ECC 2013: Day 5 Late Round-up

Czech Republic's Martin Snitil and his team qualified for the World Men's Curling Championship 2014 after defeating Latvia Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

In Wednesday evening's ninth and final session of men's round-robin play at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships in Stavanger, the Page Play-offs were determined following the session’s results and subsequent final standings.

Scotland played a Norwegian team that was unbeaten until this point. In the sixth end of this tight game, Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud drew to score two points and close the gap to 4-3 in Scotland’s favour. Eventually, in the tenth end, Scottish skip David Murdoch delivered a perfectly-weighted draw onto the button to score one point and take a 6-5 win.

Both of these teams qualified for the Page Play-offs, with Norway ranked first and Scotland ranked fourth.

After the game, Scotland skip, David Murdoch, said: "That game didn't really mean a lot in some ways, but it was important that we had a really good performance and show everyone here what this team is capable of. We're good friends with these guys and it was a bit of a laugh and a joke at the start, but you want the bragging rights and you want to keep the train running."

The game between Switzerland and Denmark was to decide who would finish second and third.

In the fourth end, Swiss skip Sven Michel drew into the house to score one point and take a 3-1 lead. However, by the tenth end, the Danes were right back in it, but when Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne was heavy with his final draw, Switzerland counted one for a 5-4 win and second place on the rankings.

Both teams go on to the medal games, with Switzerland facing Norway in the page 1-2 game, and Denmark, ranked third, playing fourth-placed Scotland in the Page 3-4 game.

This was the first time that Sven Michel’s team had reached the Play-offs after several close attempts. On this point he said: "We've been close a couple of times but this is the first time in the play-offs. The next target is a medal." About the Play-off game against Norway he added: "We need a great game against them because they have been really strong throughout the whole week. I think we'll just play our own game."

Sweden faced Finland in what would be their last game as European champions. In the ninth end, Swedish skip Niklas Edin drew into the house to score three points for a final score of 8-5. This result means that Sweden ranked fifth overall, while Finland were tenth and last, and will be relegated to next year's "B" division.
Both Russia and France were out of medal contention when they faced each other and Russia took sixth place overall with a 10-2 win in nine ends - and a place in the world championship line-up. France meanwhile were ninth overall and will join Finland in next year's B-Group.

The Czech Republic faced Latvia, with both teams knowing that the winner would rank seventh overall and the loser would finish eighth and subsequently face a challenge for the final European slot at this season's world championship.

In the sixth end, Czech ski Jiri Snitil was short with his final draw, but he still managed to score two points and take a 6-4 lead. The Czechs went on to secure their victory, at 8-4, and guarantee themselves a world championship place.

Afterwards, Snitil said: "This Europeans was very tough for us, especially because I missed two games due to illness, I came off at the fifth end against Switzerland and still I don’t feel good. So this is a big win - we are safe in these Championships and we will go to the Worlds. If we were in good shape I would say this was a disappointing position to finish in, but in these circumstances, I am happy."

RESULTS
Session 9:
Czech Republic 8, Latvia 4; Sweden 8, Finland 5; Scotland 6, Norway 5; Denmark 4, Switzerland 5; Russia 10, France 2.

Standings after Round-Robin:
1.Norway 8-1 (to play Switzerland in 1v2 Page Play-off & Qualified for WMCC 2014)
2. Switzerland 7-2 (to play Norway in 1v2 Page Play-off & Qualified for WMCC 2014)
3. Denmark 7-2 (To play Scotland in 3v4 Page Play-off & Qualified for WMCC 2014)
4. Scotland 7-2 (To play Denmark in 3v4 Page Play-off & Qualified for WMCC 2014)
5. Sweden 5-4 (Qualified for WMCC 2014)
6. Russia 4-5 (Qualified for WMCC 2014)
7. Czech Republic 3-6 (Qualified for WMCC 2014)
8. Latvia 2-7 (To play best of three play-off against winner of B-Group for final place at WMCC 2014)
9. France 1-8 (Relegated to B-Group)
10. Finland 1-8 (Relegated to B-Group)

WMCC = World Men’s Curling Championship

Both A and B Groups will open with round-robin play and, after tie-breakers on Thursday 28 November, semi-finals, promotion challenge games and medal finals take place on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th December.

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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