ECC 2013: Day 2 Early Round-up

Czech Republic women picked up their first win of the Championship Photo: WCF/Jesse Kushneryk

World champions Scotland continued their impressive start in the Le Gruyere European Championships with a resounding 12-5 win over Latvia in Sunday morning's second women's round-robin session.

Latvia began brightly, but a steal of five points in the fourth end put Scotland in control as Scottish skip Eve Muirhead tapped-up her own stones in a busy house to remove the only Latvian stone in the cluster.

Four points in the ninth end put a sealed Scotland’s win and afterwards, skip Muirhead said: “They played a lot of good shots and we had a few slack ones that let them in. We can take a lot from that game because we could have got frustrated out there, but we had a good fourth end and managed to get that big five."

Like Scotland, Sweden remain undefeated after a hard-fought victory over Italy. The Swedes used the hammer to their advantage and scores of two points in the second end and three points in the fourth end proved vital in securing an 8-5 win.

The other unbeaten side are Switzerland, who chipped away at hosts Norway throughout their game, grabbing three steals in all before eventually coming through to win 7-2.

Denmark bounced back from their opening day defeat to Switzerland to secure a 9-5 win over Germany. After falling behind early on, they turned the match on its head with three successive steals in the fifth, sixth and seventh ends. The steal in the seventh end saw Danish skip Lene Nielsen come through a port to score three points and force Germany to concede.

After the game, Danish skip Nielsen said: “The three steals were a game changer. I think we look strong."

Czech Republic handed reigning champions Russia a second successive defeat with a 10-6 victory. Russia were one point behind with hammer in the tenth end but the Czechs then played the final end well to secure a three point steal for the win.

Afterwards, Czech skip Anna Kubeskova said: “It was very important that we win some of the opening games, so we’re happy. We were definitely nervous going into the final end."

In the afternoon's third round-robin men’s session, Denmark produced a strong display to comprehensively beat reigning European and World champions Sweden 9-3.

The Danes dominated from the start, storming into a 5-0 lead after four ends. They then stole for a third time to confirm their win in the seventh and final end.

Norway continued their impressive run with a straightforward victory over Russia. Two steals midway through the match set them on their way to a 7-2 victory and they remain alongside Denmark as the only unbeaten men's team.

Scotland's men recorded their second victory of the week when they beat Finland by 9-4. This ended up as a comfortable win for the Scots, but alarm bells were ringing briefly when Finland opened the scoring with a steal of one point in the second end. However, the Scots grabbed control straight after that, scoring two points in the third end for a lead they were never to give up.

A steal of three points in the fourth end proved vital, before a clinical nose-hit from Murdoch secured another three points in the sixth end to help earn victory in only eight ends of play.

Later, Scottish skip David Murdoch said: “They actually played tremendously well in the first few ends and we had to hit top gear to get away from them. We got a big steal and that was it. We had lots of patience in the sixth - we made a couple nice ones in the end and 'boom' there's your three and that was pretty much game over.”

Latvia built on their tense victory over Finland on Saturday night to secure an 8-6 win over France in nine ends. The crucial steal of two points came in the eighth end, giving France little time to react as they came up short in reply.

After the game, Latvian skip Gulbis Ritvars said: “Two wins in a row, it’s probably the first time - but we had to win this game. We were struggling a lot at the beginning of the game, but once we figured out their weaknesses and we started to play in a style which was not easy for them, we got the victory.”

Switzerland were the other winners in session three, gaining advantage from their two steals early on to secure a 5-3, nine end win over last year’s Bronze medallists Czech Republic, who, like France, have now suffered their third successive defeat.

Results:

WOMEN
Session 2:
Italy 5, Sweden 8; Russia 6, Czech Republic 10; Latvia 5, Scotland 12; Germany 5, Denmark 9; Norway 2, Switzerland 7.

Standings after 2 sessions:
1. Scotland 2-0
1. Sweden 2-0
1. Switzerland 2-0
4. Czech Republic 1-1
4. Denmark 1-1
4. Latvia 1-1
4. Norway 1-1
8. Germany 0-2
8. Italy 0-2
8. Russia 0-2

MEN
Session 3:
Finland 4, Scotland 9; France 6, Latvia 8; Switzerland 5, Czech Republic 3; Russia 2, Norway 7; Denmark 9, Sweden 3.

Standings after 3 sessions:
1. Denmark 3-0
1. Norway 3-0
3. Latvia 2-1
3. Scotland 2-1
3. Sweden 2-1
3. Switzerland 2-1
7. Russia 1-2
8. Czech Republic 0-3
8. Finland 0-3
8. France 0-3

Extensive televised coverage of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2013 from Stavanger can be seen by viewers in Europe on Eurosport and additionally in Norway on TV2 Sport. Live coverage will also be available via the internet on the Eurosport Player and on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV. Complete coverage details can be seen here: http://ecc2013.curlingevents.com/tv-broadcast-web-tv-coverage-schedule

Event website: http://ecc2013.curlingevents.com for further information, schedules of play, full team line ups and Results.

Event Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EuropeanCurlingChampionships

Twitter Hashtags: #ecc2013 #curling

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