Scotland and Sweden first to qualify for Le Gruyère AOP European semis

  • Scotland’s third Grant Hardie © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

Sweden and Scotland’s men’s teams became the first teams to qualify for the semi-finals at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia.

Sweden [pictured below, © WCF / Richard Gray] beat Netherlands by 9-5 in their seventh round-robin game, as they also preserved their unbeaten record. In the fifth end of this game, Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin played a delicate split shot at the front of the house to push two of his stone into the house and score two for a 3-2 lead.

Later, in the seventh end, and with the score at 4-3 in Netherlands’ favour, Edin hit out a Dutch stone to score three points and take a 6-4 lead on the way to his team’s seventh successive win.

This result leaves Netherlands still looking for their first win and in increasing danger of failing to reach a qualification route for this seasons world championship.

When Italy faced Scotland in this session, they were in joint second place on the table and, after an extra end, it was Scotland who won, thanks to a last-stone nose-hit by skip Bruce Mouat.

Afterwards, Mouat said, “that was a really good grind by the guys, we fell behind at the start of the game, we didn’t really string a lot of shots together, so it was really nice to see that we could grind and get that ‘W’ on the board.”

The result of this game puts Scotland in a clear second place behind Sweden, and because of earlier results, they’re guaranteed to qualify, while Italy are third.

Norway, Germany and Switzerland all share fourth place. Norway got there by beating Finland by 6-2 and afterwards their skip Steffen Walstad said, “that’s good, we’re still alive. We have two tough games ahead so hopefully we can win both of those and have it in our own hands. We tried to play a simple game there and we’ve set ourselves up for tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Germany had an 8-4 win over Poland and in the fourth end of this game, Germany’s skip Marc Muskatewitz played a raise shot to score one point and extend his team’s lead to 3-1 on the way to their win.

Switzerland faced Russia and beat them by 10-2 after just six ends. In the fourth end of this game, and already holding a 5-1 lead, Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz drew his last stone into the house to score a further three points and move his team’s lead to 8-1. In the sixth end, Schwartz had a hit for two more points and, with the score now at 10-2 in Switzerland’s favour, the Russians conceded.

Afterwards, Swiss skip Peter de Cruz said, “we knew they were going to be tough. So, if we could put pressure on them at the beginning of the game, we’d have a good chance to win. We still have a lot of work to do but we’re on the way, we’re in a situation that we’ve been in before – we know we have to win all the games now. And we’re still in with a chance.”

Session seven results: Scotland 7-6 Italy; Poland 4-8 Germany; Russia 2-10 Switzerland; Finland 2-6 Norway; Sweden 9-5 Netherlands

Standings after session seven:

Q Sweden 7-0
Q Scotland 6-1
Italy 5-2
Germany 4-3
Norway 4-3
Switzerland 4-3
Finland 2-5
Russia 2-5
Poland 1-6
Netherlands 0-7

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2018 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@WorldCurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #ECC2018 #curling