norway 4.
STANDINGS: 6/1 Canada, Scotland; 5/2 Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden; 4/3 Japan; 2/5 Switzerland; 1/6 Italy, Norway; 0/7 USA.
The event website is here.
Top photo: Hannah Fleming. Above: Hannah and Lauren discuss options. Photos © Leslie Ingram-Brown.