Denmark women begin with home win in Esbjerg; Hungary women record first A-Division victory

  • Photo: WCF / Laura Godenzi

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark opened the Le Gruyere European Curling Championships 2015 today (Friday 20 November) in Esbjerg with a well-delivered ceremonial opening stone. He then stayed on to watch skip Lene Nielsen lead her Danish women's team to a 7-2 win over Scotland.

The Danes started with last stone advantage but blanked. In the second end, Nielsen had an open draw for two and a lead that she never gave up. The teams swapped singles in the next two ends and then Scotland skip Eve Muirhead came up short with her final draw of the fifth to give Denmark a steal of two and a 5-1 half-time lead.

The Scots blanked the sixth end and then could only hit out for a score of one in the seventh end. Two more points for Denmark with a simple draw in the eighth were enough to persuade the Scots to concede.
Hungary beat Norway by 8-5 in Friday evening's opening session of women's round-robin play for a first-ever A-Division win for skip Dorottya Palancsa and her team, following their promotion from last year's B-Division.

This was a tight game all the way – Norway opened the scoring with two points but Hungary went into the fifth end break with a 4-2 lead. Eventually, when Norway skip Kristin Skaslien wrecked her last draw attempt in the tenth end, the Hungarians had their win.

World champions Switzerland lost their opener, going down by 2-8 to Russia in a game that saw the Russians score three points in each of the second and seventh ends.

Elsewhere, Sweden had a six-end 11-1 win over Finland, opening with four points in the first end and steal of four in the second end, while Germany beat Estonia by 9-2.

They Said It:

Lene Nielsen: skip, Denmark (after a 7-2 win over Scotland);

"It's a great start, winning the first game is always good, especially against Scotland who are a tough team whatever way you look at it. It was important for us to get out there and get a feel for the ice. It sounds so simple but we played some really good key shots and we got the draw weight down pretty quickly, so we maintained the pressure."

Dorottya Palancsa; skip Hungary (after 8-5 win over Norway):

"We really wanted to start this competition with a victory, and we managed to do that. In the first two ends we had some difficulties with the ice, then in the middle of the game we played really well. In the last end we made the situation more difficult for ourselves, luckily, we had a nice save, and we won the game, so we are really happy."

Cecilia Oestlund; skip Sweden (after 11-1 win over Finland):

"It feels really good to be back out here at a Championship. The last time was here in 2011. We played really well and the Finnish girls struggled a bit, so that helped us. Overall I'm super-happy with how we performed today.”

WOMEN'S RESULTS, Session 1:

Switzerland 2-8 Russia; Scotland 2-7 Denmark; Sweden 11-1 Finland; Germany 9-2 Estonia; Norway 5-8 Hungary

WOMEN'S STANDINGS after Session 1 (W - L):

Denmark 1-0
Germany 1-0
Hungary 1-0
Russia 1-0
Sweden 1-0
Estonia 0-1
Finland 0-1
Norway 0-1
Scotland 0-1
Switzerland 0-1