Silver and Bronze for Scots at European Championships
Scotland’s women had to settle for European silver when they lost their final by 5-10 to Sweden on Saturday 30th November.
After being dominant all week, the Scottish women struggled in this game. In the first end, Muirhead had a complete miss with her attempted take-out to hand Sweden a steal of one point.
A Muirhead nose-hit gave Scotland one shot in the second end, but in the third end Sweden made a breakthrough when fourth player Maria Prytz promoted one of her own stones and knocked out a Scottish counter to score three for a 4-1 lead.
Scotland blanked the fourth and took out a Swedish counter in the fifth to score two and close the gap to 4-3 in Sweden’s favour. In the sixth Prytz left one Scottish stone in the house on an attempted double take-out and the single steal took the score to 4-4. Sweden added another two shots in the seventh, at which point the Scots started to run out of time on the match-clock. The teams swapped singles in the eighth and ninth ends, The Scots were then forced to rush the last couple of ends and Muirhead had nowhere to go with her last shot in the tenth, which she played with only twelve seconds left. Sweden stole three from this end for their 10-5 victory, and their country’s 19th women’s European title.
Afterwards, Muirhead admitted, “that was pretty sore. We just didn’t seem to be as sharp as we had been for the rest of the week and we ended up running the clock down a bit. But, give them their dues, they played well”.
She added, “when we got our steal in the sixth end to bring it back level I thought we really had a good chance, but when you’re running out of time you don’t have as long as you need to make decisions with your last stones and it does make you rush the whole game. But we can’t use that as an excuse – we just weren’t good enough today and that’s the bottom line”.
Moments after coming off the ice, she said, “This is not the big one this season, it’s not the be-all and end-all. Our preparation is for Sochi. It would have been nice to come away with the gold medal, but we’ve had such a great week. I think we’re in a really, really good place and I’m happy with the way things are going. We’ve got a lot of good things to take away from this week but we just couldn’t finish it off today”.
In the bronze medal game between the Scottish men and Denmark, the Danes opened with a score of two. However the Scots took the lead in the fifth when Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne wrecked his last stone , leaving David Murdoch with a simple draw to score three points for a 4-3 lead.
The game came down to the tenth end and when Stjerne was heavy with his final draw leaving two Scottish counters in the house, Scotland won without Murdoch having to play his last stone.
Like Muirhead, Murdoch reflected on his overall performance and his Olympic plans saying, “we know what the real goal is this season, and this week was all about working hard as a team, having some good performances and playing well and I think we’ve done that. We’ve not got a gold medal but we’ve shown what we’re capable of. It’s all about keeping that good form now and training hard and keeping things going”.
Final Women’s Standings
1. Sweden (Gold)*
2. Scotland (Silver)*
3. Switzerland (Bronze)*
6. Czech Republic*
8. Germany* (Won World Challenge series against Finland)
9. Norway (Relegated to B-Group)
10. Italy (Relegated to B-Group)
*Qualified for Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2014
Final Men’s Standings
1. Switzerland (Gold)*
2. Norway (Silver)*
3. Scotland (Bronze)*
7. Czech Republic*
8. Latvia (Lost World Challenge series 2-0 to Germany*)
9. France (Relegated to B-Group)
10. Finland (Relegated to B-Group)
*Qualified for World Men’s Curling Championship 2014
For full reports of all Scotland’s games at the European Championships visit European Latest
Report: Mike Haggerty
Photos: © WCF/Jesse Kushneryk 2013