Esbjerg Daily: European Curling Championships 2015 – Day 5

sco win!
Scotland men stopped the rot with a fine win over Finland (Photo: WCF)

It was a 100 per cent kind of day for Britain at on Day 5 in Esbjerg, with Scotland women winning their second and third games on the bounce, Scotland men finally reversing their losing run, and the English and Welsh teams all victorious too.

The day opened with Eve Muirhead’s Scotland women against Germany, skipped by Daniela Driendl.

The Scots were off to a fast start with a three in end one and led 5-3 at the fifth end break.

They scored a crucial two in end eight, and saw out the win 8-6.

Vice skip Anna Sloan said afterwards: “It was a real battle. They [Germany] are experienced and they’re solid.

“The scoreline was close but we did always feel in control and we just needed to prove that, stay solid and keep our concentration.”

Scotland men, skipped by Kyle Smith, were up next against Aku Kauste’s Finland – who have been hitting form just as Scotland were losing theirs.

But this felt like a fresh start from the Scots, putting yesterday’s disappointing losses behind them to stay in touch with the Finns, going into the fifth end break 3-2 down but with hammer.

They carried last stone advantage over into end eight, when they scored two, and then played a composed last couple of ends, cranking up the pressure in end 10 and coming away with a steal of three – and a 7-3 win.

Skip Smith was understandably relieved. He said: “[After yesterday] we regrouped and tried to play a bit simpler.

“We stuck together as a team and made the important shots.

“We came here to get experience playing at a men’s event with Scotland on our backs. So far we’ve not played well enough at all.

“We just need to keep improving from that game there and I think we can still end up with more wins than losses.”

Their coach, Viktor Kjäll, added: “The play hasn’t been that bad, it’s just a couple of key shots that we missed, and we took them here.

“Now we’ll have a little debrief and make sure we use the momentum built up from today and keep rolling. I’m looking forward to it tomorrow.”

Scotland women were involved in the evening session – but not for long, as they defeated Maile Mölder’s Estonia 10-1 in just six ends.

As in the Germany game, they started with a three in end one, then took steals of one in ends two and three.

A score of five in end six saw the Estonians concede the game. Next up for Scotland, Alina Pätz’s Swiss world champions.

Skip Muirhead said: “Our stone placement was good, top tee, which made it difficult for [Estonia] because they love to draw and freeze.

“We always have really good games with Alina and I’m sure tomorrow will be exactly the same.

“They’re current world champions so it’s going to be tough and we know we’re going to have to play well to beat them.”

Elsewhere in the women’s competition, hosts Denmark suffered their first loss, to Norway, and are now level with Russia on W6 L1, just ahead of Scotland on W5 L2.

Finland, Switzerland and Sweden (all W4 L3) are all in playoff contention.

IMG_0547

In the men’s round robin, Norway (today’s style of fancy pants shown above) stay undefeated but Sweden lost their second game of the week, to Switzerland.

Finland, Germany, Russia and Switzerland are just behind the Swedes, all on W3 L3, while all of the remaining teams sit on W2 L4 records.

***

In the B-Division, James Pougher’s Wales began the day with a fine 10-8 win over Hungary for their second win of the week.

England men, skipped by Alan MacDougall, picked up a very impressive 9-8 win over previously unbeaten Austria, largely thanks to a five courtesy of this terrific shot.

England women defeated their Austrian counterparts 9-4 before rounding off the day with a thumping 14-3 win over France – as they scored three in end one, four in end three, three in end four and four in end six.

Their skip Anna Fowler said: “The ice was really swingy and we figured it out before our opponents – I think that was the difference today.

“We’re in the playoff mix if we win tomorrow [against Poland], and we’ll see how other results come out.”

***

Tomorrow sees four draws played in both the A and B-Divisions.

Scotland men play Italy and Russia, while the women face Switzerland and Norway.

England men play Slovakia, the English women are up against Poland and the Welsh men take on Lithuania.

You can get updates via @RoaringGameBlog on Twitter and Facebook, plus shot-by-shot coverage of several games through CurlingGeek.

Eurosport and World Curling TV will televise more matches including Russia v Sweden (women) and Norway v Switzerland (men).

For full fixtures and results, see the event website, plus photo galleries here.

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