No Paralympic medal tilt for Motherwell curler Bob McPherson and Team GB

The big poster on the wall couldn't provide divine inspiration for Motherwell wheelchair curler Bob McPherson after missing out on a second Paralympic medal, writes Ross Lawson of Sportsbeat.

Thursday, 15th March 2018, 5:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th March 2018, 5:13 pm
Bob McPherson and his Great Britain mates were knocked out of the Paralympic curling medal reckoning on Thursday
Bob McPherson and his Great Britain mates were knocked out of the Paralympic curling medal reckoning on Thursday

The Scot was part of the rink that won bronze in Sochi at the last Winter Games four years ago, a memory plastered on the wall of the team’s base in PyeongChang.

But a repeat performance was not forthcoming as the team missed out on the semi-finals, two defeats on the last day seeing them eventually finish in seventh.

A narrow defeat to hosts South Korea and a thrashing by China saw them bow out on Thursday but, for McPherson at least, the damage can be traced back to one previous result.

“It was very hot and cold in the later stages, we got off to a really good start and had a dip against the United States which was a shame,” he said.

“It was disappointing, we recovered slightly but then had another dip and at this level you just can’t afford to do that.

“The USA game was the one, if we’d won that then we’d have been looking good, we never take anybody lightly, we treat everyone the same but the execution at the time just wasn’t as it should be.

“You can’t afford to all switch off, that’s what happened. The way Korea and China have played, they’ve been the best two teams out there so having them at the end of the week was always going to be a tricky test.

“We had the big poster on the wall of what we’ve done before and we wanted it again, it just wasn’t to be for us.”

For McPherson, skip Aileen Neilson, Angie Malone, Gregor Ewan and Hugh Nibloe, this was just the latest ride on their wheelchair curling rollercoaster.

Two years ago they were relegated to the second tier, leaving qualification for PyeongChang in doubt, all before storming to World Championship bronze last year.

But four years after Sochi bronze there was real belief the same could come again, especially when winning four out of their first five round-robin contests.

A lack of consistency proved an Achilles heel however, losing five of their last six since beating reigning Paralympic champions Canada on Monday.

By the end Britain were also relying on other results going their way, with Norway coming from three points down to beat Slovakia via an extra end to hammer the last nail into the coffin.

“We should have taken care of teams earlier on the week,” McPherson continued.

“We sat and watched the Norway game at lunchtime which was a great watch, but we didn’t execute our own performances on the day.

“But it’s been a really good tournament, the guys have stuck together really well throughout so from that perspective we’re really happy, we’re just disappointed not to be at the business end of the week,

“We’ve got the World Championships in Scotland in 2019 so we’ll get back, have a rest, have a holiday and then decide what we’re going to do.”

Sainsbury’s is a proud long-term supporter of the British Paralympic Association and a champion of inclusive sport for all.

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