Sunday (21 November) afternoon’s third women’s round-robin session at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2021 featured a re-run of the last European final, between defending champions Sweden and Scotland.
The Swedes opened strongly, with scores of two points in both the first and third end, to take a 4-1 lead.
However, the Scots scored two points of their own in the fourth end before carving out single-point steals in the next three ends to take a 6-4 lead.
Sweden could only score one more point in the eighth end. Eventually, Swedish skip Anna Hasselborg was left without a route into the button with her last stone of the tenth end, and her attempted angle-raise gave up another single-point steal to hand Scotland an 8-5 win.
After this game, Scotland skip Eve Muirhead said, “The first half of the game was in Sweden’s hands. We knew we were on the back foot, but we managed to get a nice two in the fourth end and a steal in the fifth. We stepped it up in the second half, it’s good to know that we can come back from being down.”
More generally, she added, “We’ve had a tough start so to be sitting on 3–0, we’re a happy team!”
The Scots are now joined at the top of the table by Germany, whose game against world champions Switzerland was delayed by the need for some remedial work on the ice. This game was tight all the way, with the teams tied at 5-5 as they played the tenth end.
Switzerland’s fourth player Alina Paetz was faced with a difficult draw for the win, which she sent too deep, giving Germany a single-point steal and their third win so far, by 6-5.
First win for Czech Republic
Elsewhere, Czech Republic gained their first win of the competition, beating Turkey by 7-5.
The Czechs set themselves up for this win with a score of three points in the third end to take a 3-1 lead.
After this, two more points for Czech Republic in the fifth end gave them a 5-3 lead at the break, on their way to a 7-5 victory.
The Czechs have been playing without their regular skip Anna Kubeskova, who has been ill, and temporary skip Alzbeta Baudysova was delighted with the result. “I’m really happy, it feels great because we’re here without our normal skip, so it’s harder for us. But I think we’re doing well so far, and I hope that can continue. I think more wins will come. It is our goal to stay in the “A” Group and to qualify for the Worlds. We’ve had a hard start, but we can put more wins on the board.”
Italy faced Estonia in this session, and it was the Estonians who held a 4-2 lead at the break.
But after this, steals of one point in the ninth end and three points in the tenth end gave Italy their second win so far.
Speaking after the game their skip Stefania Constantini said, “I’m feeling very good now, but it was a strange game actually. We started well with a score of two in the first end, but then we missed some shots and they got ahead of us with the score. But we kept playing and we had two very good last ends to win 9 to 5.”
A strong first-half performance by Russia against Denmark, that featured a score of two points in the second end and then single-point steals in the third and fourth ends for a 4-0 lead, was enough give the Russians their second win so far.
The Danes remain without a win so far, alongside Estonia.
Watch all the broadcast games from the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2021 online, exclusively on The Curling Channel.
Women’s session three results: Estonia 5-9 Italy; Czech Republic 7-5 Turkey; Sweden 5-8 Scotland; Germany 6-5 Switzerland; Denmark 3-7 Russia.
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