Newly promoted Italy women beat previously undefeated Scotland

Team Italy © WCF / Céline Stucki

Despite their 7-8 loss to Italy in Tuesday morning’s sixth session of women’s round-robin play, Scotland still top the rankings of the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships in Lillehammer, Norway.  However, behind them, four teams – Germany, Russia, Switzerland and defending champions Sweden – share second place as the fight for the four play-off slots continues.

After blanking the first two ends of their game against Italy, Scotland gave up a steal of two points in the third end.

Then, in the fifth end, with Italy now leading by 2-1, Italian skip Stefania Constantini promoted one of her own stones into position to score four points and take a 6-1 lead into the break.

The Scots rallied in the second half of the game, scoring three points in the eighth end to reduce Italy’s lead to 7-6. However, when the Scots could only score one point in the tenth end, Italy sealed their 8-7 victory, to take their third win of the Championship so far.

Afterwards, a delighted Constantini said, “We are very happy at the moment because we think Team Muirhead is one of the strongest teams in the world, so we are proud of ourselves. I think it was an up-and-down game for us. We did a very strong first half, then I think they were able to come back, and it was a tight game until the last shot. So yes, we are very happy.”

Elsewhere in this session, Switzerland faced Estonia, and opened with a score of four points in the first end when their fourth player Alina Paetz drew her last stone nicely into position.

Estonia could not recover from this, and eventually went down by 10-4 in eight ends.

Speaking later, Swiss skip Silvana Tirinzoni said, “After the first end, we did not have too many tough shots, but we had to stay focussed, and we stayed focussed to the end.”

Russia faced Germany in this session.

In the second end, with Germany 1-0 ahead, Russian skip Alina Kovaleva played a tap-up to score four points and take a 4-1 lead.

After this, in the fourth end, Kovaleva played a nose-hit to score two more points and move her team onto a 6-2 lead. Russia went on to win by 7-4 to join the group on second place in the rankings.

Russia’s Galina Arsenkina © WCF / Céline Stucki

Also in that second-placed group are defending champions Sweden, who beat Turkey by 6-4. Swedish skip Anna Hasselborg started this victory with a tap-out of a Turkish stone to score two points in the first end, and the Swedes were never caught after that.

Denmark came onto the ice against Czech Republic still looking for their first win. In the first end, Danish skip Madeleine Dupont played a double take-out to open the scoring with two points.

In the fifth end, with Denmark leading by 3-2, Czech skip Alzbeta Baudysova played a tap-out into a busy house to score one point and level the game at 3-3. A steal of two for Denmark in the seventh end gave them a 6-3 lead. They managed to hold on to their advantage to win by 7-4 for their first win so far, as they continue to battle in the relegation zone.

After this game, Denmark’s Dupont said, “There wasn’t a big difference with how we played today.  We played like we’ve done on other days, but we’ve just had some heartbreaks and played against some really good teams who’ve had good times against us, but bad times for us.”

More generally, she added, “The target has been to have a good team experience – were not going to win anything this week — so we’re really just taking it one game at a time.”

Watch all the broadcast games from the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2021 online, exclusively on The Curling Channel.

Women’s session six results: Switzerland 10-4 Estonia; Denmark 7-4 Czech Republic; Scotland 7-8 Italy; Russia 7-4 Germany; Turkey 4-6 Sweden.

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Lillehammer, Norway

23 November 2021
European Curling Championships 2021
Le Gruyère AOP