Murdoch mops up Martin

It was a game for the ages. The final game of the Ford World Men’s Curling Championships came down to the last rock in the 10th end to break a 6-6 tie between Canada’s Kevin Martin and David Murdoch of Scotland.

Scotland skip David Murdoch

Scotland 7 Canada 6

MONCTON, N.B. — It was a game for the ages. The final game of the Ford World Men’s Curling Championships came down to the last rock in the 10th end to break a 6-6 tie between Canada’s Kevin Martin and David Murdoch of Scotland.

Martin, the defending world champion, was apparently in control with hammer but elected to throw his second last stone away to avoid a mess of rocks in the house. He then missed a pivotal double take out that gave Murdoch a steal of two and an 8-6 victory.

“Hell of a game,” muttered Martin as he came off the ice.

“They had us in a little trouble there — a lot of rocks in the four foot and theirs was in the middle,” he added. “I had to hit my last one a little thicker. It was close. We actually moved shot rock. It was close.”

It was the third straight loss for Martin to Murdoch at the world championships. Martin couldn’t hide his disappointment of losing in front of a partisan crowd.

“Never easy to lose especially when you have the hammer but they made the shots and got us in big trouble.”

Canada failed to win a gold medal on the world stage this year. Canada’s junior men and women finished with silver medals while Jennifer Jones came home with a fourth place finish from Korea.

Third John Morris appeared stunned after the loss and wasn’t in total agreement with Martin throwing away his first stone.

“It was a team decision. I probably wouldn’t have thrown it if I was throwing but Kevin was happy with it and we support him in his decision,” said Morris. “It was a bit of a gong show. It’s disappointing not to come home with the gold medal . . . I guess it’s better at a world final than an Olympic trial final. We’ll have to regroup and bounce back next week.”

Of all the victories for Murdoch over Martin, the third was the sweetest of them all.

“It’s a bit of a fairy tale. Somebody pinch me,” said Murdoch.

“It’s just unbelievable. You start the week and just hope you’ll get in the final and get a good game against Canada,” he added. “I beat them three times. I think that shows the belief that this team has.”

“This week is always a marker for next year (Olympics) and that shows we’re doing something right. We managed to beat an unbeatable Canadian team and so fingers crossed, this time next year things go well.”

Murdoch beat Martin in the round robin and again in the 1-verses-2 Page playoff game to earn an automatic berth in the final.

It’s the second title in four years for Murdoch, who beat Quebec’s Jean-Michel Menard in the 2006 gold-medal game in Lowell, Massachusetts and lost to Martin last year.

Martin, Morris, second Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert fell short in their quest to become the first repeat champions since Randy Ferbey won back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003.

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