March 18, 2012
Canada stands alone at the top of the rankings on three wins and no losses after five sessions of round-robin play at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2012 in Lethbridge, Canada, following their last-end steal of one point for a 6-5 win over Switzerland on Sunday evening.
This had been a tight game all the way, with the Teams tied at 2-2 after three ends; 4-4 after six; and 5-5 after eight. In such a tight game, Switzerland’s last stone advantage in the tenth end looked to be crucial, but their skip Mirjam Ott was too heavy and a touch wide with her final take-out attempt, leaving Canada’s counter in the house to score the one point needed for their 6-5 win and keep their unbeaten record alive.
Afterwards, Canadian skip Heather Nedohin said, “it’s not nice when you steal like that, I like seeing a skip making her last rock, but, as they say, you’ve got to put it in a place and they’ve got to make them. I’m surprised she missed by how well she - and they - played throughout the game. By the scoreboard it was a tight one but it wasn’t necessarily either of our teams’ best game. We’ll take it, but it wasn’t pretty.”
This loss means that Switzerland move onto a ‘won two, lost one’ record, and they share second place with five other Teams – Czech Republic, Germany, Korea, Scotland and Sweden. Among these, only Scotland and Germany played on Sunday evening.
The Scots were facing Denmark and looked well set up when they scored three in the first end. But after this, they contrived to lose single points in the next four ends to go into the half-time break 3-4 down. They blanked the sixth end and then tried to blank the seventh, but skip Eve Muirhead jammed her attempted clear-out at the back of the house and had to take one point to level the game at 4-4.
Denmark’s Lene Nielsen then drew for two points in the eighth end to put the pressure back on Scotland, but in the ninth, Muirhead cleared out three Danish counters with her first stone and then made a draw for four with her second to lead for the first time since the first end at 8-6. After this, the Scots ran Denmark out of stones.
Muirhead commented, saying, “we’d a great first end and got a three but after that we know we left too many stones in play,” and speaking about the ninth end, she said, “the four just appeared - I managed to leave her a tricky shot and it appeared. To come away from the first three games with two wins and one loss, we’d have taken that at the start of the week”.
Germany lost their unbeaten record while Russia grabbed their first win as the result of their game. This was another tight encounter with never more than one point separating the teams. After seven ends they were level on 4-4 and Germany tried to control the rest of the game, blanking both the eighth and ninth ends, but Russia stole two points in the tenth for their win when Germany’s fourth player Imogen Oona Lehmann was heavy with her draw.
Afterwards, Russian skip Anna Sidorova said, “finally we have our first win, it was a really tough one after losing two before. We just really had to win to help us mentally. It’s difficult to say what made the difference tonight. Finally we started to believe in ourselves and believe that we can win.”
China also broke their duck on Sunday evening, beating a USA team that remains winless, by 8-4.
The Chinese hit top form in the middle of this game, scoring in four successive ends to turn a 2-3 deficit into a 7-3 lead. The Teams swapped singles in the ninth and tenth ends but by this stage, the USA could not make any real impression.
Afterwards, China Skip, Bingyu Wang, said, “this win is a great for my team. I think we were a lot more comfortable tonight. I think in the first game and the second game we played not so bad, but we wanted to try something different to change for the better”.
Session 5: Germany 4, Russia 6; Switzerland 5, Canada 6; China 8, USA 4; Denmark 6, Scotland 8.
Team standings after 5 Draws
Czech Republic 2-1