Italy and Sweden share top spot after Le Gruyère AOP Europeans third session

  • Italy win again in session three © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

Italy and defending champions Sweden now share top spot after Sunday afternoon’s third session of men’s round-robin play at the Le Gruyere AOP European Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.

Italy were taken all the way to the tenth end against Norway, to retain their unbeaten record. In this game, the ninth end was crucial, with Italy skip Joel Retornaz playing an angle raise take-out to score three points and take a 6-5 lead. Italy then went on to win by 7-5.

Sweden faced A-Division newcomers Poland and opened strongly when their skip Niklas Edin played a hit to score three points in the first end. This set the tone for the game, and Sweden won by 11-2 after just six ends.

Afterwards, Edin said, “we played really well from the get-go and when you score three points in the first end, it’s really tricky for them to come back. Technically, we played better today and it’s looking good going forward.”

Russia were still looking for their first win when they faced joint-leaders Scotland.

In the sixth end, Scotland skip Bruce Mouat hit out a Russian stone to score two points and level the score at 5-5, but Russia moved ahead again in the seventh end when their skip Mikhail Vaskov tapped out a Scottish stone to score two points for a 7-5 lead. Russia went on to win by 8-7.

Afterwards, Alexey Tuzov; Russia’s vice-skip, said, “the win was very important for us because our start was very bad. But today we played a good game and won. I think the key today was in our minds."

Elsewhere, Switzerland recorded their first win so far against the Netherlands. In the third end, Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz hit out a Dutch stone to score five points and take a 6-1 lead. There was no way back for the Netherlands after this, and they conceded after just six ends, with a final score of 9-3 to Switzerland.

After this game, Swiss skip Peter de Cruz [pictured below © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik] said, “we didn’t play a lot better than the first two games, we just got a different result and got a few breaks. We’re happy to be on the board now, but still a long way to go. We know that we can beat anyone here – we’ve done it already. We’re a little backs-against-the-wall now, so we just need to win games.”

In the fifth game of the session, Germany beat Finland by 7-3. Afterwards, a pleased German skip Marc Muskatewitz said, “from the start, we’ve had a couple of problems before we found the right setting for the ice. We then took things from end to end and got more into play. We are a newly formed team, so we have to approach every game individually and try and get a win”.

Session three results: Russia 8-7 Scotland; Sweden 11-2 Poland; Switzerland 9-3 Netherlands; Germany 7-3 Finland; Norway 5-7 Italy

Standings after session three:

Italy 3-0
Sweden 3-0
Germany 2-1
Scotland 2-1
Finland 1-2
Norway 1-2
Poland 1-2
Russia 1-2
Switzerland 1-2
Netherlands 0-3

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