SCOTLAND’S WOMEN QUALIFY FOR SEMI FINALS AT EUROPEAN CHAMPS
Scotland’s women ended day five of the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships in Sweden losing out 10-5 to title rivals Russia, but Eve Muirhead’s team still had reason to celebrate their efforts after securing their place in the knockout stages.
A 10-4 victory over Latvia earlier in the day had seen Muirhead and this season’s new-look combination of Lauren Gray, Jen Dodds and Vicky Wright secure their place in the semi-finals with two matches and a day to spare.
The Scots had taken control of that match when they claimed a three at the fourth end to take a 4-3 lead into the midway break, before scores of four and two at the next two ends wrapped up a comfortable victory.
They continued that excellent form in the early stages of their encounter with the Russians, but the match got away from them when opposing skip Alina Kovaleva pulled off a superb double take out at the eighth end to swing it her team’s way and after she missed with an attempted take out to concede another three at the ninth end, Muirhead afterwards admitted that it had been a painful loss.
“It was a really good game,” she said. “We had full control of the first half. Those ones are difficult when you lose them, because we actually played a very good game.
“She played a great double for her three in the eighth end there which was the turning point. We were looking pretty nice for a steal and she went for a pretty brave call and give their skip her due she made it.”
Muirhead knew they were up against it from that point on.
“It was always going to be a tough ask to steal at the last end, but that wasn’t ideal,” she said of the way the match ended.
“Obviously we’re qualified, though, which is great and Russia were always going to be a very tough team.”
While both teams had gone into that match knowing their place in the play-offs was assured there had been plenty at stake as the Scottish skip acknowledged.
“We were playing for hammer out there which is really important when it comes to the play-off stages, so we’re still focused as ever and obviously it’s disappointing because none of us want to lose,” said Muirhead.
“However we’ve qualified and we just need another really good game against Estonia tomorrow to really secure our spot, then whoever we get in the semi-final we need to bring our A game.”
Sophie Sinclair (alternate)
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© WCF/Cheyenne Boone/Celine Stucki/Richard Gray
Saturday 16 November
Scotland v Norway 7-4
Sunday 17 November
Scotland v Denmark 7-6 (EE)
Scotland v Czech Republic 8-5
Monday 18 November
Scotland v Switzerland 9-8
Scotland v Sweden 4-11
Tuesday 19 November
Scotland v Germany 10-5
Wednesday 20 November
Scotland v Latvia 10-4
Scotland v Russia 5-10
Thursday 21 November
Scotland v Estonia
Friday 22 November
Women’s semi finals
Women’s bronze medal game
Saturday 23 November
Women’s gold medal game