Opening victory for newly promoted Netherlands men

  • Netherlands on their way to their opening A-Division win Photo: WCF / Laura Godenzi

Netherlands skip Jaap Van Dorp gave his team a winning start to their A-Division campaign with an 8-6 win over Finland who, like the Dutch, have been promoted from last year's B-Division.

The Dutch had to come from behind in this game, with the Finns opening well enough to give themselves a 5-2 lead at the fifth end break. However, a strong second half performance saw the Dutch go into the ninth end just one point behind, at 5-6 down, and a steal of three in the ninth when Finland's Aku Kauste could not get inside three Dutch counters gave the Netherlands a lead for the first time in the game at 8-6. The Finns ran out of stones in the tenth end to seal the Dutch win.

On the next sheet, defending champions Sweden opened strongly, with scores of two at both the first and third ends to beat the Czech Republic by 7-5.

The game between Germany and Switzerland featured five blank ends and, with the game tied at 2-2, German skip Alexander Baumann drew his final stone of the tenth end into position to score the one point needed for a 3-2 win.

Russia and Italy also played out a tight game. The Italians seemed to be cruising, with a 7-2 lead after six ends, but Russia then responded, scoring one point in the seventh and stealing three in the eighth to reduce Italy's lead to 7-6. But, the Italians were able to see off the Russian challenge, blanking the last two ends for the game to win, by 7-6.

Norway faced Scotland in the fifth game of the session and started well, scoring two points from the first end and then stealing one more in the second. In the fourth end Scottish skip Kyle Smith came up short with his final draw of the fourth to give Norway a two-point steal and a lead of 5-0, after an umpire's measure.

The Scots scored one point in the fifth end and in the sixth, Norway's skip Thomas Ulsrud picked out the only Scottish stone in the house to score five from the end, for a 10-1 lead. The Scots eventually conceded, with the score at 11-4 to Norway.

They Said It:

Jaap Van Dorp; skip, The Netherlands (after an 8-6 win over Finland):

"That was a bit of a rollercoaster – we were trailing through almost the entire game. We had a rough start, but we played quite well in the end. Our goal for this week is to qualify for the Worlds [Basel, 2-10 April 2016]. Maybe the medals are not realistic for us as it's our first time here, but qualifying for the Worlds would be great."

Niklas Edin; skip, Sweden (after 7-5 win over the Czech Republic):

"That was a good game. It was a bit tricky out there so we tried to be careful and not give up too many easy points. It's all building up to the big events now. We need to improve things by saving energy in the round-robin and go harder in the play-off stage."

Thomas Ulsrud: skip, Norway (after a 11-4 win over Scotland);

"This was a big win for us. Scotland are definitely going to be one of the teams in the top four at the end of the week. We had some good breaks in the game and we were confident, which meant all of a sudden they had to make all of the difficult shots. It was a much closer game than it looked on the scoreboard."

MEN'S RESULTS, Session 1:

Norway 11-4 Scotland; Switzerland 2-3 Germany; Russia 6-7 Italy; Sweden 7-5 Czech Republic; Netherlands 8-6 Finland.

MEN'S STANDINGS after Session 1 (W - L):

Germany 1-0
Italy 1-0
Netherlands 1-0
Norway 1-0
Sweden 1-0
Czech Republic 0-1
Finland 0-1
Russia 0-1
Scotland 0-1
Switzerland 0-1