December 4, 2011
After the third men’s round-robin session in the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2011 in Moscow, Germany now are the only unbeaten side.
They were facing Scotland, who took the early lead, but the tide started to turn in the fifth end when Germany’s fourth player Felix Schulze played a well-judged draw-shot to score three and take the lead for the first time in the game. Eventually, after a brief Scottish fight-back, in the tenth end, Schulze hit out the only Scottish stone in the house to score three and win the game.
This handed Scotland their first defeat of the week so far, and afterwards skip David Murdoch said, “We were controlling the game for the first four ends and were really sharp, and in the fifth end, we got caught out a little bit and slipped a three. This is always an up and down week, so we just need to re-group for tomorrow”.
Meanwhile, France recorded their first win of the event in their game against Italy. In the sixth end, Tony Angiboust, who plays fourth stones for France, played a good hit to score one and the French followed this with two successive single steals to eventually gain their 7-4 win. This result leaves Italy as the only men’s team yet to win a game. Afterwards, French skip Thomas Dufour said, “it was important for us to win a game today, because we got off to a difficult start with two strong Teams – Sweden and Denmark. When you don’t get a win, your morale takes a knock. So with this win, we gave ourselves a boost. The Italian team is much stronger since we met them in the Challenge games last year.”
Sweden handed Denmark their first defeat of the week so far with an 8-3 win in just seven ends. Denmark had the poorest possible start when their skip Rasmus Stjerne was short with his final draw in the opening end to hand Sweden’s Niklas Edin a steal of two points. A three in the third end and a further two in the seventh were crucial in this Swedish victory.
The Czech Republic also had their first win in this round. No doubt Czech skip could not believe his luck when he had a simple hit to score a massive five in the fourth end. After this, the Teams swapped scores of four in the seventh and eighth ends before the Czechs ran Latvia out of stones in the tenth for their 11-8 win. Czech skip Jiri Snitil said, “the game was crazy. We prepared our big end and we were ok then we forced them to take one. Then we lost our concentration and they took four back! We said to ourselves that we could not lose this game and got concentrating again and took another four”.
Following their surprise opening round defeat, defending champions Norway continued their winning ways with a 9-5 win over Switzerland. Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud delivered a nice draw to score three in the ninth to set up his victory, before following that up with a steal of two in the tenth and final end.
MEN: Standings after 3 sessions:
Czech Republic 1-2
In the fourth session of women’s round-robin play at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2011 in Moscow, Sweden continued their unbeaten run with another one-sided win, this time beating Norway by 8-2 in just six ends - a game they concluded with an open draw by fourth player Maria Prytz to score four points and force Norway to shake hands. Afterwards, skip Margaretha Sigfridsson said, “it wasn’t that easy, and the last end was really good. We had the advantage in the other ends too, but they stood up and played well. I think there are some bits that we can still improve, but if we play at this level or a little bit better, it’ll go well”.
Meanwhile, Denmark kept themselves in the medal hunt when they came from behind to beat Latvia by 6-5. Danish skip Lene Nielsen sealed the win for her struggling team with a draw to score two in the tenth end. Afterwards, she said, “the fact that we are now have three wins is about the most positive thing I can say about that game. We played below average and she [Ineta Mača, Latvia’s skip] had a really good game. She made a lot out of all her stones and we missed out on a few key shots during the game”.
Russia are playing their role as the host team well – keeping their home crowd excited and entertained while scoring freely throughout their game to beat Switzerland by 11-5. The hosts grabbed this win when Swiss skip Binia Feltscher came up short with her final play of the ninth end, handing a steal of two points and the game to Russia. After this third win for Russia, coach Olga Andrianova said, “we played really well tonight. Switzerland have a strong team so the win has given us a lot of confidence going into tomorrow’s game. But we’ve got a lot of tough games ahead of us and anything can happen in women’s curling”.
Scotland got back onto winning ways with a 10-6 victory over the Czech Republic. The turning point in this game came when the Czech skip Linda Kimlova was short with her final draw-shot in the sixth end, allowing Scotland to steal three points, after this the Scots controlled the game to eventually run the Czechs out of stones in the tenth end. A relieved Scottish skip Eve Muirhead said afterwards, “I feel better about that. We were solid in the second half and stepped up. We’ve got a big day tomorrow...and no-one’s a write-off yet, so we’ve got to play strong, and we’re getting there”.
In a tense encounter with Italy, Germany only took the lead with the last stone of the last end when skip Andrea Schöpp kept her nerve to tap up delicately for the two points she needed for her 7-6 win. Commenting afterwards Schöpp said, “that was a tense game, and a lucky game for us especially after we had a bad game earlier today. We were struggling a little bit in the beginning, and we all felt a little anxiety as it didn’t work out too well for us but we fought back and that’s really important for the team. Of course it feels like we’re back on course, but it’s still a long, long way to go and it’s only three wins. We have a lot of strong opponents still to play”.
WOMEN: Standings after 4 sessions:
Czech Republic 1-3
Extensive televised coverage of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships can be seen by viewers in Europe on Eurosport. Additional live and on demand coverage will be available via the internet on the Eurosport Player. www.worldcurling.org/ecc2011-tv-and-web-coverage
Highlights of televised games can be seen here: www.youtube.com/user/WorldCurlingTV
Information about the event can be viewed here www.ecc2011.curlingrussia.com