The Royal Caledonian Curling Club

The Royal Caledonian Curling Club

National Governing Body for Curling in Scotland

European Curling Championships Latest

Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 5:26pm

Men’s Final: Switzerland 8, Norway 6

In a game that turned on an eighth-end steal of three for Switzerland when Norwegian ski Thomas Ulsrud was heavy with his final draw, Switzerland’s Sven Michel and his team won their first -ever international medals, winning the men’s final by 8-6.

 

The Swiss gold medallists

The Swiss gold medallists

 

 

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Women’s Final: Sweden 10, Scotland 5; Men’s Bronze: Scotland 7, Denmark 6

Scotland’s women had to settle for European silver when they lost their final by 5-10 to Sweden.

At the same time, the Scottish men took bronze, beating Denmark by 7-6.

After being dominant all week, the Scottish women struggled in this game.  In the first end, Muirhead had a complete miss with her attempted take-out to hand Sweden a steal of one point.

A Muirhead nose-hit gave Scotland one shot in the second end, but in the third end Sweden made a breakthrough when fourth player Maria Prytz promoted one of her own stones and knocked out a Scottish counter to score three for a 4-1 lead.

Scotland blanked the fourth and took out a Swedish counter in the fifth to score two and close the gap to 4-3 in Sweden’s favour.  In the sixth Prytz left one Scottish stone in the house on an attempted double take-out and the single steal took the score to 4-4.  Sweden added another two shots in the seventh, at which point the Scots started to run out of time on the match-clock.   The teams swapped singles in the eighth and ninth ends,   The Scots were then forced to rush the last couple of ends and Muirhead had nowhere to go with her last shot in the tenth, which she played with only twelve seconds left.  Sweden stole three from this end for their 10-5 victory, and their country’s 19th women’s European title.

Muirhead found Sweden too strong on the day

Muirhead found Sweden too strong on the day

Afterwards, Muirhead admitted, “that was pretty sore.  We just didn’t seem to be as sharp as we had been for the rest of the week and we ended up running the clock down a bit.   But, give them their dues, they played well”.

She added, “when we got our steal in the sixth end to bring it back level I thought we really had a good chance, but when you’re running out of time you don’t have as long as you need to make decisions with your last stones and it does make you rush the whole game.  But we can’t use that as an excuse  – we just weren’t good enough today and that’s the bottom line”.

Moments after coming off the ice, she said, “Ttis is  not the big one this season, it’s not the be-all and end-all.  Our preparation is for Sochi.  It would  have been nice to come away with the gold medal, but we’ve had such a great week.  I think we’re in a really, really good place and I’m happy with the way things are going.  We’ve got a lot of good things to take away from this week but we just couldn’t finish it off today”.

In the bronze medal game between the Scottish men and Denmark, the Danes opened with a score of two. However the Scots took the lead in the fifth when Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne wrecked his last stone , leaving David Murdoch with a simple draw to score three points for a 4-3 lead.

The game came down to the tenth end and when Stjerne was heavy with his final draw leaving two Scottish counters in the house, Scotland won without Murdoch having to play his last stone.

Like Muirhead, Murdoch reflected on his overall performance and his Olympic plans saying, “we know what the real goal is this season, and this week was all about working hard as a team, having some good performances and playing well and I think we’ve done that.  We’ve not got a gold medal but we’ve shown what we’re capable of.  It’s all about keeping that good form now and training hard and keeping things going”.

In the women’s bronze medal game, Switzerland beat Denmark by 6-4.

 

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Semi-finals

Sweden beat Switzerland by 7-6 to win the women’s semi-final.  They now go on to play Scotland in Saturday morning’s gold medal final, while Switzerland will face Denmark for bronze.

In the men’s semi-final, Switzerland beat Denmark by 8-7  to go on to Saturday afternoon’s final against hosts Norway.  The bronze medal game will be between Denmark and Scotland, a re-run of the Page 3-4 game that Denmark won with a last stone steal.

In the world challenge games between the winners of the “B” divisions and the eighth-place finishers in the “A” division, Germany’s men’s “B” group winners beat Latvia by 7-2 in the first of their best-of-three series, while Finland’s women – also “B” group winners – beat Germany by 5-4.

Women’s Page Games: Switzerland 3, Scotland 10

The Scottish women continued their dominating style to beat Switzerland by 10-3 in Friday afternoon’s Page 1-2 Play-off game and book a place in Saturday morning’s final.

The teams swapped singles in the first two ends and then Scotland blanked the third.

In the fourth, with an earlier stone sitting at the back of the house, Muirhead had a hit and stay on a Swiss stone in the front of the house to claim two shots and take a 3-1 lead.

Scotland dominated...again

Scotland dominated…again

In the fifth end, Muirhead dislodged two Swiss stones to lie three when Swiss skip Mirjam Ott came to play her last, which was heavy, giving Scotland a steal of three , much to Ott’s obvious frustration.

The Swiss took a single in the sixth end to cut the Scottish lead to 6-2 and, in the seventh, Muirhead played two straight raises of her own stones to score four shots and effectively end the game.

At this point the teams shook hands, only to be reminded by the umpire that playing out eight ends isd mandatory at this stage of the event.  The eighth end was a quiet affair and Ott finally drew for one before the teams shook hands for real this time.

Meanwhile, Sweden beat Denmark by 10-2 to go onto the semi-final against Switzerland, with the Scots facing the winners of that for gold.

Afterwards, Muirhead said, “it feels great, this’ll be my fourth European final in a row.  We’re unbeaten so far this week, so we can’t complain, but we’ve still got a job to finish off”.

She acknowledged the dominating form her team has been showing, saying “we came out to do that. I think it shows we’re working hard a s a team and stamping down a marker before the Olympic Games.   Yes, this is a major Championships and we’re giving it everything,  but this is a stepping stone towards the Olympic Games”

And turning her thoughts to the Olympics and .the nation that will provide a strong challenge to her there, she said, “it’s good that the Canadians will be looking up the scores and seeing that we’re dominating.  It also stamps down a marker for them – we’re sending them a message too”.

Looking forward to the final, she said, “I think if we play the way we have been playing, it’ll be a good game.  Whoever it is – Switzerland or Sweden – will come out  firing.  When you get to a gold medal game you give it everything, but we know  how to win major championships, we know how to call a game against whoever we play.  We need to stay patient  – chances are it’ll come down to the last stone, last end – but if we can pull off shots like we have been pulling off…well”.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Men Page 3-4: Scotland 5, Denmark 6

The Scottish men will have to settle for bronze at best this week, as they went down to a last stone 5-6 defeat at the hands of Denmark in the Page 3-4 play-off game.

As the official stats show, the Scots outplayed their Danish opponents but, having controlled the game throughout, skip David Murdoch missed on a double take-out attempt with his last stone, letting Denmark steal one point for victory.

so near yet...

so near yet…

Denmark opened the game with a single, but the Scots took the lead with two points in the second when Murdoch tapped out a Danish stone.

The teams swapped singles in the next two ends and then the Scots stole one on the fifth when Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne. attempted to remove two Scottish stones but left one.

This gave the Scots a 4-2 lead but Denmark levelled in the sixth with a score of two.  The Scots were in trouble in the seventh end but rescued the situation with a perfect draw onto the button inside two Danish stones to score one.  Denmark levelled again in the eighth with a nudge up and then the Scots managed the ninth end well to blank it, and  keep last stone.

In the tenth, the Scots just failed on some tic shots and double take-outs and, when he came to play his last, Murdoch opted for a double rather than a draw.  He got the angles wrong, handing the win to Denmark.

Norway beat Switzerland by 7-4 in the Page 1-2 game to go straight to the final where they will face the winner of the semi-final between Denmark and Switzerland, while Scotland will play the losers for bronze.

Afterwards, Murdoch said, “that was very frustrating.  We never really had 100%  shots in that last end there – we missed our guards, missed our double guards, and we missed the last shot.  I’ve been happy to draw , but we were only left with the out-turn which was poker-straight, and we just weren’t  sure that we’d get the line to draw  in, so we thought we’d run the double and it tracked on us.  We were a bit robbed there because we were by far the better team”.

He added, “bronze medal game now, and we want something from this week, but we’re disappointed.  We came here  to win this, but at least this event  is not the big picture for this season”.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Women 9: Switzerland 3, Scotland 13

The Scottish women concluded their round-robin programme with a convincing 13-3 win over Switzerland, a result that means they have now maintained their 100% record through the entire round-robin, with nine wins from nine starts.

Until this point, Switzerland were the only other undefeated team in the event, but the Scottish play overwhelmed them in just seven ends.

The Swiss had last stone in the opening end, but the Scots stole two.  To the obvious annoyance of the Scots, disappointed in their own slackness, Switzerland managed to respond with a two of their own in the second end, but after that, it was all Scotland.

despite Mirjam Ott's best efforts, the Scots overwhelmed Switzerland

despite Mirjam Ott’s best efforts, the Scots overwhelmed Switzerland

Three shots in the third end were followed by a steal of one in the fourth and a steal of two in the fifth for an 8-2 halftime lead.  Switzerland put their third point on the board in the sixth and then, when Muirhead’s last draw in the seventh came beautifully into position to score five for a 13-3 lead, the Swiss conceded.

After the game, a delighted Muirhead said, ” I’m really pleased.  It’s good to come out and play very, very well.  We put a lot of pressure on them and I think the scoreboard shows that”.

When asked to review her overall performance so far, she said simply, “we’re unbeaten in the round-robin nine and zero.  We knew there were going to be some close games, but we’re really  chuffed”, and looking forward to the Page 1-2 game, against Switzerland again, she added, “it’s going to be a big game tonight, against Switzerland again.  I’m sure they’re going to come out firing”.

While the Page 1-2 line-up is already known, three teams are tied in third place – Denmark, who beat the Czech Republic by 10-5 in this session, Russia – 11-5 victors over Italy, and Sweden, who beat Germany by 7-5.  Among these, Sweden, with the best draw shot record of the three, have ranked third and will play the Page 3-4 game against the winner of a tie-breaker between Denmark and defending champions Russia.

RESULTS

Sweden 7, Germany 5; Czech Republic 5, Denmark 10; Norway 6, Latvia 10; Italy 5, Russia 11; Switzerland 3, Scotland 13.

Standings after 9 sessions:

Scotland 9-0 (To play Switzerland in 1v2 Page Play-off & qualified for WWCC)

Switzerland 7-2 (To play Scotland in 1v2 Page Play-off & qualified for WWCC)

Sweden 6-3 (To play winner of Tie-breaker in 3v4 Page Play-off & qualified for WWCC)

Russia 6-3 (To play Denmark in Tie-breaker & qualified for WWCC)

Denmark 6-3 (To play Russia in Tie-breaker & qualified for WWCC)

Czech Republic 4-5 (Qualified for WWCC)

Latvia 3-6 (Qualified for WWCC)

Germany 2-7 (To play best of three games play-off against winner of B-Group for final place at WWCC 2014)

Norway 1-8 (Relegated to B-Group)

Italy 1-8 (Relegated to B-Group)

WWCC = Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2014

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Men 9: Scotland 6, Norway 5

The Scottish men completed their round-robin campaign with a 6-5 win over Norway, a result that robs the Norwegians of their 100% record this week.

At the same time, Switzerland beat Denmark by 5-4 , and this all means that Norway rank first and will play second-placed Switzerland in the Page 1-2 game, while Denmark rank third and will face Scotland in the Page 3-4 game.

Scotland’s game against Norway was always going to be tight.  Scotland had last stone in the first end and the teams swapped singles in the first three ends.  The Scottish breakthrough came in the fourth end when skip David Murdoch put his last stone on the button frozen onto a Norwegian stone and Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud elected to throw his own last away and give up one, rather than risk more damage.

In the fifth, Ulsrud was long with his last draw to give Scotland another single steal and a 4-1 lead.

However, the Norwegians brought themselves back into it with a draw for two in the sixth end to close the gap to 4-3 in Scotland’s favour.

Scotland then blanked the seventh and took a single from the eighth with a draw to within the four foot ring.

Norway scored two in the ninth when Ulsrud nose-hit to level at 5-5 and the game finally came down to another precision draw by Murdoch, well-swept by his front end, to score the one shot needed for a 6-5 win.

good sweeping played a crucial role in Scotland's win

good sweeping played a crucial role in Scotland’s win

Afterwards, Murdoch  said, ” that game didn’t really mean a lot in some ways,  but it was important that we had a really good performance and show everyone here what this team is capable of.  To beat the Norwegian team, who’ve been going well all week, I think that says a lot about  how this team is playing now”.

He added, “we’re good friends with these guys and it was a bit of a laugh and a joke at the start, but you want the bragging rights and you want to keep the train running.  When you’re doing well and you’ve had a lot of good games at the end of the round-robin, you don’t want to finish on a loss.  So once we got over the laughing and what not, we really focussed on the game”.

Looking forward to the medal games, he said, “the teams in the last four are all tough and everyone’s been training hard.  It’s the Olympic year and everyone’s at their best, so it’s going to be a battle whoever we play.  I’d be scared to play us just now, we’re playing well and we’re actually playing with a good confidence and a good fighting spirit in the team”.

And recalling his last stone draw he said, “we’ve had the four-foot in the bag all game.  You give a shot to those sweepers and they’ll put it on the button for you”.

RESULTS:

Czech Republic 8, Latvia 4; Sweden 8, Finland 5; Scotland 6, Norway 5; Denmark 4, Switzerland 5; Russia 10, France 2.

Standings:

1.Norway won 8, lost 1 (to play Switzerland in 1v2 Page Play-off)

2. Switzerland 7-2 (to play Norway in 1v2 Page Play-off)

3. Denmark 7-2 (To play Scotland in 3v4 Page Play-off)

4. Scotland 7-2 (To play Denmark in 3v4 Page Play-off)

5. Sweden 5-4 (Qualified for WMCC 2014)

6. Russia 4-5 (Qualified for WMCC 2014)

7. Czech Republic 3-6 (Qualified for WMCC 2014)

8. Latvia 2-7 (To play best of three play-off against winner of B-Group for final place at WMCC 2014)

9. France 1-8 (Relegated to B-Group)

10. Finland 1-8 (Relegated to B-Group)

WMCC = World Men’s Curling Championship

 

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Women 8: Scotland 10, Norway 1

The Scottish women continued their unbeaten run with a completely one-sided 10-1 win over Norway in Wednesday afternoon’s eighth round-robin session.

Norway won the draw shot challenge to have last stone in the first end, but the Scots promptly stole two shots in that end, and followed that up with a steal of two in the second and a  further steal of three in the third.

Norway gained their solitary shot in the fourth and then Eve Muirhead’s women scored two in the fifth end to go into the halftime break 9-1 up.  When Norwegian skip Marianne Roervik wrecked with her last stone in the sixth to give Scotland another steal for one, the Norwegians conceded.

Anna Sloan delivers

Anna Sloan delivers

After the game, Muirhead said, “that was a good solid performance.  When you get up on the scoreboard, it’s hard to keep your concentration, but we did that and played all the simple shots well”.

The Scots now conclude their round-robin programme on Thursday morning against Switzerland, who suffered their first defeat of the week, going down by 4-6 to Russia, in this session.

Not surprisingly, Muirhead is expecting a much bigger test then.  “Tomorrow  is a crucial game against Switzerland” and she explained, “it’s basically for hammer in the Page 1-2 game, but everything seems to be going well”.

Below the Scots and Switzerland, three teams – Denmark, Russia and Sweden – are still in contention for the other two Page play-off slots.

RESULTS

Session 8: Russia 6, Switzerland 4; Sweden 8, Latvia 1; Czech Republic 7, Germany 4; Scotland 10, Norway 1; Denmark 7, Latvia 2.

Standings after 8 sessions: Scotland won 8, lost 0; Switzerland 7-1; Denmark, Russia, Sweden 5-3; Czech Republic 4-4; Germany, Latvia 2-6; Italy, Norway 1-7.

 

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

 

Men 8: France 2, Scotland 9

The Scottish men sealed Page Play-off qualification with a clinical 9-2 despatch of France in just six ends of their eighth round-robin game on Wednesday morning.

France have won only one game so far this week and seem destined for next year’s “B” division, so this result came as no surprise.  They won last stone advantage and used it to score one in the first end, but after that it was virtually one-way traffic, with the Scots scoring two in the second, three in the fourth, then a steal of three in the fifth, and a further steal of one in the sixth – when French skip Joffrey Vincent faced four Scottish counters as he played his last shot  – to see the game out.

the skips getting up close

the skips getting up close

Results elsewhere have now finalised the men’s Page Play-off teams with a last round-robin session still to be played on Wednesday evening.  Unbeaten Norway will play either Denmark or Switzerland in the Page 1-2 game, depending on who wins the last round-robin game between those two, while Scotland will contest the Page 3-4 game with the loser of that game.

Speaking after the game, Scottish skip David Murdoch said, ” That’s the first thing you always look for, to get into the play-offs.  That performance was solid throughout.  If we keep playing like this and we’re confident, we can make a lot of shots and hopefully win a few more games”.

Looking forward to playing with the stakes a little bit higher from here on, he added, “in some ways we prefer the  big teams.  We like the intensity and we’re looking forward to playing those guys”.

RESULTS

Session 8: Switzerland 8, Russia 3; Czech Republic 4, Norway 6; Sweden 7, Latvia 3; France 2, Scotland 9; Finland 5,Denmark 8.

Standings after 8 sessions: Norway won 8, lost 0; Denmark 7-1; Switzerland, Scotland 6-2; Sweden 4-4; Russia 3-5; Czech Republic, Latvia 2-6; Finland, France 1-7.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Women 7: Scotland 6, Sweden 5

Eve Muirhead’s women kept their unbeaten record alive – but only just – with a 6-5 win over Sweden that was sealed with a last-end single steal.

This was a tight game all the way.  Scotland scored first to take the lead, with the teams swapping singles for the first seven ends.

The game against Sweden finished with a tense final end

The game against Sweden finished with a tense final end

Sweden made the break-through in the eighth end, scoring two with a nose-hit by fourth player Maria Prytz to take the lead for the first time in the game at 5-4.  In the ninth Muirhead’s attempted take-out of a Swedish stone missed completely and the Scots then depended on an umpire’s measure to give them the one shot that levelled the game when it was determined that a Scottish stone already in the house was just inside the Swedish stone that Muirhead had failed to clear.

The Scots built a good position in the tenth end and eventually, with the ice seeming to frost a little, Prytz caught one of her own front stones with her final draw, giving a steal of one and the game to Scotland.

This win kept Scotland’s unbeaten record going, and Switzerland also kept their 100% with an 8-2 win over Germany.  These two teams have now definitely qualified for the 1-2 Page Play-off and they face each other in Thursday’s final round-robin session.

After the game, Muirhead said, “I thought that was a very high quality game, it’s always going to come down to the last end, last stone against Sweden. It’s always a really tough game but we managed to grind it out.  A win’s a win and we’ll take it.  We just wanted to make sure we made them play their last stone., because there was a lot of pressure on them in that game”.

RESULTS

Session 7: Norway 7, Czech Republic 8 (extra end); Germany 2, Switzerland 8; Denmark 6, Russia 5; Latvia 11, Italy 5; Scotland 6, Sweden 5.

Standings after 7 sessions: Scotland, Switzerland won 7, lost 0; Denmark, Russia, Sweden 4-3; Czech Republic 3-4;  Germany, Latvia 2-5; Italy, Norway 1-6.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Men 7: Scotland 9, Sweden 5

The Scottish men completed their best day of the Championships so far when they beat world champions Sweden by 9-5 in their seventh round-robin session on Tuesday afternoon, following up their morning win over the Czech Republic, also by 9-5.

The first half of this game was cagey.  The Scots opened with a single in the first end and then Sweden blanked the second before scoring two in the third.  The Scots then scored two in the fourth end to go 3-2 up and then Sweden emerged with two shots from a fifth end that turned into a contest to see who could produce the most accurate freeze.  Fortunately for the Scots Swedish skip Niklas Edin wrecked with his last, keeping the damage to the Scots down to only two shots lost, and giving Sweden a half-time 4-3 lead.

"Hurry!!"

“Hurry!!”

Good play by the Scots in the sixth saw them build up stones in the house and when Edin again wrecked with his last, Scottish skip David Murdoch played a precision hit to roll out two Swedish stones in the house and score a game-turning five for an 8-4 lead.

Sweden blanked the seventh and then the teams swapped singles in the eighth and ninth ends, after which the Swedes conceded with a final score of 9-5 to Scotland.

After this win, Murdoch was rightly elated, and he said, “we’ve said all year that this team’s developing and, to any of the doubters out there – this team’s here to play this season.  The whole team’s playing hard and it’s wins like that this that we know we’re capable of.  We went out there knew we could win this game.  When we play like that we can down the world champions, we can take down a lot of teams, and that’s how we need to play every game.  The true talent of this team is coming out”.

And asked when was the last time that he’d taken five off a world champion team, he admitted, “that could have been a first!”

This win means that both the men and women have safely qualified Scotland for next year’s World Championships, while Murdoch’s team are now guaranteed at least a tie-breaker here, even if they lose both their remaining games on Wednesday, against bottom-of-the-pile France and table-topping Norway.

RESULTS

Session 7: Scotland 9, Sweden 5; Latvia 4, Russia 7; Finland 7, Switzerland 9; Norway 7, Denmark 3; France 6, Czech Republic 7.

Standings after 7 sessions: Norway won 7, lost 0; Denmark 6-1; Scotland, Switzerland 5-2, Russia, Sweden 3-4;  Czech Republic, Latvia 2-5; Finland 1-6, France 1-6.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

 

Women 6: Italy 1, Scotland 12

Eve Muirhead’s women outclassed their young opponents from Italy to win their sixth round-robin game by 12-2 in just six ends on Tuesday afternoon.

In doing so, they qualified Scotland for this season’s Ford World Women’s Championship in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

For the third successive game, the Scottish women opened with a big score, as Muirhead drew her last stone of the first end into the house to score five.  The Scots followed that up with a steal of two in the second.

Italy opened their account with a single shot in the third, but the Scots responded with three in the fourth and a further steal of two in the fifth.

When Italian skip Veronica Zappone drew her final stone inside the sole Scottish stone in the house to score one in the sixth end, the Italians immediately offered handshakes.

Eve keeps a watching brief

Eve keeps a watching brief

After the game, a relaxed Muirhead addressed the issue of how to cope with being so far ahead in a game, saying, ” we have to  make sure we keep making the simple shots.  We’ve got Sweden tonight and that’s going to be a tough game.  You can’t get complacent out there, it’s just making sure you nail the simple shots”.  And recalling being taken all the way to the tenth end by the Czechs on Monday after opening with a five, she added, “you can easily make a few mistakes and bring your opponents back into the game, so it’s just making sure that doesn’t happen”.

In this session, Switzerland also won, beating the Czech Republic by 9-3, and this keeps the Swiss and the Scots tied at the top of the table

RESULTS

Session 6: Latvia 6, Denmark 8; Italy 2, Scotland 12; Sweden13 , Norway 6; Czech Republic 3, Switzerland 9; Germany 2, Russia 8.

Standings after 6 sessions: Scotland, Switzerland won 6, lost 0; Russia, Sweden 4-2; Denmark 3-3; Czech Republic, Germany 2-4; Italy, Latvia, Norway 1-5.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Men 6: Czech Republic 5, Scotland 9

The Scottish men produced a slick performance against the Czech Republic to record their fourth win of the week,  by 9-5, in Tuesday morning’s sixth session of round-robin play.

an improved performance all round by the Scottish men

an improved performance all round by the Scottish men

With last stone advantage, and with previously sick skip Jiri Snitil restored to the line-up, the Czechs scored one in the first end, but David Murdoch’s men took an early lead, scoring two in the second.  The Czechs could only respond with another single shot in the third and then, when their third player Martin Snitil clipped a guard in the fourth, the Scots were able to capitalise, scoring three in the end for a 5-2 lead.  They then moved further ahead with a single steal in the fifth end.

The Czechs had a revival in the sixth end, scoring two, but the Scots carved out another two shots in the seventh when Murdoch’s final draw was well-swept into position.

The teams swapped singles in the eighth and ninth ends before the Czechs conceded defeat with the score at 9-5 to Scotland.

The Scottish team line-up in this game was as it has been all week so far, with Tom Brewster sitting out, and after the game Murdoch celebrated the team’s – and his own – return to form, saying, “I thought that was a real commanding performance.  Right through the team – lead through skip – we just dominated every position and forced a lot of pressure.  We took twos in the right spots and forced them to make hard shots.  That’s the kind of game that we’re needing and if we play like that against Sweden, we’re in with a good chance”.

As Murdoch mentioned, the Scots ‘s next opponents are Sweden, on Tuesday afternoon.  Meanwhile, Norway and Denmark remain undefeated, as Scotland share third spot with Switzerland, two wins behind them.

RESULTS

Session 6: Norway 10, Finland 4; Denmark 9, France 2; Czech Republici5, Scotland 9; Sweden 5, Russia 6; Latvia 6, Switzerland 7.

Standings after 6 sessions: Denmark, Norway won 6, lost 0; Scotland, Switzerland 4-2; Sweden 3-3; Latvia, Russia 2-4; Czech Republic, Finland, France 1-5.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Women 5: Scotland 10, Czech Republic 9

Scotland’s women continued their winning ways with a 10-9 win over the Czech Republic that was more comfortable than the score suggests, in Monday evening’s fifth session of round-robin play.

Earlier in the day, skip Eve Muirhead had spoken about the need to be “fired from the start” and her team did that even more effectively in this game as she drew her final stone of the first end into a collection of her own red stones to open the scoring with a five.

Vicky Adams seems clear about what she wants her sweepers to do!

Vicky Adams seems clear about what she wants her sweepers to do!

The Czechs responded with a score of two in the second end, after which Muirhead blanked the third, before moving further ahead with a two in the fourth.  The Czechs responded once again with two shots in the fifth and, in the sixth, Muirhead uncharacteristically made two mistakes with her draws – being long and then short, to score just one shot from an earlier stone lying in the house.

The Czechs fought back once again with a further two in the seventh end to push the score to 8-6 in Scotland’s favour, but Muirhead returned to good shooting form in the eighth when she hit and stayed to knock out two Czech counters and score two shots again.

In the ninth, a well-judged draw by Czech skip Anna Kubeskova gave her team another two shots and closed the gap to 10-8, but the Scots won in the tenth when Muirhead removed one of two Czech stones lying in the house for a final score of 10-9.

This win keeps the Scots in joint top spot with Switzerland and keeps their 100% record intact.

Afterwards, Muirhead said, “whenever you get a lead early on, they’re always going to be chasing.  It’s different when you’re chasing because you’ve got nothing to lose when you give up a five.  But we still managed to convert our twos when we had hammer.  We might have given away some cheap twos ourselves, but we still did enough to win”.

The Scottish women now go on to face Italy and then Sweden on Tuesday.

RESULTS

Session 5: Switzerland 10, Italy 1; Latvia 2, Russia 10; Scotland 10, Czech Republic 9; Norway , Germany 8; Sweden 6, Denmark 4.

Standings after 5 sessions: Scotland, Switzerland won 5, lost 0;  Russia, Sweden 3-2; Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany 2-3; Italy, Latvia, Norway 1-4.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Men 5: Scotland 7, Latvia 6

It took all the way to a very nervy tenth end, but Scotland beat Latvia by 7-6 in Monday’s fifth session of men’s round-robin play to move into joint third place on the table alongside Sweden and Switzerland, two wins behind unbeaten joint leaders Denmark and Norway.

Scotland gave up a steal of one in the first end, but, after blanking the second, took the lead with a score of two in the third.

the concerned Scottish faces say it all about the game against Latvia

the concerned Scottish faces say it all about the game against Latvia

Latvia then scored two in the fourth to regain the lead, but Scottish skip David Murdoch played a nice little tap-out and lie with his last effort of the fifth to move 4-3 ahead.

The Scots restricted Latvia to a single shot in the sixth and then, when looking to blank the seventh end, Murdoch had a complete miss that handed Latvia a steal of one and a 5-4 lead.  By this stage Scotland were starting to feel the pressure and, as he delivered his final draw in the eighth, Murdoch was facing six Latvian counters in the house.  He made it.

There were loads of stones in play in a tense ninth end as the Scots tried to force Latvia to take a single.  Latvian skip Ritvars Gulbis moved several stones with his last heavy hit and a measure meant that Latvia emerged from the end with a single shot and a 6-5 lead, but without hammer for the tenth.

Earlier in the game, a brief power-cut meant that time-clocks had to be dispensed with, and the tenth end, which featured almost every stone in play, took longer and longer as each shot was debated back and forth by the teams.

After something like a five-minute deliberation by Latvia before their last stone, the umpire finally intervened.   Despite their debate – perhaps because of it – the Latvians made an unlikely call and tried to promote a short front guard.  It whistled wide and the Scots scored two for a 7-6 win without having to play their last stone.

Afterwards, a relieved Murdoch said, “it’s the result that matters, of course, but that was down to some not-so-good play by me, the guys played well.  If I had made any of my first shots in the early ends then we’d have been scoring threes for fun and it would have been an entirely different game”.

Talking about the last end he said, “their third played a really good first stone, into a good spot and I clipped with my first, but we got the two in the end somehow or other”.

More generally, he added, “that win keeps us in good shape on the rankings, and if we can get a win off one of the top teams later on, then we’ll be OK”.

The Scottish men face the Czech Republic – who have been without their sick skip JIri Snitil –  and then Sweden in their Tuesday games.

RESULTS:

Session 5: Russia 4, Denmark 7; Norway 8, Switzerland 6; France 2, Sweden 6; Scotland 7, Latvia 6; Czech Republic 9, Finland 11 (extra end).

Standings after 5 sessions:  Denmark, Norway won 5, lost 0; Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland 3-2; Latvia 2-3; Czech republic, Finland, France, Russia 1-4.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Women 4: Denmark 1, Scotland 10.

The Scottish women made short work of their Monday morning game against Denmark, in their fourth session of round-robin play, winning by 10-1 in just six ends.

Eve Muirhead: "we've got to be really fired from the start"

Eve Muirhead: “we’ve got to be really fired from the start”

Muirhead’s team opened with a three in the first end and followed that with a steal of two in the second and a further steal of three in the third.

Denmark managed their solitary one point in the fourth and then Scotland took one more of their own in the fifth for a 9-1 half-time lead.

Danish skip Lene Nielsen was short with her first stone in the sixth and then all the way through with her second to hand Scotland a single steal in the sixth.  Nit surprisingly, with the mandatory minimum of six ends completed, the Danes shook hands.

Afterwards, Muirhead said, ” Our first few games have been good but we’ve gotten off to slow starts, so we said that we’ve got to be really fired from the start and that’s what we did there.  That was a good team performance, the four of us really strung together, and all of us played well”.  Turning her attention to Denmark she added, “they were under a lot of pressure for the whole game”.

Along with Switzerland, who beat Sweden by 7-3 in this session, the Scots remain unbeaten so far.  They now face the Czech Republic on Monday evening, who had their second win of the week when they beat Latvia by 11-1.

RESULTS

Session 4: Czech Republic 11, Latvia 1; Switzerland 7, Sweden 3; Germany 14, Italy 2; Denmark 1, Scotland 10; Russia 12, Norway 3.

Standings after four sessions: Scotland, Switzerland won 4, lost 0; Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia, Sweden 2-2; Germany, Italy, Latvia, Norway 1-3.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Men 4: Switzerland 8, Scotland 6.

The Scottish men went down to their second defeat of the week when they lost their fourth round-robin game by 6-8 to Switzerland.

This game was tight all the way.  The Scots gave up a steal of one in the first end but levelled in the second before nudging ahead with a single steal in the third end for 2-1.

Switzerland’s Michel Sven then blanked the fifth end before taking the lead again – at 3-2 – with a score of two in the fifth end.  After the break, the Scots seemed to be in control, scoring two in the sixth end, but they could never properly break free, as the teams swapped twos in the seventh and eight ends.

The ninth end was crucial.  Scottish skip David Murdoch opted to attempt a take-out of a Swiss counter and then hide behind cover.  But he wrecked on a front guard and left Sven with a straightforward draw to score three and take an 8-6 lead. Eventually, the Scots ran out of stones in the tenth and conceded a game that they know they could, and perhaps should, have won.

David Murdoch disappointed by defeat

David Murdoch disappointed by defeat

Afterwards, Murdoch said, “that’s disappointing.  We played a lot of nice shots, but also some slack ones, especially in the ninth end.  I think it was the right call in the ninth, we’d seen a few really curling in there and we were pretty unfortunate not to tickle one out of there – that’s one that got away really”

Reflecting on the overall event so far, he added, “this tournament is always tough in Olympic year, everyone’s at their best, so it’s going to be a tough week”.

Meanwhile Swiss skip Sven said, “we’re pleased with that win.  It was a tough game, up and down.  Both teams had their chances to win and we were the lucky ones this time.  We’re on our plan at the moment.  We’re playing good,  but we could play better, and we’ll try for a better performance tomorrow, but our plan is going well so far”.

The Scottish men now go on  to face Latvia on Monday, as they attempt to keep themselves in the play-off mix.

RESULTS.

MEN.

Session 4: Sweden 6, Norway 7 ; Russia 6, Czech Republic 8; Latvia 2, Denmark 6; Finland 5, France 6; Switzerland 8, Scotland 6.

Standings after 4 sessions: Denmark, Norway won 4, lost 0; Sweden, Switzerland 3-1; Latvia, Scotland 2-2; Czech Republic, France, Russia, 1-3; Finland 0-4.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Women 3: Scotland 7, Germany 6

The Scottish women kept their unbeaten record going with a 7-6 win over Germany’s Andrea Schoepp in Sunday afternoon’s third session of round-robin play.

Scotland won the draw shot challenge, but Germany stole a single to open the scoring in the first end.  The Scots responded with a score of two in the third, but Germany had a two of their own in the third.  The Scots then scored another two in the fourth for a 4-3 lead when skip Eve Muirhead split the house with her first stone before delivering a nose-hit and stay with her second.

Germany levelled the scores in the fifth with a single score and, after the break, Muirhead had a draw for another two, which she  made, after an attempted cross-house double by Schoepp just failed.

The eyes have it as Scotland beat Germany

The eyes have it as Scotland beat Germany

The Germans scored another single in the seventh to hang on and, after getting into some trouble in the eighth, Muirhead was left with a difficult angle double off one of her own wingers that just failed, giving Germany a steal of one and levelling the game at 6-6.

In the ninth, the Germans brought their first stone into the house and this eventually allowed the Scots to blank the end and keep last stone advantage for the tenth.

In what became a tense last end, Muirhead just missed on a long promote with her first stone but successfully got round a busy head to just nudge out the German shot-stone and score the one needed for her win.

Elsewhere, both Italy and Russia recorded their first wins to leave only Germany without a win, while Switzerland beat Latvia to stay on top alongside Scotland.

After the game, Muirhead said, “it was good to get a game going right down to the last end.  It was a good game and a good battle.  We managed to get our twos but we gave up a cheap steal in the eighth end which brought them back into it.  But we then had a couple of  good ends to come out on top”.

Speaking about the eighth end in more depth, she said, “the eighth wasn’t a bad end…maybe looking back at it now I would have a different decision on one of my calls, but it wasn’t all wrong.  We managed to blank the last end – to have control of the hammer in the last end is always good”.

And commenting on the general depth of the field she faces, she said, “there’s a bit of a gap, but every team can pull out some good shots.  All of these teams are coming on now”.

The Scottish women now go on to face Denmark and then the Czech Republic on Monday.

RESULTS

Session 3: Denmark 9, Norway 2; Scotland 7, Germany 6; Russia 9, Sweden 4; Switzerland 9, Latvia 7; Italy 9, Czech Republic 2.

Standings after 3 sessions: Scotland, Switzerland won 3, lost 0; Denmark, Sweden 2-1; Czech Republic, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Russia 1-2, Germany 0-3.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

MEN 3: Finland 4, Scotland 9

Scotland’s men recorded their second victory of the week when they beat Finland by 9-4 in Sunday afternoon’s third session of men’s round robin play here in Stavanger.

This ended up as a comfortable win for the Scots but alarm bells were ringing briefly when Finland opened the scoring with a steal of one in the second end.  However, the Scots grabbed control straight after that, scoring two in the third end for a lead they were never to give up.

Scotland's men in act ion against Finland

Scotland’s men in act ion against Finland

The Scots’ team line-up was unchanged from the previous two games and they got into the driving seat in the fourth end when Finnish skip Toni Anttila was light with an attempted draw into a busy house and wrecked, handing the Scots a steal of three.  Interestingly, it took four different measures by two different umpires before it was adjudged that the Scots had taken the third shot from the end.

The Finns battled back, scoring a three of their own in the fifth end but in the sixth the Scots moved further ahead when skip David Murdoch cleared out a Finnish stone from the house with his first stone and then produced a precision nose-hit with his second to score three for an 8-3 lead.  The teams swapped singles in the next two ends and the Finns conceded after nine ends.

Afterwards, Murdoch was full of praise for his opponents.  “They actually played tremendously well in the first few ends” he said, “and we had to hit top gear to get away from them.   But we got a big steal in the fourth and that was it”.

He added, “we had lots of patience  in the sixth, we made a couple nice ones in the end and then ‘boom!’ – there’s your three.  That was pretty much game over”.

He also praised the work of the ice-makers as they struggle with bedding in new ice in a huge arena, big enough to provide separate ice-pads for both the “A” and “B” divisions, as well as a handful of recreational sheets.   He said, “it’s nice when you can really trust the ice and really trust the shots  The ice is coming up a little bit in speed, so credit to the two Marks (ice-makers), who are doing a great job”.

The Scottish men return on Sunday evening to face Switzerland, who share the same won two, lost one record with the Scots.

RESULTS.

MEN.

Session 3: Finland 4, Scotland 9; France 6, Latvia 8; Switzerland 5, Czech Republic 3; Russia 2, Norway 7; Denmark 9, Sweden 3.

Standings after 3 sessions:  Denmark, Norway won 3, lost 0; Latvia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland 2-1; Russia 1-2; Czech Republic, Finland, France 0-3.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

 

Women 2: Latvia 5, Scotland 12

Eve Muirhead’s women survived an early scare – going 0-3 down after three ends – to eventually carve out a comfortable 12-5 win over Latvia in Sunday morning’s second session of round-robin play.

Sco W v Latvia W2

Latvian skip Evita Regza won the draw shot challenge to open with last stone advantage and used that to blank the first end and then score two in the second.

Latvia followed that up with a single steal in the third for an eyebrow-raising early lead, but the Scots restored the situation in the fourth, when Muirhead’s last tap-up to a busy house removed the only Latvian stone in a cluster to score five.

Latvia responded with a single in the fifth for a halftime 5-4 score in Scotland’s favour.

Latvian skip Regza had a complete miss in the sixth end which let the Scots split the house, and eventually Muirhead hit and stayed for two.  The Scots then stole a single in the seventh end, for 8-4 and, after Latvia put a single point on the scoreboard in the eighth, the Scots took a further four shots in the ninth, when Latvia conceded.

After the game, Muirhead explained the bad start.  “They played a lot of good shots actually, and we had a few slack ones that let them in” adding, “we can take a lot from that game because we could have got frustrated out there…three down and we could have perhaps written the game off.  But we had a good fourth end and managed to get that big five, and that was just through good shot playing”.

She also said, “once you’re two up you’re just trying not to give away a silly two and that’s what we did.  We managed to take our two when we had the hammer and saw the game off”.

The Scots now join Switzerland and Sweden as the only unbeaten teams in the women’s event.  They go on to face Andrea’s Schoepp’s German team, who have suffered two losses so far.

RESULTS: Italy 5, Sweden 8; Russia 6, Czech Republic 10: Latvia 5, Scotland 12; Germany 5, Denmark 9; Norway 2, Switzerland 7

Standings after 2 sessions: Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland won 2, lost 0; Czech Republic, Denmark, Latvia, Norway 1-1; Germany, Italy, Russia 0-2.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Men 2: Scotland 7, Russia 3.

The Scottish men bounced back from their opening defeat with a solid 7-3 win over Russia in their second round-robin game of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships in Stavanger on Saturday evening.

The Scots were in control throughout this game.  Skip David Murdoch won the draw shot challenge and then the Scots blanked the first end.  They opened the scoring with two shots in the second end, and built on that with twos in both the fourth and sixth ends while their Russian opponents could only score singles when they had last stone.

After hitting and staying for their score of two in the sixth, Scotland then stole a single in the seventh end to  move into a 7-2 lead and, when Russia could only manage another single in the eighth, they conceded a game that they were never really allowed to get into.

After this game, a happier Murdoch said, “that was much more like it.  We performed a lot better, we read the ice a lot better and just did everything right in that game.  We’re really happy – we said we’d rebound after that bad loss this morning, but that’s how we’ve been playing for the last couple of months”.
Sco M v Rus M2

Looking forward to his Sunday programme, when the Scots face Finland and then Switzerland, he said, “we’re taking it one  game at a time, of course, but we certainly want to perform like that against Finland.  It’s going to be a big day tomorrow”.

RESULTS.

MEN.

Session 2: Denmark 6, Czech Republic 4; Switzerland 5, Sweden 6; Norway 9, France 3 ; Latvia 8, Finland 7 (extra end); Scotland 7, Russia 3.

Standings: Denmark, Norway, Sweden won 2, lost 0; Latvia, Russia, Scotland, Switzerland, 1-1; Czech Republic, Finland, France 0-2.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm


WOMEN 1: Scotland 11, Russia 5

Eve Muirhead’s women avenged their extra-end defeat in last year’s final when they beat defending champions Russia by 11-5 in their opening round-robin game of the 2013 Le Gruyère European Curling Championships in Stavanger.

Eve and her team gave themselves a good winning start

Eve and her team gave themselves a good winning start

The Scots started off by giving up a single steal in the first end, but scored in the next three ends, including a single steal in the third and a steal of two in the fourth when Russian skip Anna Sidorova was heavy and wide with her final hit.  Russia then got two shots back in the fifth, taking the game into half-time with the Scots enjoying a 4-3 lead.

The sixth end was the real game-turner.  After good play by all the Scots, and a final-stone wreck by Sidorova, Muirhead eventually had a straightforward tap-out to score six and take an unassailable 10-3 lead.

Russia scored two in the seventh end but when the Scots completed a hit and stay to score one more in the eight, the Russians conceded, with the final score-line of 11-5.

Afterwards, a delighted Muirhead said, ” The sixth end was the turning point.  We were one up with hammer and they were chasing us.  We played a good end,  and to come up with a six is always nice”. She continued, “so that’s game number one , against one of the favourites.  We all played well out there and it was a good team effort”.

The Scottish women now play Latvia and then Germany on Sunday.

RESULTS.

WOMEN.

Session 1: Scotland 11, Russia 5; Norway 12, Italy 4; Switzerland 8, Denmark 5; Sweden 10, Czech Republic 3; Latvia 6, Germany 5 (extra end).

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm

Men 1: Scotland 6, Denmark 10

The Scottish men opened their campaign at the 2013 Le Gruyère European Curling Championships in Stavangar with a 6-10 loss to Denmark in their Saturday morning round-robin opener.

SCO v Denmark S1Scottish skip David Murdoch had last stone in the first end but his team contrived to give up a steal of three with a couple of mis-judged shots.

After this the Scots were chasing, and they managed to level the score at 3-3 by scoring singles in each of the next three ends.

Denmark scored two for 5-3 in the fifth end and the Scots took one in the sixth before Denmark scored four in the seventh end for a 9-4 lead.  The Scots fought back with a two in the eghth, but Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne drew round and inside two Scottish counters in the  ninth, and the Scots conceded with the score at 10-6 to the Danes.

Afterwards, Murdoch said, ” The ice is really new  and it really caught us out in the first end.  We like to be fairly aggressive but in hindsight we probably could have done with an open end in the first just to get a feel for the ice.  It took a bit of working out and it certainly favoured the team that was ahead, that’s for sure”.

He explained, “It was very difficult to find a place for the broom, but we just need to sharpen up.  That wasn’t good enough but we’re not going to beat ourselves up about it.  The Danes are a good team and we just need to get a grip of the ice a bit better.  When it’s fresh like that, everyone’s guessing, but we didn’t guess well enough”.

After the game, Danish skip Stjerne said, “it was back and forth. We came out early, the Scots fought back, but then we got a big break in the seventh and that was the game”.

For this game, Tom Brewster was on the bench.  The Scottish men continue their campaign against Russia, who won their opener against Finland byb7-4, on Saturday evening.

RESULTS.

Men Session 1: France 3, Switzerland 13; Scotland 6, Denmark 10; Russia 7, Finland 4; Czech Republic 2, Sweden 8; Norway 7, Latvia 4.

Report: Mike Haggerty

Picture: Richard Gray/WCF

Scotland’s European Teams are sponsored by:
Tullis Russell Sm