ECC 2013: Day 2 Late Round-up

Norway men are the only unbeaten team in the men's championship Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Scotland’s women encouraging start to the Le Gruyere European Curling Championships continued with a tense 7-6 win over Germany in Sunday afternoon's third session of women's round-robin play.

The match was close throughout, but Scottish skip Eve Muirhead kept her cool to nudge out a German stone from the button in the final end to earn her team their victory.

After the game, Muirhead said: “It was a good game and a good battle. We managed to get our twos but we gave up a cheap steal in the eighth end which brought them back into it.”

Switzerland are the only other undefeated team in the women’s section after a 9-7 win over Latvia. This was another close affair, but Mirjam Ott hit out a Latvian stone to score three points in the tenth end to clinch the match.

Denmark claimed their second win of the day with a resounding 9-2 win over hosts Norway. The Danes secured four successive steals early on to build a healthy advantage and their victory was confirmed as early as the sixth end when skip Lene Nielsen drew into the house to claim four points and the game.

Defending champions Russia earned their first win of the championships with a 9-4 defeat of Sweden in nine ends. Their skip Anna Sidorova made the vital hit in the seventh end, knocking out a Swedish stone to earn four points to swing the game in their favour.

Afterwards, Sidorova said: “The ice is always difficult during different sessions and during the game it changes. Sometimes you have to make a choice and in this match I did the right things at the right time.”

Italy also picked up their first win of the week with a 9-2 victory over Czech Republic in eight ends. Four successive steals between the third and sixth ends earned them a commanding lead which they never surrendered. Afterwards, Italian skip Veronica Zapparone said: “We feel so happy because we played so much better than the other games, but we can still play better. It’s a good start after two bad games.”

Later, the men's teams came onto the ice for their fourth round-robin session.

Hosts Norway faced Sweden in a game that drew the biggest crowd of the week so far. The Swedish World and European champions, and the local heroes, did not disappoint the crowd with the latest in the on-going series of close games between the Scandinavian rivals.

The game was a re-run of last year's final and Norway's Thomas Ulsrud pleased the crowd in the third end, when he drew to the four foot ring to score two points and take a 3-1 lead.

In the seventh end, Sweden's Niklas Edin produced an equally well-judged draw-shot to score one point and take a 5-4 lead. Eventually, this tight game went into an extra end and Norway's Ulsrud sealed his win with a draw onto a Swedish stone to score the one point he needed for the 7-6 victory that kept his unbeaten run going.

On the next sheet, Russia faced the Czech Republic, with both teams looking for a win to strengthen their play-off hopes. In the seventh end of the game, Russian fourth player, Evgeniy Arkhipov, levelled the score at 5-5 with a take-out that produced two points.

Later, in the tenth end his attempted draw was too strong, handing the Czech Republic a steal of two points and victory in the game, with the final score being 8-6 to the Czechs. This was the first win of the week for the Czech Republic, who were without their regular skip Jiri Snitil for this game, who was too unwell to play.

After the game Czech stand-in skip Martin Snitil said: "We're very happy to get our first win, we’re almost in the third day so it was an important win for us." He also explained: "Jiri’s feeling sick. This is just the beginning of the tournament and in a one week we have a very important tournament qualifying for the Olympics, so we need to have him 100 percent healthy for next week."

The Switzerland - Scotland encounter was anther tight game. In the eighth end Scottish skip David Murdoch drew into the house to score two points and take a 6-5 lead. However, in the ninth end, an earlier Scottish mistake left Swiss skip Michel Sven with a straightforward draw into the house to score three points for an 8-6 lead. After this, Switzerland ran the Scots out of stones to claim their win.

Afterwards, Murdoch said: "That's disappointing. We played a lot of nice shots, but also some slack ones, especially in the ninth end.” Reflecting on the overall event so far, he added: "This tournament is always tough in Olympic year, everyone's at their best, so it's going to be a tough week."

Meanwhile Swiss skip Sven Michel, said: "We're pleased with that win. It was a tough game, up and down. Both teams had their chances to win and we were the lucky ones this time. We're on our plan at the moment. We're playing good, but we could play better and we'll try for a better performance tomorrow, but our plan is going well so far."

Denmark kept their unbeaten run going with a 6-2 win over Latvia in just seven ends. Denmark opened by scoring two points in the first end and then had single steals in each of the second and third ends. After this, they simply did not Latvia get into the game and ran out as comfortable winners.
Afterwards, Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne reflected: "That's a good start and we've played some good games, but we've still got a tough competition ahead, so we're still taking it one game at a time. We've worked hard coming here."

France recorded their first win of the week with a 6-5 win over Finland. They opened with two points in the first end and stole a single point in the second end. Although Finland levelled the score at 4-4 with two points in the sixth end, this advantage was enough to keep France out of real trouble as they sealed their win with a single point in the tenth end.

Reflecting on his first win at this level, a delighted French skip Joffrey Vincent said: "I’m really happy to win my first game of the European Championships. It’s a very hard step up between the juniors and this tournament.”

RESULTS

WOMEN
Session 3:
Denmark 9, Norway 2; Scotland 7, Germany 6; Russia 9, Sweden 4; Switzerland 9, Latvia 7; Italy 9, Czech Republic 2.

Standings after 3 sessions:
1. Scotland 3-0
1. Switzerland 3-0
3. Denmark 2-1
3. Sweden 2-1
5. Czech Republic 1-2
5. Italy 1-2
5. Latvia 1-2
5. Norway 1-2
5. Russia 1-2
10. Germany 0-3

MEN
Session 4:
Sweden 6, Norway 7 (extra end); Russia 6, Czech Republic 8; Latvia 2, Denmark 6; Finland 5, France 6; Switzerland 8, Scotland 6.

Standings after 4 sessions:
1. Denmark 4-0
1. Norway 4-0
3. Switzerland 3-1
4. Latvia 2-2
4. Scotland 2-2
4. Sweden 2-2
7. Czech Republic 1-3
7. France 1-3
7. Russia 1-3
10. Finland 0-4

Extensive televised coverage of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2013 from Stavanger can be seen by viewers in Europe on Eurosport and additionally in Norway on TV2 Sport. Live coverage will also be available via the internet on the Eurosport Player and on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV. Complete coverage details can be seen here: http://ecc2013.worldcurling.net/tv-broadcast-web-tv-coverage-schedule

Event website: http://ecc2013.worldcurling.net for further information, schedules of play, full team line ups and results.

Event Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EuropeanCurlingChampionships

Twitter Hashtags: #ecc2013 #curling

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