World Women’s: Final: Switzerland 7, Sweden 6
Switzerland faced Sweden in what turned out to be a close final of the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Canada on Sunday afternoon, with the lead changing hands six times before Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott and her team of third Carmen Schafer, second Carmen King, lead Janine Greiner, supported by alternate Alina Patz and coach Thomas Lips, emerged as 7-6 winners with the last shot of the tenth end.
In the tenth, Ott was faced with a precision hit and stay to score two for the title, which she made to become only the third Swiss skip to win the world crown, and the first since 1983.
During the closing ceremony, Scottish skip Eve Muirhead was declared the winner of the annual Frances Brodie Award, voted by the players to the curler who best exhibits sportsmanship and ability.
Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/CCA/Michael Burns
Ford World Women’s Championship: Bronze Game: Korea 6, Canada 9
Korea faced Canada in Sunday morning’s bronze medal play-off at the Ford World Women’s Championship in Lethbridge, Canada. For Korea it was a little piece of history – a first-ever play-off appearance; for Canada, it was a disappointment not to be playing for gold.
Eventually, Canada then stole a single point in the tenth end for a 9-6 victory and Canada’s 28th World Championship medal when Korean skip Ji-Sun Kim wrecked as she attempted a very thin tap-out.
Ford World Women’s Championship: Semi-final: Switzerland 9, Korea 6
Switzerland will have another crack at Sweden in Sunday’s final of the Ford World Women’s Championship in Lethbridge, Canada, after they beat Korea by 9-6 in Saturday evening’s semi-final.
This will be the first-ever world final for Switzerland’s two-times Olympic silver medallist Mirjam Ott.
Before that, Korea will play Canada for bronze medals on Sunday morning.
Ford World Women’s Championship: Page 3 v 4: Korea 4, Canada 3
Korean skip Ji-Sun Kim played a brave tap-up on one of her own stones with the last stone of a tense tenth end, to score two for 4-3, beat Canada, and qualify for Saturday evening’s semi-final game against Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott.
The winner of that semi-final will play Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson for the world title on Sunday afternoon, while the loser will play Canada’s Heather Nedohin for bronze on Sunday morning.
Ford World Women’s Championship: Page 1 v 2: Switzerland 6, Sweden 7
Sweden took the direct route to Sunday’s final of the Ford World Women’s Championship in Lethbridge, Canada when they beat Switzerland by 7-6 in Friday evening Page 1 v 2 Play-off game.
Earlier, Canada beat the USA in a fourth-place tie-breaker, by 9-8, and they now face Korea in the Page 3 v 4 Play-off game on Saturday afternoon.
Switzerland will play the winner between Korea and Canada in the sole semi-final, with the winner of that going on to face Sweden in the gold medal final on Sunday and the loser facing the Page 3 v 4 loser for bronze medals.
Ford World Women’s Championship: Session 17: Canada 3, Scotland 9
Eve Muirhead and her team silenced a full house of home supporters at the final round-robin session of the Ford World Women’s Championship in Lethbridge, Canada as they clinically defeated their Canadian hosts by 9-3.
This was, of course, a bitter-sweet victory as, with it, the Scots concluded their campaign – finishing in sixth place overall – while Canada now move onto a tie-breaker game against USA for the fourth spot in the Page Play-offs.
Muirhead’s team was in control from the moment they scored two in the third end for a 3-1 lead. After this, they stole a further two when Canada skip Heather Nedohin was heavy and wide in the fourth.
Canada made a good double take-out for two in the fifth and, after blanking the sixth and seventh ends, Muirhead put the result beyond doubt in the eighth with a well-judged angled raised double take-out to score three for an 8-3 lead . The Scots then stole another single in the ninth when Nedohin rolled out, after which Canada conceded.
Afterwards, Muirhead said, “it’s always extra-special to beat Canada in Canada, especially after a tough week, but I’m not going to lie…I’m totally gutted. I know we’ve just come off a win but we’re capable of medalling here and it didn’t come off this year. We struggled with the ice at the start of the week and we just didn’t get on top of things that we had to get on top of”.
She added, “we were getting better and better and if I’d made that draw against Sweden, who knows where we could have been. We’re a young team, our average age is 21 and to play in a Championship like this and get a lot of pressure from the media – it’s tough”.
She continued her reflections, “it’s been great for us. Even though we haven’t qualified, all in all it’s been a huge learning curve and hopefully we can do bigger and better things. Each competition has been a stepping stone for us. We’ve had a great season – European champions, but it’s going to be hard to keep it up, but we know what we’re capable of as a team and hopefully we’ll get some good performances in the future”.
Session 17: Switzerland 6, Russia 4; Canada 3, Scotland 9; China 5, Germany 6; USA 8, Denmark 5.
Standings: Sweden, Switzerland, Korea won 8, lost 3; Canada, USA 7-4; Scotland 6-5; Denmark, Germany 5-6; Russia 4-7; China, Italy 3-8; Czech Republic 2-9.
Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/CCA/Michael Burns
Ford World Women’s Championship: Session 16: Scotland 9,Italy 8
The Scottish women bounced back from the disappointment of being knocked out of play-off contention with a 9-8 win over Italy in an extra end of their Thursday afternoon sixteenth session round-robin game at the Ford World Women’s Championship in Lethbridge, Canada.
The Scots started well, stealing one in the opening end and another in the second. But they allowed Italy to level with two shots in the fourth. After this, the teams swapped twos all the way to the tenth end, when in fact Italy should have scored three for the win, but skip Diana Gaspari rolled just out with her final hit to offer the Scots an unexpected lifeline.
The Scots grabbed their second chance and eventually Eve Muirhead had a nose-hit for one to win in the extra end.
Afterwards, she said, “we controlled the whole game. We always took our twos…but we gave them twos straight back”. Acknowledging that her team seemed flat, she said, “it’s tough at the end of the week when you know you’re not in the running. We came here to qualify and it didn’t go that way”.
The Scots now go on to play Canada in their concluding round-robin game, with the result having a serious impact on what happens among the top five teams. In particular fifth-placed USA are looking for a favour from the Scots. About this game she said, “Scotland – Canada, It’s always a big game. I’m definitely going to get up for that game, and so are the rest of the team. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. We’re going to give tonight a very good shot – it’s going to be good”.
Session 15: Sweden 5, USA 6 (extra end); Czech Republic 6, China 11; Italy 6, Canada 5; Korea 5, Switzerland 6.
Session 16: Germany 6, Czech Republic 5; Denmark 2, Sweden 7; Russia 3, Korea 7; Scotland 9, Italy 8 (extra end).
Standings after 16 sessions: Korea, Sweden won 8, lost 3; Canada, Switzerland 7-3; USA 6-4; Denmark, Scotland 5-5; Germany, Russia 4-6; China 3-7; Italy 3-8; Czech Republic 2-9.
Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/CCA/Michael Burns
Ford World Women’s Championship: Session 14: Scotland 2, Sweden 3
The Scottish women went down by 2-3 to Sweden in their ninth round-robin game at the Ford World Women’s Championship in Lethbridge, a result which hands them their fifth defeat and all but knocks them out of play-off contention.
This defensive game featured five blank ends, four of which were dictated by Scotland – an indication of just how grimly determined the Scots were to win and keep their campaign alive.
In the eighth end, with the score still at 1-1, the Scots attempted a split for two but had to settle for just one when skip Eve Muirhead could not pull it off.
Sweden then levelled the game again in the ninth, at 2-2, when good Scottish play forced Sweden to take one. Scotland then had victory in their hands when Muirhead came to play her last shot, and she had to beat a Swedish counter lying at the back of the four-foot. Rather than roll up to the Swedish counter, she played a draw and agonisingly came up millimetres short to let Sweden steal a single point to win by 3-2 and all but end Scotland’s hopes of progressing.
Afterwards, a still-shocked Muirhead said, “we had control for the whole game and I thought I’d played a pretty good last stone. I didn’t have many draws but I was confident with my weight, and the sweepers thought it was good weight too. When you’re in control for the whole game and it comes down to a missed shot like that, it makes the skip feel pretty bad”.
The Scots now face Italy and then Canada in Thursday’s concluding round-robin sessions, but, as Muirhead confirmed ruefully, “we’re playing for ranking now”.
Session 14: Denmark 5, Italy 4; Germany 4, Korea 9; Scotland 2, Sweden 3; Russia 9,Czech republic 6.
Standings after 14 sessions: Canada, Korea, Sweden 7-2; Switzerland 6-3; Denmark, USA 5-4; Russia, Scotland 4-5; Germany 3-6; China, Czech Republic, Italy 2-7.
Report: Mike Haggerty
Ford World Women’s Curling Championship: Session 13: China 7, Scotland 9 (extra end)
It took all the way to an extra end, but the Scots emerged from their eighth game at the Ford World Women’s Championship in Lethbridge with a 9-7 win over China to keep their medle hopes alive.
The Scots opened the scoring with a single in the first end, but China nosed ahead with two in the second. In the third end, Scottish skip Eve Muirhead had a draw for two , and then the Scots had steals in the next two ends. In the fourth, China managed to clear out two counters but left one Scottish stone counting and in the fifth China’s Bingyu Wang was wide with her draw. This all left the Scots in a commanding 5-2 position at the half-way break.
However, China fought back, scoring two in the seventh, then stealing one in the eighth to level at 5-5.
In the eighth, Muirhead had a hit and stay for three but had to settle for two instead. China carved out a two of their own in the tenth to put the game into an extra end, and eventually, with a Scottish stone sitting on the wing, Muirhead had an open hit to take out a Chinese stone on the button and score two shots for the win.
Afterwards, Muirhead said, “if someone had asked us before the start if we wanted to be peels with the last stone in an extra end, we would have taken it. But we’re delighted that we came out with the win”.
She added, “we know we’ve got to win every game, but we played strong there. We knew that we needed a kick at the start of the week, we’ve done that now, and the wins are starting to come”.
The Scots face Sweden next and then Italy, before closing their round-robin campaign against Canada.
They currently find themselves in joint sixth position alongside Denmark, on four wins. Canada, on seven wins top the table, with Korea and Sweden in joint second on six wins. Switzerland are also on six wins but they have played one more game than Korea and Sweden, while USA are on five wins.
Session 13: China 7, Scotland 9 (extra end); USA 7, Russia 2; Switzerland 4, Denmark 7; Canada 5, Germany 4.
Standings after 13 sessions: Canada won 7, lost 2; Korea, Sweden 6-2:, Switzerland 6-3; USA 5-4; Denmark, Scotland 4-4, Germany , Russia 3-5; Czech Republic, Italy 2-6; China 2-7.
Report: Mike Haggerty
Ford World Women’s Championship: Session 10: Scotland 8, Czech Republic 5
Eve Muirhead’s team stopped their three-game loss run with a competent and comfortable 8-5 win over the Czech Republic in Tuesday’s tenth round-robin session at the Ford World Women’s Championship in Lethbridge, Canada.
The Scots earned the last stone advantage for the first end and used it to score two. This positive start was the catalyst for a much more confident Scottish performance from then on, with the team looking like they were enjoying being on the ice, rather than enduring it.
The Czechs scored one in the second end and then Scotland moved further ahead in the third when a Muirhead tap-out with her first stone set up a nice draw for two with Muirhead’s second.
The teams went into the half-time break with the Scots 4-2 up, and they started the second half as they had the first, scoring two in the sixth, with Muirhead finally seemingly confident with her draw-weight.
Czech skip Linda Klimova hit out an open Scottish stone for two in the seventh end and, in the eighth, Muirhead drew for two yet again, to stretch her lead to 8-4. The Czechs could only score one in the ninth, and then Muirhead’s team controlled the tenth and ran their opponents out of stones.
Afterwards, a visibly cheerier Muirhead said, “that’s a solid performance. I think we played well against Switzerland and we kept that up. I feel like I’m throwing the stone well and the shots are starting to come off now. We’re getting a few breaks now and I’m feeling a bit more confident. I hope we can just keep going this way now”.
Reflecting on what clearly has been a difficult week so far, she added, “I know I beat myself up. I’m one of those people who like to be perfect all of the time, and when things don’t go that way, then it’s hard for me to take. But it only takes one game like that out there. Yes, it was against the Czech Republic, and they’re probably a team that we should hopefully be beating. But it’s good to put a solid performance in against them. And even then, they took a five off Canada. A lot of teams are struggling; it’s not just ourselves”.
The Scots now face China next and then Sweden as they attempt to keep their play-off hopes alive.
Session 10: Russia 7, Sweden 3; Scotland 8, Czech Republic 5; Germany 9, Italy 6; Denmark 8, Korea 9 (extra end)
Standings after 10 sessions: Canada, Korea won 5, lost 1; Sweden 4-1;Switzerland 4-2; Denmark, Germany, Russia, Scotland 3-4; China, Czech Republic, Italy, USA 2-4.
Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/CCA/Michael Burns
Ford World Women’s Championship: Session 9: Switzerland, Scotland 5
The Scottish women went down to their third successive round-robin loss – by 4-5 to Switzerland – in Tuesday morning’s ninth round-robin session of the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Canada, a result that, with five more round-robin games to go, puts their medal chances in real jeopardy.
In their previous game, Eve Muirhead’s team had lost by 2-7 to USA in just seven ends, but the game against the Swiss was much closer, and therefore a more heart-breaking loss to take.
Scotland started with last stone advantage and blanked the first end before scoring one in the second. The Swiss scored one in the third but they then made the first break-through in the fifth end when Muirhead’s final draw came up short and Switzerland stole a single shot for a 3-1 lead. The Swiss stole another single in the sixth, and the teams swapped singles in the seventh and eighth ends. In the ninth, Muirhead buried her first stone nicely into a cluster on the button and then scored two from the end, thanks to some strong sweeping on her final draw, to level the game at 4-4.
The Scots did not have last stone in the tenth, and their challenges were compounded when lead Claire Hamilton had a stone removed for a hog-line offence. This changed the dynamic in the end, and the Swiss peeled their way through it, eventually scoring the one needed for their win.
Afterwards, Muirhead said, “we had a bad sweeping judgement in the sixth and if we’d scored then I’d have been confident, Even in the ninth, I was confident we could put them under pressure, and more pressure in the tenth, but unfortunately Claire came up with that hogged stone, and then these guys aren’t going to miss peels. What can you do? We were shooting well and it came down to one or two mis-judgements”.
The Scots now face the Czech Republic on Tuesday afternoon, and conclude their campaign against China, Sweden, Italy and Canada.
Session 9: USA 9, Germany 7; China 7, Denmark 6; Canada 7, Russia 5; Switzerland 5, Scotland 4.
Standings after 9 sessions: Canada won 5, lost 1; Korea, Sweden, Switzerland 4-1; Denmark 3-3; China, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Russia, Scotland, USA 2-4.
Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/CCA/ MIchael Burns
Ford World Women’s Curling Championship: Session 8:USA 7, Scotland 2
The Scottish women suffered two successive losses – and three overall – when they went down by 2-7 to USA in the eighth round-robin session of the World Women’s Championship in Lethbridge on Monday evening.
The Scots women were in trouble from the off. After blanking the first end, USA scored two in the second when skip Allison Pottinger had a nose-hit for two after Muirhead just missed on a double take-out attempt. In the third end, Muirhead’s first shot wrecked and her second was heavy to give USA a single steal. In the fourth, Muirhead’s attempted nose-hit rolled instead, and USA had another steal – for two and a 5-0 lead.
In the fifth, the Scots finally got on the scoreboard when Muirhead was forced into playing a tricky chip-in of one of her own stones sitting on the wing to open the Scots’ account with one shot.
USA scored two in the sixth with a last stone draw and, when the Scots were forced to draw for just one shot in the seventh, they immediately gave up what had clearly become a lost cause and conceded defeat.
Afterwards, Muirhead said, “it’s difficult to say what’s wrong. It’s one shot every end that’s catching us out. I’m really struggling with the stones out there, they’re a really tricky set of stones and they’re getting on top of us a little bit. Apart from that, it’s one little thing. All it’ll take is one game to get a good win and that’ll put us back on track”.
She added, “it’s not just us struggling out there. I think a few teams are, so we’re not the only ones. It’s just one or two shots every end that’s catching us out”.
Asked whether the team would consider any changes, she said, “we’ll keep the same. We’ve had a lot of pressure on our shoulders coming into here, pressure we didn’t need, so we’re just going to go out and play how we know we can play and just make the simple shots well. We’ve only lost three games. We’re not out of the Championships and we’re still right in the mix, so I don’t think it’s something to worry about”.
This was the USA’s first win of the week, and skip Pottinger said, “this was a lot better. We just decided ‘let’s finally stop worrying about it and play our game’ and came out firing and ready to go. It’s a lot more fun”.
The Scots play Switzerland and then the Czech Republic on Tuesday.
Session 7: Italy 7, China 5; Korea 8, USA 3; Sweden 7, Switzerland 4; Czech Republic 7, Canada 8.
Session 8: Canada 7, Denmark 9 (extra end); Switzerland 7, Germany 4; USA 7, Scotland 2; China 5, Russia 7.
Standings after 8 sessions: Canada, Korea, Sweden won 4, lost 1; Denmark, Switzerland 3-2; Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Russia, Scotland 2-3; China, USA 1-4.
Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/CCA/Michael Burns
Ford World Women’s Curling Championship: Session 6, Scotland 2, Korea 7
The Scottish women suffered their second round-robin loss of the Ford Women’s World Curling Championships when they went down by 2-7 to Korea in MOmnday morning’s sixth session of round-robin play.
The Koreans seemed to be in control for the start. They blanked the first three ends and the tactic paid off when they carved out a two in the fourth end, when Muirhead was light with her last stone. Muirhead was then heavy and through with her final effort of the fifth end, leaving two Korean stones sitting in the house to steal two shots for a 4-0 lead at the half-time break.
The Scots finally got onto the scoreboard in the sixth when Muirhead drew for one shot inside four Korean stones and a brief Scottish revival followed in the seventh when the Korean skip Ji-Sun Kim messed up a double take-out and let Scotland steal one. However Korea re-established their lead in the eighth with a score of two and when Muirhead’s last shot in the ninth missed its Korean target to give up a steal of one. If Muirhead had made that they were set to score two or three, but instead they conceded.
The Scots now have a won two, lost two record and sit in joint fourth place alongside, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Germany.
After the game Muirhead said, “I think that was a poor performance, but give them their due, they played great and converted their two as well. They did play well and they’re going to win more games out here”.
Turning to her own and her team’s performance, she was frank. “We’re going to have to step it up big-time. We’re just missing shots that we don’t usually miss – the unit’s falling apart a little and we need to build it up. But it’s in our hands. We can’t get panicked, it’s down to ourselves at the end of the day. If we step it up, then we’ll be around, and if we don’t we’re not going to be, so it’s in our own hands”.
The Scots face USA next, who have to record a win.
Session 6: Scotland 2, Korea 7; Russia 6, Italy 10; Denmark 8, Czech Republic 7; Germany 4, Sweden 10.
Standings after 6 sessions: Canada won 3, lost 0; Korea, Sweden 3-1; Switzerland 2-1; Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Scotland 2-2; China 1-2; China, Italy, Russia 1-3; USA 0-3.
Ford World Women’s Curling Championship: Session 5: Denmark 6, Scotland 8
The Scots finally got the right result in their third game at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, beating Denmark by 8-6, but apart from the first and the ninth ends, this will be a game that Eve Muirhead and her team will want to forget, or at least, learn from.
Basically, the Scots started well – scoring three in the first end when Muirhead produced a sharp hit and stay – and finished well, scoring four shots in the ninth when Muirhead produced a triple take-out with her first before drawing for four with her second, but in between these highlights, they contrived to give up single shots in four successive ends to go into the half-time break 3-4 down.
Even in the second half of the game, when the Scots had clearly moved up a gear, there will still mistakes. After blanking the sixth, Muirhead’s attempt to also blank the seventh went wrong when her last stone jammed on the way out and she had to take what was at that stage an unwelcome single shot.
The eighth end saw a succession of freezes towards the back of the house, and, when Muirhead’s last attempt hit but rolled slightly to leave Denmark lying shot, Danish skip Lene Nielsen took the opportunity to draw to the other side of the house and score two for a 6-4 lead.
In the ninth, the Scots recovered well, thanks to good play by third Anna Sloan as well as Muirhead’s excellent play, and the Scots then ran the Danes out of stones to record their second win of the event, by 8-6. This places them in a six-way tie for second place behind unbeaten Canada, who stole a single in the tenth for a 6-5 win over Switzerland.
Afterwards, Muirhead said, “we’d a great first end and got a three but after that we know we left too many stones in play. If we’d made one shot in those second, third or fourth ends we’d have put in four or five, but that one shot wasn’t coming off… at the end of the day a win’s a win”.
She added, “we did step it up pretty well in the second half” and, speaking about the game-turning ninth end she said, “the four just appeared – I managed to leave her a tricky shot and the four appeared. To come away from the first three games with two wins and one loss, we’d have taken that at the start of the week. That win really has helped us focus on attitude for all of us”.
The Scots now face Korea and then win-less USA on Monday.
Session 4: USA 7, Switzerland 11; Sweden 10, Czech Republic 5; Italy 5, Korea 6; Canada 7, China 5.
Session 5: Germany 4, Russia 6; Switzerland 5, Canada 6; China 8, USA 4; Denmark 6, Scotland 8.
Standings after 5 sessions: Canada won 3, lost 0; Czech Republic, Germany, Korea, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland 2-1; China, Denmark, Russia 1-2; Italy, USA 0-3.
Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/CCA/ Michael Burns
Ford World Women’s Curling Championship: Sssion 3: Scotland 4, Germany 5
Eve Muirhead team could not follow-up their opening 8-7 win over Russia, going down in their second game on Sunday morning to Germany by 4-5 after an extra end.
The Scots opened by blanking the first two ends, but they then lost the initiative when Muirhead failed to remove a German counter with her last take-out in the third end and Germany stole a single shot. The Scots then got themselves into more bother when Muirhead’s last stone in the fourth wrecked on a guard and Germany doubled their lead with another single steal.
However, they started their recovery in the fifth when Muirhead drew round a tight guard to score two and level the game at half-time.
Germany took the lead again in the sixth, scoring two with a ice final draw for a 4-2 lead, and then, after blanking the seventh, Muirhead put her last stone in the eighth through a tight port to tap-out a German stone, score two and level the game again at 4-4. Germany responded to this scoring two in the ninth when Muirhead failed to completely remove a German stone.
Scotland levelled once again with two shots in the tenth to force the extra end, but crucially Germany had last stone and eventually used it to draw around front cover to score one and win the game.
After the German game, Muirhead said, “it was one of those games that could have gone either way. We gave them a couple of cheap twos but we played well to generate our twos back. We were trying to win it in the extra end, at the end of the day she made her draw perfectly and she deserved to win”.
More generally she added, “a loss at this stage doesn’t kill us. We’ve had tough games so far and you can’t go out there and win them all”.
Session 1: Denmark 3, Germany 6; Italy 3, Sweden 9; Korea 3, Czech Republic 6; Scotland 8, Russia 7.
Session 2: Czech Republic 8, Italy 5; Canada 8, USA 7; Switzerland 7, China 5; Korea 9, Sweden 8.
Session 3: Russia 5, Denmark 7; Scotland 4, Germany 5 (extra end).
Standings after 3 sessions: Czech Republic, Germany won 2, lost 0; Canada, Switzerland 1-0; Denmark, Korea, Scotland, Sweden 1-1; China, USA 0-1; Italy, Russia 0-2.
Report:Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/CCA/Michael Burns
Ford World Women’s Championship: Session 1: Scotland 4, Germany 5
The Scottish women gave themselves the perfect start to their World Championship campaign, with an 8-7 win over Russia in their opening round-robin game.
After what had been a pretty evenly-matched game, Eve Muirhead’s women looked like they had wrested control of the game when they stole two shots in the eighth end for a 7-4 lead after the last Russian stone wrecked on the way in.
But when Muirhead’s attempted double in the ninth jammed, Russian skip Anna Sidorova had an open draw for three to level the game at 7-7. After this, the Scots played a sensible tenth end which seemed to be won when Muirhead froze onto a Russian stone just on the button and Sidorova could not better it with her last. But the Russians did not concede, hoping for a Scottish error. Sensibly, Muirhead threw her last through and did not disturb the position in the house. After that, the Russians finally shook hands.
Earlier, it had been the Russians who had taken the early initiative, scoring two in the third end when Muirhead had a complete miss with her last stone of the end. After this, the Scots blank the fourth, before levelling in the fifth after excellent sweeping on a light Muirhead draw eventually let the Scots score two.
Afterwards, Muirhead said, “We played great out there and our goal for the first game was to play strong. At other tournaments this year we started off slowly and got better and better, so we wanted to come out and play well from the start, and I think we did that. Probably two or three slack shots cost us. But the Russian played great – as soon as we mad e those little mistakes the Russians capitalised on them”.
Expanding on that and the potentially disastrous ninth end, she added, “giving up a three is not ideal, but we came back and scored one. It feels great to beat a good team, and we know they’re a good team. The ninth was just one of those ends – we were 100% apart from one stone, but we were lucky we were three up going into that end”.
Looking forward she said, “there’s still lots to work on, we can get better and better. I know it was a solid performance but I know we can get better, and if we want to be in the mix at the end of the week, we need to get better”.
Other opening session winners were Germany, who with last-minute skip Melanie Robillard in action, beat last year’s silver medallists Denmark by 6-3; Sweden – 9-3 victors over Italy; and the Czech Republic, who beat Korea by 6-3.
Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/CCA/ Michael Burns