The Royal Caledonian Curling Club

The Royal Caledonian Curling Club

National Governing Body for Curling in Scotland

Euros: Men’s Final: Norway 5, Sweden 6

Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 12:40pm

Playing in front of a large crowd, hometown boy Niklas Edin beat Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud 8-5 to win the European title for the second time.

Sweden took a single from the first end and then, after blanking the second end, defending champions Norway got themselves onto the scoreboard in the third with a draw to the house for two and a 2-1 lead.

The next score came in the fifth end when Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin also drew for two points and a 3-2 lead. But the break-through for Sweden came in the sixth end when Ulsrud’s draw was too heavy and slipped past two Swedish stones, giving the Swedes a steal of two and a 5-2 lead.

The Swedes kept control from then on, and Edin hit and stayed for one shot and the title in the tenth end.
Afterwards, he said, ” It feels really good. We’ve been struggling a bit this season and really building up for this event. We’ve got the result that we’ve always been focussing on it. Being able to peak at the right time and winning it feels awesome. We’ve been favourites for the last three years and we haven’t been able to execute and now we have. I’m really proud of my team. We had some really good shots when we needed them. At the end we made no easy mistakes and we controlled it”.

Finland beat France by two games to one in the World Challenge and will now go onto take the last available European slot in this season’s world championship.

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/ Richard Gray

Euros: Women’s Final: Russia 6, Scotland 5

Eve Muirhead’s women gave up their European crown when they went down to Russia 5-6 after an extra end in the final.

By Muirhead’s own admission, this was not one of the better Scottish performances of the week, and it started off badly when Russia stole a single in the first end after poor set-up play by the Scots.

Muirhead drew for two and the lead in the third and made Russia take a single in the fourth but, as she attempted to blank the fifth, Muirhead thinned on her Russian target, nudging it, but not clearing it, giving Russia another single steal for a 3-2 half-time lead. Muirhead then went ahead again with a draw for two in the sixth, but Sidorova levelled again in the seventh for 4-4.

The Scots blanked the eighth and Russia had her third single steal of the game in the ninth, when Muirhead’s final draw came up short. Muirhead was facing two Russian counters when she came to play her final shot in the tenth and delivered a clean hit-and-stay for one to out the game into an extra end.

The Scots set up the extra end well, with two early centre guards, but Russian second player Margarita Fomina produced the shot of the game to clear them both and take out a Scottish counter on the four foot. This shot put an end to Scots’ hopes and Sidorova hit and stayed for the one shot needed for her to claim the title.

Anna Sloan and Eve Muirhead anxiously watch Russian progress

Afterwards, a disappointed Muirhead said, “you know, not an awful lot went wrong there. It wasn’t our best performance and we’ve played better this week. We just had one or two slack shots here and there, but they played well. But we had a few chances and I thought we were in control”.

“Anyone would be happy in a European final to be going into the extra end with last stone, it just wasn’t to be for us. The extra end could have gone either way – their second made a fantastic double and took out one in the house too, so we just knew they were going to make that final shot”

Russian skip Sidorova said, “I still can’t believe it. I can’t believe that the Europeans week has gone and we are the champions. I’m so happy that I can’t feel it. Before I decided to play the take-out I thought about the draw but I chose to play the take -out, I told myself ‘Anna you can do it’, and I did. I’m really proud of my team and excited to play with this team, they are amazing girls. I am proud to be here, to represent my country. This is important for me personally and it is important for curling in Russia”.

Sweden won the bronze medal, beating Denmark by 9-3. They were always in control, with fourth player Maria Prytz hitting for two points in the third end, for a 4-1 lead, and adding three more points in the fifth with a hit and a 7-1 lead, on their way to victory and the consolation of bronze medals.

Sweden skip Margaretha Sigfridsson said: ““I think we will be happy with the bronze. Of course were not satisfied we didn’t get to the final but we said we wouldn’t cry if we came home with a medal so that’s what we have to live with. Of course we had a good week and we wanted to get to the final but we will be happy with the bronze.”

Scotland’s international teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

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Euros: Scotland to play Russia

Russia beat Sweden by 8-6 after an extra end in Friday evening’s semi-final to now go on to face Scotland in Saturday morning’s women’s final, which is scheduled to start at 9.00am in Scotland.

Sweden will now face Denmark for bronze at the same time.

Anna Sidorova will lead Russia against the Scots

The Czech Republic took a historic first international medal when they beat Denmark by 12-4 in the men’s bronze medal game.

France, eighth in the A division, beat B group winners Finland by 11-10 after an extra end in their best-of-three world challenge for the last available European slot at this season’s men’s world championship.

There is no women’s challenge this year, as explained in the following statement by Jeanette Johnston, ECF Director of Competitions: “The ECF Board made the decision that the World Challenge game in the Women’s European Championship Competition would not take place should the winner of the B Group be Latvia because they already have a place in the World Championships as host nation – therefore there was no Challenger”.

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/ RIchard Gray

Euros: Women’s Page Play-offs: Scotland 9, Sweden 3

Eve Muirhead led her team into what will be her third successive European final, with a confident 9-3 win over Sweden in Friday afternoon’s Page 1-2 game.

It is hard to believe that this was the same Scottish team that was out-classed 2-9 in just seven ends by the same Swedish team in Monday’s round-robin.

Sweden started with hammer and blanked the first end before scoring one in the second, when their fourth player Maria Prytz had to draw against four Scottish counters. The Scottish break-through came in the fifth end when Muirhead had a nose-hit for two.

In a sixth end than featured a spectacular triple take-out by second player Vicki Adams, Sweden levelled the game at 3-3 with a single. The Scots blanked the seventh and then Muirhead made a hit for four in the eighth, just getting past a guard and this effectively ended the game. The Scots took a steal of two in the ninth when Prytz wrecked, and the teams shook hands. The final score was 9-3. Sweden have a second chance to face the Scot again as they now drop down to the sole semi-final.

Eve Muirhead and Ana Sloan with Swedish skip Margaretha Sigfridsson

After the game, Muirhead said, “I really enjoyed that game and the girls made my job easy. We managed to turn the hammer round in the fifth end and then saw it off in the second half. Right till the fifth, each team was forcing ones, but once you get that two, that’s you in control. We blanked the seventh end and went for a two in the eighth and came out with a four, which is a bit of a bonus”.

She added, “I love these big games, we’ve trained so hard all season and this shows all our hard work is beginning to pay off”, and looking forward, she said, “I don’t really mind who we play in the final. I think Sweden will be pretty close to getting into that gold medal game. Our first goal was to get to the Page 1-2, and the next was to get to the final, now I don’t want anything else except that gold medal. We knew we were going to have to come out sharper than in the round-robin game, so I think that coming out and winning like that will play on their minds. Hopefully we will bring the same game to the final”.

The other Page game featured Russia, third in the round-robin rankings, and fourth-ranked Denmark.

Denmark took the early lead when skip Lene Nielsen had a draw-shot to score three in the third end, but the Russians fought back and levelled the score at 5-5 in the sixth end with a nice draw by skip Anna Sidorova. Russia eventually won by 7-6 to move onto the semi-final against Sweden, while the Danes await the loser of that game to play off for bronze medals.

Also on the ice in this session was the men’s semi-final, which was won by defending champions Norway, by 6-4. They now face Sweden again in the men’s final, while the Czechs play Denmark for bronze.

Scotland’s international teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Men Page Play-offs, Women tie-breaker

Sweden’s Niklas Edin beat the Czech Republic by 9-3 in the Page 1-2 game to go straight through to Saturday afternoon’s men’s final, while Norway beat Denmark by 6-5 to join the Czechs in the semi-final.

Niklas Edin has led the home team to the final

Denmark’s women beat Switzerland by 6-3 in the tie-breaker to join Sweden, Scotland and Russia in the women’s Page games, and will now play Russia in the 3-4 game, while Scotland and Sweden play the Page 1-2 game on Friday at noon in Scotland.

Germany beat the Czech Republic 5-4 in the women’s tie-breaker to determine seventh in the rankings, and will now be challenged by the eventual B group winner for the last remaining slot in this season’s world championship line-up.

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Women round 9: Scotland 6, Russia 5

With a clinical performance on Thursday morning, particularly in the second half, Scotland’s women beat Russia by 6-5 in their final round-robin game to finish second overall and seal a place in Friday afternoon’s Page 1-2 play-off, where they will face table-topping Sweden.

The Scots won the hammer and scored two in the first end. While the Russians responded with a score of three after a measure in the second end, and a single steal in the third, but the Scots responded striahgtaway as Eve Muirhead drew nicely for two in the fourth to level the game at 4-4.

The was no stopping the Scots after that. After Russia blanked the fifth, second player Vikki Adams played a nice freeze in the sixth which eventually led to a Scottish steal when Russian skip Anna Sidorova failed with an attempted double. The Russians blanked again in the seventh, and good play by the Scots forced them to take just one in the eighth to level the game at 5-5.

The Scots engineered a blank in the ninth, and, in the tenth, with another good shot by Adams setting up the end – this time a good double take-out – the Scots scored the one for victory without Muirhead having to play her last ston,e as an attempted Russian freeze nudged a Scottish stone into shot position.

The skips - Anna Sidorova and Eve Muirhead

Afterwards, a pleased Muirhead said, “we came out sharp. We got the hammer and we took our two in the first end. Their three came out of nowhere – she played two perfect shots and got three on the measure. But we didn’t let that faze us, it wasn’t the end of the game so we got our two back and forced when we had to force, and got the ideal situation at the end”.

She added, “we controlled that. I think even just our body language showed that we wanted it more. All in all, a solid performance by all of us. Our goal was to get into the 1-2 game, which we’ve done. The girls are playing great and leaving me simple shots, which I like”.

The Page Play-offs are scheduled for 1.00pm on Friday, with Sweden against Scotland in the 1-2 game (winner to final, loser to semi-final) and Russia playing the winner of a tie-breaker between Denmark and Switzerland in the 3-4 game (winner to semi-final, loser to bronze play-off). At the other end of the table, thanks to a brave Czech win over Sweden, the Czech Republic and Germany have a tie-breaker to determine seventh place, with the winner of that facing a best-of-three challenge from the eventual B group winner for the last available European slot in this season’s world championships line-up.

Scotland’s international teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

RESULTS

Round 9: Denmark 9, Finland 1; Czech Republic 7, Sweden 5; Scotland 6, Russia 5; Switzerland 10, Germany 5; Hungary 5, Italy 10.

Standings after 9 sessions: Sweden, Scotland, Russia won 7, lost 1; Denmark, Switzerland 6-3; Italy 4-5; Germany, Czech Republic 3-6; Hungary, Finland 1-8.

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Men round 9: Hungary 5, Scotland 6

Scotland’s men, with David Murdoch still on the bench, concluded their round-robin programme with an 8-5 win over Hungary, thereby finishing in seventh place and securing the country’s slot at this season’s world championship, while Hungary completed the week without a win and go straight back down to the B division.

Hungary had hammer but the Scots stole one to establish an early lead. They moved into a 3-1 lead when skip Tom Brewster hit for two in the fourth end. After this, they were never headed and consolidated their lead with a further two shots in the eighth for a 6-3 lead. Despite single steals for Hungary in both the ninth and tenth ends, the Scots shook hands with their fourth win of the week under their belts.

The Scottish men finished with a win over Hungary

About the game, Brewster said, ” It’s a shame it didn’t start today, I felt really good today. It was a pretty good game, pretty solid, and we were always in control. I was almost as nervous playing that game as playing a world final, but we’ve come through it, and it was an experience”.

A subdued Brewster reflected further on his trying week. “Qualification? That’s great. but ultimately we didn’t come here just to do that, we came here to win medals and we’re disappointed we’re not in the play-offs. At the end of the day we’re in this game to win medals, not just qualify. This is the first international competition I’ve been at and never medalled, so I feel not all that good about it”.

He was also keen to get some more points on the record. “We’ve not had a great season for various reasons. A lot of people are going to say it’s because we brought Dave into the team, but that’s got absolutely nothing to do with it. We’re just not making enough shots and that’s all. We’ve changed techniques, we’ve changed our style of play, and we’ve altered quite a few things. We’re still getting to grips with that, and hopefully, come the Scottish, we’ll be making more of the right shots. We have changed a lot and that takes time”.

With the round-robin concluded, Sweden face the Czech Republic in the Page 1-2 game, while Norway and Denmark are in the 3-4 game.

Hungary finished tenth and go back down to the B division, and are joined by ninth-placed Germany, who lost out an all-or-nothing game against France, to be relegated for the first time in the event’s history. Eighth-placed France will be challenged for the final European slot in this season’s world championship by the eventual B division winner.

Scotland’s international teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

RESULTS

Round 9: Hungary 5, Scotland 6; Germany 9, France 12; Russia 8, Switzerland 6; Norway 6, Sweden 7; Czech Republic 7, Denmark 6.

Standings after 9 sessions: Sweden won 8, lost 1; Czech Republic 7-2; Norway, Denmark 6-3; Russia, Switzerland 5-4; Scotland 4-5; France 3-6; Germany 1-8; Hungary 0-9.

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Women round 8: Hungary 5, Scotland 8

Eve Muirhead’s women moved into third place on the rankings with a controlled win by 8-5 over Hungary in Wednesday afternoon’s eighth session of round-robin play.

This result guarantees them at least a tie-breaker place, and if they beat Russia in their last game on Thursday morning, they would go directly to the Page 1-2 game.

Hungary had the hammer and opened with a single score, but right away in the second end Scotland took control when Muirhead hit to score three. However, the Hungarians levelled with two shots in the third, but , after responding with a single of their own, the Scots stole one in the fifth when Hungary’s skip Ildiko Szekeres could only remove one of two Scottish counters, to give them a 5-3 halftime lead.

The Hungarians levelled again in the sixth when Szekeres had a nose-hit for two, but another two shots in the seventh gave Scotland a 7-5 lead. They built this to 8-5 when Hungary missed a chance for two and handed Scotland another single steal. Eventually, Scotland ran the Hungarians out of stones in the tenth.

the skips - Hungary's Ildiko Szekeres and Scotland's Eve Muirhead

Afterwards, Muirhead said, ” Give them their dues, we didn’t play badly but they played great out there. Yes the score-line was close, but we were in control for the whole game and there wasn’t much to worry about. We didn’t break away but we didn’t need to – we were in control throughout”.

Looking forward to her key last round-robin game against Russia on Thursday morning, she added, “we’ve got a big game tomorrow, that’s going to determine a lot. In these Championships you’ve just got to keep it going”.

Elsewhere, Sweden beat Switzerland and Russia were too good for the Czech Republic, and these two now have seven wins at the top of the table, with Scotland, on six wins, ahead of Switzerland and Denmark, each on five wins. Meanwhile Finland and Hungary are destined to go down to next year’s B group.

Scotland’s international teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

RESULTS

Round 8; Russia 12, Czech Republic 7; Denmark 6, Italy 7; Germany 11, Finland 2; Hungary 5, Scotland 8; Switzerland 5, Sweden 8.

Standings after 8 sessions: Sweden, Russia 7-1; Scotland 6-2; Switzerland, Denmark 5-3; Italy, Germany 3-5; Czech Republic 2-6; Finland, Hungary 1-7.

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Men round 8: Sweden 7, Scotland 6

“That was one that got away”…skip Tom Brewster could have been talking about this whole Championship, but in fact, he was rueing a tight 7-8 loss to Sweden in Wednesday morning’s eighth men’s session of play.

The Scots (with David Murdoch on the bench rather than in his hotel) won the hammer and blanked the first end and gave up a single steal in the second, but after that they took the game to high-flying Niklas Edin and his hometown team.
They nosed ahead with a two in the third end, following which the Swedes could only manage one in the fifth after blanking the fourth.

Brewster played a perfectly-weighted soft tap-out and stay to score three in the sixth and take a 5-2 lead. In the seventh, he just missed a double take-out to let Edin draw for two and close the gap to 5-4 in Scotland’s favour.

The Scots moved to 6-4 in the eighth when Brewster drew through a collection of stones for one, but in the ninth, his attempted freeze just hung out and Edin tapped it out to score two and level the game at 6-6.

Sweden got a stone on the button early on in the tenth and eventually Brewster’s attempt to double-out a front guard and this shot stone just failed, reaching the shot stone but not moving it enough.

Swedish third Sebastian Kraupp and Scottish third Greg Drummond

Afterwards, he said, “that was a pretty solid performance, we won the ends we wanted to win. I thought we played two bad ends, ninth and tenth, and we weren’t far away in the tenth” adding wistfully, “we’ll take a lot from this week”.

Elsewhere France beat Norway in an extra end, and that leaves the possibility of them tying with Scotland for seventh place – crucially the last non-challengeable slot in this season’s world championships line-up – if the Scots lose their last game against already-relegated win-less Hungary. In their last game France face Germany in what has now become a head-to-head to avoid being relegated in ninth place.

Scotland’s international teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

RESULTS

Round 8; Switzerland 7, Germany 5; Hungary 6, Denmark 8; Sweden 7, Scotland 6; Czech Republic 7, Russia 6; Norway 5, France 6 (extra end).

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

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: WOmen round 7: Scotlnd 9, Denmark 2

The Scottish women built further on their earlier win against Germany with a confident six-end thumping of Denmark in Tuesday’s evening’s seventh round-robin game.

Eve Muirhead’s team started well, scoring two in the first end. Denmark could only reply with a single in the second, and Muirhead added to her score in the third with a single. However, in the fourth end , Danish skip Lene Nielsen was short of the house with her final draw and gave up a game-changing steal of four to the Scots.

Denmark never recovered from that blow. They took one from the fifth end and then Muirhead played a nice double promote in the sixth to score two – after a measure- for a 9-2 lead, at which point Denmark conceded.

This result puts Scotland in joint third place alongside Denmark and Switzerland.

The Scots were in charge throughout

Afterwards, Muirhead said, ” It was a good win, the girls played well out there”. She also revealed some of her team’s thinking, saying, “we all came out up-beat tonight, because our night -time games haven’t been great – we got thumped by Sweden last night – so we knew we had to come out a lot sharper just like our morning games, and that’s what we did”.

Speaking more generally, she added, “I feel our past championships have had the same trend – we’ve started off slow and gotten better and better, and if that continues that’ll be good. It’ll be tough to get better than that performance tonight though, because that was pretty good”, adding, “we’ve trained hard to win this and I believe we can”.

The Scottish women face Hungary on Wednesday and conclude their round-robin on Thursday morning against Russia.

Scotland’s international teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

RESULTS

Round 7: Italy 9, Germany 2; Russia 8, Hungary 3; Switzerland7 , Czech Republic 4; Finland 2, Sweden 9; Scotland 9, Denmark 2.

Standings after 7 sessions: Russia, Sweden won 6, lost 1; Denmark, Scotland, Switzerland 5-2; Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy 2-5; Hungary 6-1.

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros Men round 7: Scotland 9, France 7

With World Championships qualification now the name of the game for the Scottish men, with David Murdoch unwell in a hotel bed, and with lead Michael Goodfellow “not feeling 100%”, they showed real character to battle to a 9-7 win over France – a result that did their qualification hopes every bit of good.

France were not without their troubles either – skip Thomas Dufour was on the bench with alternate Tony Angiboust skipping – a coach’s decision rather than a sickness-enforced change.

Alternate Tony Angiboust skipped France

France opened with a two but skip Tom Brewster brought his team strongly into the game, drawing right onto the button for three in the second end. He then followed that up with a nice hit and stay for three in the fourth end to establish a clear lead.

The teams swapped singles in the fifth and sixth and then the Scots stole two in the seventh for a 9-4 lead.
France fought back , scoring two in the eighth and stealing a single in the ninth to take the score to 9-7 in Scotland’s favour, but they eventually ran out of stones.

After this game, Brewster said, ” Mike wasn’t 100% but we know how to play with each other, so that wasn’t an issue”.
When he came off the ice, he wasn’t totally aware of the position his team was now in, saying, “I’m not totally aware of what the standings are, but it’s nice to get a win. All I’m doing is taking it a game at a time”.

The situation is that, with two games left to play, Scotland are two wins ahead of their nearest rivals for seventh place – Germany and France – and a clear non-challenged qualification for the Worlds. Germany and France play each other in the last round-robin draw, so the very worst that can happen to Scotland, who play Sweden and then win-less Hungary in their last two draws is that they go into a tie-breaker for that seventh place. Crucially, with eight European teams going into the draw for the World in Victoria, the battling Scots are just away from being guaranteed to be one of them.

Scotland’s international teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

RESULTS

Round 7: Denmark 8, Sweden5 ; Switzerland 3, Czech Republic 8; Norway , Germany ; Scotland 9, France 7; Russia 7, Hungary 4.

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

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Women round 6: Scotland 7, Germany 3

Eve Muirhead’s women got themselves back on track after their surprise capitulation to Sweden on Monday evening, with a commanding performance in their sixth round-robin game on Tuesday afternoon, beating Germany by 7-3.

Although Germany conceded in the middle of the tenth end, the game was over long before that, with the Scots going into the half-time break 7-1 up.

This came about courtesy of a nice promote by Muirhead in the first end to score three, followed up by single steals in the next two ends. Germany’s Andrea Schopp got onto the scoreboard with a single in the fourth, but further good Scottish play gave Scotland two shots in the fifth, despite Muirhead’s last attempted promote not coming off.

After the break, Germany blanked the sixth end, with the Scots peeling their own stone out of the house amid expectations that Germany would offer hand-shakes, but Schopp immediately turned on her heel to take up position for the seventh end. She blanked that one too, and the same behaviour happened again.

Germany finally scored two in the eighth after a measure, and still carried on. The Scots blanked the ninth, and the Germans still carried on, eventually conceding halfway through the tenth end.

Scotland were back in command against Germany

Afterwards Muirhead was clearly pleased her team was back on track. “We got off to a good start there. We got the hammer, took a three in the first end and that’s the best you can do – score high in the first end and then hit for home. She made mistakes in the second and third ends and we got steals, but all in all, from our side it was a solid performance”.

Thinking about her Monday loss to Sweden, she said, “last night’s game wasn’t all wrong , it was just little bits here and there. The scoreboard definitely made it look worse than what it felt like. We’re back on track and we’ve another big game tonight against Denmark”. More generally, she added, “our first goal now is definitely to qualify in that top four and if we make the 1-2 game that’s always a bonus. That game was good for us, we were all solid and our communication and team unity was good, so we just need to continue that”.

The Scots are now in joint fourth place with Switzerland, behind Sweden, Russia and Denmark, who they play next on Tuesday evening.

Scotland’s international teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

RESULTS

Round 6: Hungary 1, Sweden 8; Scotland 7, Germany 3; Sweden 11, Italy 2; Denmark 5, Czech Republic 3; Russia 8, Finland 4.

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

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Men round 6; Switzerland 7, Scotland 2

“It doesn’t half feel like the curling gods are against us” – the words of Tom Brewster after another harrowing defeat for the Scottish men – by 2-7 to Switzerland – that virtually puts paid to their European medal hopes for another year.

Scottish anxiety

In this defeat, the team started again with David Murdoch playing at fourth and Brewster at third, but Murdoch had to leave the ice feeling unwell at the fifth end break, so the Scots completed the game with the line-up that has taken silver at the last two world championships.

By that time, the Scots were 1-3 down and the damage was completed when Brewster was heavy with his second stone in the sixth and gave up a steal of three.

Before this, Switzerland had blanked the first three ends and Murdoch had wrecked his last effort in the fourth end, leaving Swiss skip Sven Michel with an easy draw for three.

The Scots stayed on the ice until the ninth end as they tried to find a way into the game, but eventually conceded when the Swiss scored one to make the score-line 7-2 in their favour.

Afterwards, Brewster said, ” we’ve got one guy being sick and another looking like he’s coming down with flu, so it’s a war of attrition. It’s horrible. We felt great last night and we felt good this morning”.

Turning to the game itself, he said, “we just didn’t take our chances, and we had plenty. David had a tough shot in four but it was there, and that was it. The game hinged on that. We stayed on for a few ends because the ice was getting really flat and we just thought we’d see if we could get something”.

This result puts the Scots in a clear seventh place – the last position on the table that gives clear worlds qualification. France and Germany are just one win behind the Scots, so the closing stages of the round-robin campaign look set to turn into a qualification dog-fight among these three – starting with the next session on Tuesday afternoon when France and Scotland go toe-to-toe.

After that, the Scots face unbeaten table-toppers and then win-less Hungary on Wednesday to conclude their programme.

RESULTS

Round 6: Czech Republic 5, Norway 8; Russia 2, Sweden 8; France 4, Denmark 8; Hungary 5, Germany 6; Switzerland 7, Scotland 2.

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

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray
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Euros: Women round 5: Scotland 2, Sweden 9

Tuesday night’s fifth session of round-robin play was the Scottish women’s turn to have a poor performance, as they went down by 2-9 to Sweden in just seven ends.

"Just one of those things"

After blanking the first end, Sweden’s fourth player Maria Prytz bounced her last stone into the rings to open the scoring with a three, and in the third, Eve Muirhead’s attempted hit and roll didn’t come off and she found herself giving away a steal of two and 0-5 down.

The Scots did get on the scoreboard with a single in the fourth end, but Sweden stretched their lead in the fifth with a nice draw for two shots that took them into the half-time break 7-1 up.

Muirhead’s attempt at a difficult double to try to get back into the game in the sixth completely missed, and the Scots gave away another steal of two. They then had the consolation of drawing for one shot in the seventh before Muirhead conceded to bring an unhappy session to a close.

Afterwards, she said, “it was one of those games. We’re just going to forget it and move on. It happens to us all, but there’s nothing you could point your finger at and say we were rubbish at this. We all struggled with reading the ice, but games like that happen to us all. She got a bit fortunate and the three came from nowhere in the second end. It was just one of those things”.

This result leaves Scotland in joint fourth place alongside Switzerland, with joint leaders Denmark, Russia and Sweden one win ahead of them.

The Scottish women are back onto the ice twice on Tuesday, against Germany and then Denmark.

Scotland’s international teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

RESULTS

Round 5: Scotland 2, Sweden 9; Switzerland 9, Finland 4; Denmark 7, Hungary 3; Italy 7, Russia 12; Germany 7, Czech republic 6.

Standings after 5 sessions: Denmark, Russia, Sweden won 4, lost 1; Scotland, Switzerland 3-2; Czech republic, Germany 2-3; Finland, Hungary, Italy 1-4.

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Men round 5: Norway 6, Scotland 7

With a re-cast line-up that saw David Murdoch play fourth stones and skip Tom Brewster playing third, the Scottish men beat defending champions Norway by 7-6 in a tense fifth session game on Monday afternoon.

Teamwork!

This was really a do-or-die effort for the Scots and gives them their second win, but the game did not start promisingly, as they gave up a single steal in the first end. The game was cagey for the next three ends, with Scotland taking a single from the second and Norway blanking the third before being forced to take one in the fourth.

The first Scottish break-through came in the fifth end when Murdoch picked his route through a busy house with a delicate draw to score two.

Norway blanked the sixth end and then, when they were looking good to score a handful, a weighty Murdoch stone moved four Norwegian counters, leaving Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud to score just two with a nudge up of one of his own and a 4-3 lead. Murdoch had a hit and stay for two to take a 5-4 Scottish lead in the eighth and the teams then moved onto a dramatic ninth end.

The Scottish cause seemed lost when Murdoch’s last effort wrecked in front, leaving Ulsrud with a simple draw for three. But Ulsrud was long and the Norwegians had to settle for two and just a one-shot lead, with Scotland having last stone in the tenth.

In that end, good sweeping on a finely-judged draw put Murdoch’s first onto the button hidden behind a guard and then Ulsrud ‘s straight raise take-out just missed, leaving Murdoch to successfully find the four foot for the two shots that gave Scotland their much-needed 7-6 win.

After the game, skip Brewster said, ” that was some game. It was good. We upped our tempo a little bit. I think when Ulsrud was heavy in the ninth was a big turning point. The ninth could have gone either way – anything could have happened there”.

Speaking about the line-up change he said, “we thought we’d shake things up a wee bit. I’ve been struggling to get my confidence and have struggled with the ice. The change helped, I played a lot better today. Dave made the right shots and got a bit of luck too. I wasn’t getting it yesterday, but Dave’s got it, so hey-ho, that’s why we made the shake up, and it’s fine. I would still to have been throwing last rocks and playing well, but it’s a team game. I’m playing well in calling the game and playing third. I read the ice way better today and grasped the ice – that’s why we made those shots. I struggled yesterday and we were missing shots”.

Brewster added, “we had a sit-down, Dave and Soren and myself really, but all the team was involved. Ultimately the players have to be happy and comfortable with what ‘s going on, and it certainly took the pressure off me. I wasn’t just getting the rubs either. Look there, Dave misses the shot in nine and the guy throws it through, yesterday the guy was nailing the draw to the four foot. Them’s the breaks”.

Brewster also said, “we haven’t discussed the way forward. Today was a one-draw day, we’ve turned up with the four that were on the ice. We’ve got a bit of momentum going and a wee bit of a spark back which we were missing”.

With a horse-trotting track opposite the arena, he also added, with a smile, “we’ve got 24 hours, we’re going to the trotting to have a fun night and not worry too much about who’s playing in the morning – we’ve got a coach for that!”

Elsewhere, Sweden became the last surviving unbeaten team, beating Germany by 8-2 in six ends.

Scotland’s international teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

RESULTS.

Round 5: Russia 6, France 5 (extra end); Norway 6, Scotland 7; Hungary 5, Czech 7; Denmark 5, Switzerland 8; Sweden 8, Germany 2.

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

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/ Richard Gray

Euros: women round 4: Czech Republic 2, Scotland 10

Scotland's front end keep on eye on Czech progress

The Scottish women continued their good form with their third successive victory, beating the Czech Republic by 10-2 in seven ends.

Muirhead’s team won the hammer and showed their intent by scoring two in the first end and stealing a further single in the second.

Czech skip Linda Klimova got her team on the scoreboard, taking one from the third end. After this, the Scots blanked the fourth and then went into the half-time break 5-1 up by scoring a further two in the fifth end.

When the teams came back onto the ice, the Czechs scored another single in the sixth end and the Scots then built up the house in the seventh until eventually Muirhead had a straightforward nose-hit for five which she made, to take the score to 10-2. After some debate, the Czechs decided to shake hands at that.

Eve Muirhead was pleased with her team’s performance afterwards. She said, “that was really good. We came out stronger, even though we came away with two wins yesterday. We weren’t bad yesterday but we knew we were going to have to step it up today and we did…that was a solid, solid performance”.

Speaking about her tactics, she said, “it was just playing the scoreboard – take your twos and force the ones, and we managed to finish with the five”.

Elsewhere in this session, high-flying Russia were brought down with a bump when they suffered their first loss – a 12-2 six-end thumping at the hands of Sweden. This result means that four teams – Denmark, Russia, Sweden and Scotland are together at the top of the table on three wins and one loss.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Andrea Schopp got her first win of the week, beating Hungary by 9-2 to celebrate what was her 500th international appearance.

The women come back onto the ice on Monday evening for their fifth session round-robin game, and Scotland will face Sweden in a re-run of last year’s final.

Looking forward to that, Muirhead said, “it’ll be a big battle. We’re both on one loss, so to get a win there would put one team ahead of the other. It was always going to be one of the big games, but we’re ready for it. And if we can play the way we played out there it’ll be a good game”.

Scotland’s international curling teams are sponsored by Tullis Russell.

RESULTS

Women round 4: Finland 8, Italy 7; Sweden 12, Russia 2; Czech Republic 2, Scotland 10; Germany 9, Hungary 2; Denmark 8, Switzerland 6 (extra end).

Standings after 4 sessions; Denmark, Russia, Scotland, Sweden won 3, lost 1; Czech Republic, Switzerland 2-2; Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy 1-3.

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Men round 4: Scotland 1, Denmark 9

This was a compete car-crash of a game for the Scots on Sunday evening. It seemed they could do nothing right.

Denmark won the hammer and used it to score two in the first end. They then stole a further one in the second end, before the Scots got their solitary point of the game in the third.

Denmark blanked the fourth, took one from the fifth and then stole five in the sixth when Tom Brewster’s last shot – as he faced six Danish counters – was heavy and wide.

The Scots immediately conceded and got off the ice as soon as they could.

Denmark's Rasmus Stjerne in charge

Afterwards, as he followed his stone-faced team into the locker room, a shell-shocked Brewster could only say, ” We’re just not making enough shots…all of us. We’re just struggling right from the start, three down again after two ends isn’t great”.

Asked where his team goes after this, a third defeat which keeps them well down the rankings, he said, “I would think we’ll have a long chat tonight and we’ll see where things go from here”.

They face defending champions Norway, who have won all four of their games so far, in their only game on Monday as the spectre of non-qualification for the Worlds looms on the horizon.

RESULTS

Round 4: Scotland 3, Denmark 9; France , Switzerland ; Germany 1, Russia 8; Sweden 8, Czech Republic 2; Hungary 3, Norway 9.

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

Report: Mike Haggerty
PIcture: WCF/Richard Gray

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Euros: Women round 3: Finland 5, Scotland 11

Scotland’s women made short work of Finland in their second game on Sunday, winning a one-sided contest by 11-5 in just eight ends.

Concentrating!

Eve Muirhead’s team – sponsored by Tullis Russell – scored fours in two ends , when her last stone was well-swept into a busy house in the third end and again in the eighth, a blow which persuaded her opponents to concede.

In between these highlights, the Scots stayed well in control, and only a terrific raised double by Finish skip Anne Malmi to score two in the seventh end kept the Finnish challenge alive for as long as it did.

Afterwards, Muirhead said, ” it was one of those games that you could slip up on. We controlled the game – it wasn’t the most solid performance but we did what we needed to do”. She added, “we don’t put it all out there against teams like that – we still had a lot in the tank. and that’s what we need to show the other teams”.

Reflecting on her team’s overall performance, she said, “we’ve probably started in mid-table and we’re working towards ten out of ten. We need to keep the communication up because the ice is running big out there. Also we need to stay strong for our games against Czech and Sweden tomorrow, so we need to keep it going now”.

Elsewhere, Russia moved to the top of the table on their own, with a six-end 8-2 win over previously undefeated Denmark. Scotland now share a won two, lost one record with the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland behind them.

The Scottish women have two games on Monday, against the Czech Republic and Sweden – a re-run of last year’s final, with, hopefully the same result.

RESULTS

Round 3; Czech Republic 8, Hungary 5; Finland 5, Scotland 11; Italy 4, Switzerland 10; Russia 8, Denmark 2; Sweden 6, Germany 4.

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

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/ Richard Gray

Euros: Men round 3: Scotland 5, Russia 8

Tom Brewster and Russian skip Andrey Drozdov

Tom Brewster’s men went down to their second defeat of the week when they lost by 5-8 to Russia in Sunday afternoon’s third session of men’s round-robin play.

Russia scored one in the opening end and then stole two in the second when Brewster’s second stone wrecked on the way in, and after this indifferent start, the Scots were always chasing the game. They scored one in the third end and then had a single steal in the fourth. The Scots had built up such a strong position in this end that Russian skip Andrey Drozdov threw away his last stone for fear of causing even more damage.

The teams then swapped singles in the next three ends, including the seventh when Brewster played a couple of well-placed shots into a busy house to keep Russia to just the one shot. It took all the way till the eighth end – which was the best end of the Scots’ game in the match with good sweeping and accurate throwing – before the Scots could finally score a two and level the game.

But they gave up a further two in the ninth and, with the clock running down rushed their shots in the tenth, an action which saw Brewster wreck his first stone to ruin the prospect of even forcing an extra end as they eventually went down by 5-8.

After the game, Brewster said, ” We struggled with the ice again. We probably didn’t deserve that result, but that’s the way it goes. The second end was a killer, my stone just seemed to stop”.

He also explained what went wrong in the tenth. “We were short of time and the last end was a rush. Dave thought the ice was pretty straight, so it just wasn’t enough ice”.

Reflecting on his fortunes so far, Brewster added, “it’s tough to say, we’re just not getting the breaks. We had a bad pick in one end and they got a couple of rubs”.

This result means that Scotland remains on just one win so far, while three teams – the Czech Republic, defending champions Norway and Sweden – are unbeaten on three wins. Denmark have two wins, while France, Russia and Switzerland all join Scotland on one win, with Hungary and Germany yet to record victories.

The Scots play Denmark next, on Sunday evening.

RESULTS.

Men round 3: Germany 5, Czech Republic 6 (extra end); Scotland 5, Russia 8; Denmark 4, Norway 6; Switzerland 9, Hungary 4; France 4, Sweden 9.

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

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Women round 2: Italy 2, Scotland 8

Italian second Chiara Olivieri keeps an eye on Eve's stone

Scotland’s women recorded their first win of the week when they beat Italy by 8-2 in the second round-robin session on Sunday morning.

After struggling with ice and weight early in the game, Eve Muirhead’s team turned up the pressure in the second half and this result means that both the men’s and women’s Tullis Russell-sponsored Scottish teams have now recovered with wins after both losing their opening games.

The Scots took one with the hammer in the first end, but Italy moved into the lead scoring two in the second. However, these were the only points that the Italians were to score in the game.

The Scots levelled with another single in the third and then, after Italy blanked the fourth, stole a single in the fifth when Italian skip Diana Gaspari’s attempted take-out jammed a Scottish stone on its way out of the house.
After the half-time break, it was all Scotland. They stole one in the sixth with another Italian jam, and twos in the seventh and eighth ends for an 8-2 margin, at which point, Italy conceded.

At this early stage, only two teams – Denmark and Russia – remain undefeated in the women’s event.

Russia made short work of world champions – and Saturday conquerors of Scotland – Switzerland, scoring threes in the fifth and eighth ends on their way to a 9-3 victory, while Denmark scored four in the sixth end to beat Germany by 8-7 in a tight game and keep their 100% record.

The Scottish women will now return to the ice on Sunday evening, to play win-less Finland.

RESULTS:
Women round 2; Switzerland 3, Russia 9; Germany 7, Denmark 8; Hungary 6, Sweden 8; Czech Republic 10, Finland 5; Italy 2, Scotland 8.

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

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Men round 2: Germany 2, Scotland 7

Scott Andrews (left) and Michael Goodfellow watch Andreas Lang as he delivers

Tom Brewster’s men got onto the scoreboard with an eight-end 7-2 win over Germany in their Saturday evening second round-robin game.

This win was as straightforward as the score-line suggests. Scotland scored one shot with the hammer in the first end an then stole two in the second when German skip Andreas Lang was well short with his last stone draw.

Germany opened their account with a single in the third and the Scots blanked the fourth.
Brewster should have scored three in the fifth end but he came up short with his draw and had to settle from two and a 5-1 half-time lead.

The Germans got their second score of the game with a single in the sixth and then after blanking the seventh end, Brewster produced a nice draw around and inside German stones in the house to score another two. With the score now at 7-2, the Germans shook hands.

After this game, a much happier Brewster said, “it was very important to get a win in the bag today. We were disappointed this morning and came out with a bit more solid game tonight and we’re quite happy to get a win on the board”.

He added, “we were better there. I think we’ve still got a couple of gears to go. We just didn’t believe enough in our technique this morning”.

Asked about leading a five-man team, he said, “our team dynamic is good. We took a decision about a month ago that David was going to throw third here. The other guys are happy to mix and match, and we’re going to rotate them every game, which means we’ve got s fresh sweeper every time, and that’s good for me”. He went on to say, with a smile on his face, “..and David can sweep, it’s like the old days, he played lead for me for six years and he’s a better sweeper now than he was then, right enough!”

He also said, “that win will give us a wee bit more confidence and we’ll go for our shots a bit more now. It’s a good way to start – start slowly and build up to the end of the week”.

The Scottish men, who are supported by Tullis Russell, now face Russia and unbeaten Denmark on Sunday.

RESULTS:
Men round 2: Norway 9, Switzerland 6; Sweden 8, Hungary 2; Czech Republic 8, France 4; Germany 2, Scotland 7; Denmark 8, Russia 6.

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

Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Women round 1: Scotland 3, Switzerland 5

The Scottish women contemplating their options

In a game that swung either way throughout, Eve Muirhead and her defending champions eventually lost out by 3-5 to reigning world champions Switzerland in their opening game on Sunday.

Eventually this match-up came down to a brave decision by Muirhead to try to strike with her last stone of the game to carve out the two shots she needed for the win, instead of taking the single shot she already had in the bag and go to an extra end. However, her shooter and another Scottish stone rolled too far giving Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott a single steal and the game.

Afterwards, Muirhead said, “it was a tough shot for the two. It’s always difficult to settle for just the one when you’ve got a chance of a win, but looking at it now, it was just one of those things. Looking at the way it spun there, now I’m not sure it was on”.

The Scots had a good start. Switzerland started with the hammer and blanked the first end, but the Scots stole one in the second when Ott’s last shot went wrong and tapped up a Scottish stone.

After this, the teams swapped singles. In the fourth, Muirhead was facing four as she played her last stone and she delivered a precision hit and stay to score one after an umpire’s measure.

With the score at 3-2 in Scotland’s favour, the Swiss blanked the seventh end and finally made the break-through in the eighth, when Ott had a hit to score two for a 4-3 lead. The Scots chose to blank the ninth, and the game finally came down to Muirhead’s last shot in the tenth.

Speaking about the game in general, Muirhead said, “it was a game in which we had our chances. It was a good kind of game to get settled in and get the hang of the ice. At the end of the day it could have gone either way”.

Mirjam Ott said, “to start with a win is always good, but it’s a long week. We knew that Eve’s team was going to be hot and that it would be a close game. There were a lot of ups and downs on both sides. It was an interesting game, so we’re pretty happy to win it”.

The Scots now go on to face Italy and then Finland on Sunday.

RESULTS
WOMEN, round 1; Sweden 4, Denmark 8; Italy 7, Czech Republic 3; Russia 7, Germany 3; Scotland 3, Switzerland 5; Finland 4, Hungary 7.

Words: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Euros: Men 1; Scotland 5, Czech Republic 6

Tom Brewster lost his opener

Tom Brewster’s team lost their opening round-robin game of this year’s Le Gruyere European Curling Championships, going down by 5-6 to the Czech Republic on Saturday morning.

For this game, the Tullis Russell-sponsored Scottish team line-up was skip Tom Brewster, third David Murdoch, second Greg Drummond and lead Scott Andrews, with Michael Goodfellow on the bench.

The Czechs started with the hammer and opened the scoring with a single in the second end. After this the teams swapped singles before the Scots made the initial break-through, scoring two in the fifth end for a 3-2 lead. However it turned into one-way traffic in the Czechs’ favour after this. They scored a single to level at 3-3 in the sixth, and then produced single steals in the next two ends to go 5-3 up. The steal in the eighth came after Brewster’s final stone over-curled when he looked set to pick up a two or a three.

The Scots did manage to score two in the ninth to level at 5-5, and fought hard in the tenth as they tried to steal a win. But eventually Czech skip Jiri Snitil played a solid hit and stay to score the one shot he needed for victory.
Afterwards, skip Tom Brewster said, “that was a soft loss”, and about the eighth end, he said, “I just played it a hair short and it curled about two feet”.

He added, “we had a bad pick-up in the third end when I was splitting the house and my stone picks” and speaking more generally he said, “we were a wee bit unfortunate but they took their chances. The ice was good but we made heavy weather of it, so we just need to take the positives and move on”.

For his part, Czech skip Snitil acknowledged that he had had good fortune, saying, ” we got lucky a couple of times. They had shots to score big ends and didn’t make them, but we’re pleased…big time. It was a good start for us but it was a typical first game…we were both missing shots you don’t expect to miss”.

Scotland return to the ice to face Germany on Saturday evening.

RESULTS
MEN, round 1: France 8, Hungary 3; Denmark 10. Germany 5; Switzerland 6, Sweden 7; Russia 4, Norway 6; Scotland 5, Czech Republic 6.

Words: Mike Haggerty
Picture: WCF/ Richard Gray