Coach Believes Scots Women In Form To Contend

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Team Muirhead completed a perfect day for Scotland at the European Curling Championships in Esbjerg when they claimed second place in the standings after a fifth successive win.

The former world champions had secured their place in the play-offs with their first victory of the day against Switzerland, a match that in some way reflected their round-robin campaign as they made a slow start, conceding three shots at the first two ends, then went through the gears. They levelled with a three at the fourth, claiming a double at the next and another steal at the fifth to take control, going on to run out 7-5 winners.

There was nothing in their evening meeting with Norway until the Scots out-manoeuvred their opponents at the eighth ends, registering a decisive four shots to set up their 9-4 win.

“That was a game of patience. We swapped the hammer round pretty early on and had it in the even ends which we wanted and put them under pressure then managed to get that big end in the eighth which decided the game,” was skip Eve Muirhead’s summation of the match.

The Scots head into the semi-finals against a Finnish team that has a new skip in Oona Kauste and while he warned that they will be dangerous opponents Dave Hay, Team Muirhead’s coach, believes they now have the necessary momentum to go the distance.
“We had an erratic start to the competition but we’ve come good in the second half of the round-robin,” he said.

“It’s an unbelievable achievement by Finland. They’ve played exceptionally well. Our focus is definitely on Finland firstly, but absolutely we are playing well enough to win this.

“Eve is one of the very best skips in the world and the team are supporting her really well. Anna, Vicki and Sarah have all had a good week, but you have to turn up in both the semi and the final if you get there.

“No matter which team you play, they’ve needed to be on form this week. Finland you might look at historically and they’ve not been so dominant, but believe me they’ve come of age. They’re in the top four in Europe and it’ll be a big game for us.”

(Quotes courtesy of Richard Browne, from the roaringgameblog in Esbjerg)

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