Silver for Scottish Women at European Championships
Eve Muirhead’s women gave up their European crown when they went down to Russia 5-6 after an extra end in the final.
By Muirhead’s own admission, this was not one of the better Scottish performances of the week, and it started off badly when Russia stole a single in the first end after poor set-up play by the Scots.
Muirhead drew for two and the lead in the third and made Russia take a single in the fourth but, as she attempted to blank the fifth, Muirhead thinned on her Russian target, nudging it, but not clearing it, giving Russia another single steal for a 3-2 half-time lead. Muirhead then went ahead again with a draw for two in the sixth, but Sidorova levelled again in the seventh for 4-4.
The Scots blanked the eighth and Russia had her third single steal of the game in the ninth, when Muirhead’s final draw came up short. Muirhead was facing two Russian counters when she came to play her final shot in the tenth and delivered a clean hit-and-stay for one to out the game into an extra end.
The Scots set up the extra end well, with two early centre guards, but Russian second player Margarita Fomina produced the shot of the game to clear them both and take out a Scottish counter on the four foot. This shot put an end to Scots’ hopes and Sidorova hit and stayed for the one shot needed for her to claim the title.
Afterwards, a disappointed Muirhead said, “you know, not an awful lot went wrong there. It wasn’t our best performance and we’ve played better this week. We just had one or two slack shots here and there, but they played well. But we had a few chances and I thought we were in control”.
“Anyone would be happy in a European final to be going into the extra end with last stone, it just wasn’t to be for us. The extra end could have gone either way – their second made a fantastic double and took out one in the house too, so we just knew they were going to make that final shot”
Russian skip Sidorova said, “I still can’t believe it. I can’t believe that the Europeans week has gone and we are the champions. I’m so happy that I can’t feel it. Before I decided to play the take-out I thought about the draw but I chose to play the take -out, I told myself ‘Anna you can do it’, and I did. I’m really proud of my team and excited to play with this team, they are amazing girls. I am proud to be here, to represent my country. This is important for me personally and it is important for curling in Russia”.
Sweden won the bronze medal, beating Denmark by 9-3. They were always in control, with fourth player Maria Prytz hitting for two points in the third end, for a 4-1 lead, and adding three more points in the fifth with a hit and a 7-1 lead, on their way to victory and the consolation of bronze medals.
Sweden skip Margaretha Sigfridsson said: ““I think we will be happy with the bronze. Of course were not satisfied we didn’t get to the final but we said we wouldn’t cry if we came home with a medal so that’s what we have to live with. Of course we had a good week and we wanted to get to the final but we will be happy with the bronze.”
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Report: Mike Haggerty
Picture: Insert – WCF/Richard Gray. Main – Leslie Ingram-Brown