Three teams set to compete for two semi-final places as Norway qualify

  • Norway skip Torger Nergaard Photo: © WCF / Jeffrey Au

In Wednesday (23 November) afternoon’s eighth session of men’s round robin play in the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2016 at the intu Braehead Arena near Glasgow, Scotland, defending champions Sweden, already qualified for the semi-final, faced Austria.

In the second end, Swedish skip Niklas Edin drew his last stone into the house to score four points and take a 4-1 lead. Later, in the sixth end he split out two Austrian stones to score two more points and win the game, by 10-3.

Before this session, Norway and Switzerland shared second place and they faced each other knowing that the winner would seal a semi-final qualification. In the fourth end, Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz hit out a Norway stone to score one point and give his team a 2-1 lead. However, in the ninth, Norway’s fourth player Thomas Ulsrud drew his last stone into the house to score one point for a 5-3 lead to Norway. The Norwegians went on to win by 7-3 and qualify.

However, Switzerland remain as one of three teams still capable of reaching the semi-finals – the others being Russia and Scotland.

Host nation Scotland faced Italy desperate for the win that would keep those qualification hopes alive, and in the sixth end their skip Tom Brewster played a perfect draw onto the button to score one point and take a 3-1 lead. In the eighth end, Brewster hit out an Italian stone to score two points for a 5-3 lead. The Scots went on to win by 6-4.

Russia were up against world silver medallists Denmark and in the ninth end Russia’s skip Alexey Timofeev drew his last stone into the house to score two points and take an 8-6 lead. The Russians then ran Denmark out of stones in the tenth end to win the game 8-6.

The semi-final play-off scenario will become clear after the final round robin session, when Scotland and Russia face each other in a winner-takes-all game, on Wednesday night (20.00, GMT).

In the fifth game of the session, Finland beat Germany by 6-5, a result that gives them a slim hope of avoiding relegation.

They said it

Thomas Ulsrud; skip, Norway (after 7-3 win over Switzerland): “This was a big one for us, I think we are qualified for the play-offs now. Last game is a tough one, it's against Sweden. And Switzerland this morning was a tough one for us.”

Alexey Timofeev; skip, Russia (after 8-6 win over Denmark): “Winning is always good. Now we need to win one more game and we're in the play-offs. We tried to play a more aggressive game to make the opponents chase us. We had good execution and good tactics.”

Thomas Brewster; skip, Scotland (after 6-4 win over Italy): “We played pretty good today. I thought the guys played well, slid well and threw well, not tight in any way and that’s a sign that there’s no nerves. We were better today than yesterday. Tonight’s game is probably winner takes all.”

Results men's session eight: Sweden 10-3 Austria; Scotland 6-4 Italy; Denmark 6-8 Russia; Germany 5-6 Finland; Switzerland 3-7 Norway

Standings after men’s session eight (W-L):

Q Sweden 7-1
Q Norway 6-2
Russia 5-3
Switzerland 5-3
Scotland 4-4
Austria 3-5
Germany 3-5
Italy 3-5
Denmark 2-6
Finland 2-6

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