Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
April 10, 2010
Play-off 3v4: Scotland 6, USA 4
Semi-final: Scotland 7, Norway 9
Norway march on to face waiting Canada in the gold medal final of the Capital One World Men’s Curling Championship on Sunday afternoon.
Team Scotland went down by 7-9 to Norway in Saturday afternoon’s semi-final and now can do no better than take bronze from their re-match with USA on Sunday morning.
The Scots started poorly and struggled to cope with Norway. The Norwegians opened with a score of two in the first end, and Scotland responded with a two of their own in the second, when skip Smith hit for two.
In the third end, David Smith had two good clear-outs, but Warwick Smith’s final shot went wrong and Norway had an easy draw for another two. Scotland could only score a single in the fourth and then Norway emerged with three points from a fifth end characterised by Scottish errors and indecision.
The Scots revived at the start of the second half, scoring one in the sixth and then stealing a single in the seventh to close to 5-7 down. After holding Norway to just a single in the eighth, Warwick Smith had another easy hit and stay for two in the ninth to close to within one point.
Throughout the tenth, the Scots challenged Norway, putting stone after stone behind cover. But the Norwegians were up to the challenge and successfully removed the last Scottish stone, which was lying too exposed, to eventually draw for one and their victory.
This result puts Norway into their second successive major final of the season. They took Olympic silver in Vancouver and now face Canadian opposition again. Speaking about the semi-final, Norwegian skip Torger Nergard said, “we were up early in the game and managed to defend it all the way home and I think when we forced them in the sixth, we were looking good. But we made it a bit close at the end”.
Afterwards, Warwick Smith said, “We played really well in the second half there, but we didn’t play many shots in the first half. We played great when we had last stone, creating chances, but the three ends without last stone were terrible, we had some bad play when they had last stone”.
Earlier in the day, Scotland and USA met in the three/four playoff. When the teams met in the round robin USA were the winners. This was a low scoring game, the teams were tied at two all after six ends. Nobody was taking any chances in this game. In end eight Warwick Smith for Scotland had to make a draw against two USA counters for one shot. In the ninth USA’s Pete Fenson had a hit for two shots and a lead of one. With last stone in the tenth Scotland could score only one shot to tie, the game went to an extra end. Scotland lay three shots, Fenson opted to draw to the first shot, he was a bit wide and too heavy, he removed only stone, Scotland stole two winning the game 6/4.
Bronze medal game at 10:00 local, Sunday 11th – Scotland v USA
Gold medal games at 16:00 local, Sunday 11th – Canada v Norway
Remaining men’s team standings:
5. Denmark 7-4
6. Switzerland 5-6
7. Germany 5-6
8. Sweden 4-7
9. France 3-8
10. Italy 3-8
11. China 3-8
12. Japan 1-10.