Scotland’s Jen Dodds and Bruce Mouat got their World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship campaign off to the perfect start by beating Italy.
The home pair defeated Italian duo Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner 7-4 at Curl Aberdeen.
Mouat said: “We started pretty fast and managed to get a good lead, 5-1 after four ends.
“From there it felt like we were controlling the game and got on top of the ice so it was a great start.
“It is nice to be in an environment where we know what Aberdeen is going to be like.
“Obviously it is a shame that we cannot have any crowd here because it would be amazing to have family and friends watching.
“Maybe another opportunity for that will come our way down the line, but for now we are happy to be here and happy to be playing.”
Debutant Dodds happy to get started
Dodds was pleased to make her debut in the tournament.
She and Mouat won the Scottish title last year, but the pandemic meant the World Mixed Championships didn’t take place in 2020.
Dodds said: “I feel like it was a long time coming, so I was a bit nervous going into the first game.
“But once you have had practice and you have thrown your first stone at the first end you kind of settle in quite easily.
“So it was a good to get going and we are glad to get that first win on the board.”
Dodds and Mouat started strongly picking up doubles in ends two and three to establish a 4-1 lead, with a single in the next adding to the advantage.
In the fifth end Italy struck back and picked up two shots, but a double from the Scots in the next was enough to secure victory with Italy only picking up one in end seven before throwing in the towel.
As well as trying to win a World Championship medal Dodds and Mouat are hoping to secure a spot for Great Britain in the mixed doubles event at next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.
To do that they need to finish in the top seven this week.
Elsewhere at Curl Aberdeen the Czech Republic beat Australia 9-3, Canada beat Spain 8-6, Germany prevailed 8-5 against Hungary and Korea won 6-5 against Russia.
On Tuesday Scotland face Australia at 9am and Spain at 4pm in their next two Group A games.