Czech Republic and Switzerland record first wins at ECC 2015

  • Erik Sik and Tomas Paul sweeping for Czech Republic Photo: WCF / Richard Gray

In Sunday (21 November) afternoon's third session of men's round-robin play at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2015, being held in Esbjerg, Denmark, Norway moved into a clear lead at the top of the table, as the only undefeated team remaining, while Switzerland and the Czech Republic both recorded their first wins.

Norway were up against Finland, and in the sixth end, Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud played a gentle tap-back to score two points from the end and take a 6-3 lead on his way to a 9-3 win.

Switzerland faced Italy, looking for their first win and in the fifth end of this game, Switzerland's fourth player Benoit Schwarz had a draw-shot into the house to score two points and give his team a 6-1 lead. Italy then responded in the sixth end, when their fourth player Amos Mosaner produced a double take-out to score two points and reduce Switzerland's lead to 6-3, but Switzerland went on to win by 8-4.

Like Switzerland, the Czech Republic were still without a win as they played table-topping Germany in this session and they were leading by 4-2 in the ninth end when German skip Alexander Baumann scored one point with an open draw that reduced the Czech lead to just one point, at 4-3. However, Czech skip David Sik was able to produce a precision hit-and-stay with his last stone of the tenth to score one more point and win the game by 5-3, a first victory of the event for the Czechs.

Russia faced the Netherlands and in the seventh end of this game, with Russia leading by 5-2, the Dutch skip Jaap Van Dorp had an open draw into the house to score two points and reduce the Russian lead to just one point, at 6-5. Russia still held a one-point lead when the teams played the tenth end, and Russia's fourth player Alexey Stukalskiy scored one point with his final draw-shot to seal a Russian win, at 7-5.

In the fifth game of the session, defending champions Sweden faced Scotland. Sweden scored three points in the first end and then took a 5-1 lead with a further two points in the third end. Eventually Sweden's skip Niklas Edin drew for one point in the ninth end and a 9-6 lead, and then the Scots ran out of stones in the tenth.

They Said It:

David Sik; skip, Czech Republic (after 3-5 win over Germany);

"I'm happy because we won the game and I'm happy we stayed alive in the last end because we didn't play so well. We feel better now, the first win is always good."

Evgeny Arkhipov; skip, Russia (after 7-5 win over Netherlands);

"It was a good game, we made a lot of good shots and I'm happy now. They [Netherlands] played well; in the A-Division all the teams are tough. We need better execution in our shots and to think about our strategy in our decisions as we prepare for the next games."

Peter De Cruz; skip, Switzerland (after 8-4 win over Italy);

"We felt like we didn’t get the result we wanted in the earlier games but we’re feeling pretty good, playing better and better so far. I think we just have to focus now game for game. We don’t have a lot of wins under our belts so we just need to play better and really try and progress."

B-Division Highlights

In the men’s A Group, in the B-Division, Denmark remain undefeated after a 6-4 win against Hungary while newcomers Slovenia beat Belgium by 10-2 in six ends. Turkey fell 6-3 to Lithuania and Poland defeated Wales 8-5.

MEN'S RESULTS, Session 3:

Italy 4-8 Switzerland; Norway 9-3 Finland; Scotland 6-9 Sweden; Russia 7-5 Netherlands; Germany 3-5 Czech Republic.

MEN'S STANDINGS after Session 3 (W - L):

Norway 3-0
Germany 2-1
Russia 2-1
Sweden 2-1
Czech Republic 1-2
Finland 1-2
Italy 1-2
Netherlands 1-2
Scotland 1-2
Switzerland 1-2