Defending champions Scotland open with win at Le Gruyère AOP Europeans

  • Scotland in action during the women's opening session © WCF / Richard Gray

Like Sweden’s men earlier, Scotland’s women opened the defence of their European title with a win, by 7-4, over Denmark, in Saturday afternoon’s opening session of women’s round-robin play at the le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia.

In the eighth end of the game, Scotland’s skip Eve Muirhead hit out a Danish stone to score one point for a 6-4 lead, on the way to the Scots’ win. Afterwards, she said, “as a team we came out really sharp and played the scoreboard well.

“For Jen (third player Jennifer Dodds) that was her first European appearance, so it was nice for her to get off with a win, I’m pleased. Denmark used to be a team I could never beat. I had never beaten them up until the Worlds in 2010, but they’re always strong and for us to get off to a strong start was pretty crucial.”

Sweden’s reigning Olympic champions, led by Anna Hasselborg [pictured below - © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik], were in action against Czech Republic and won by 6-5.

In the ninth end, Czech Republic skip, Anna Kubeskova, scored three points with a hit on a Swedish stone to level the game score at 5-5. But after this, Sweden’s Hasselborg tapped out a Czech stone with the last stone of the game to score the one point needed to give her team an opening win.

A new Swiss line-up faced Italy and opened the scoring with four points in the second end when their fourth player Alina Paetz drew her final stone into position. Later, in the ninth end, Paetz played a double take-out to remove two Italian stones and score one point for an 8-3 win.

Afterwards, Switzerland skip Silvana Tirinzoni said, “it always helps when you score four! It was also good timing in the second end, it was a good start and I think we were never in doubt for the rest of the game.”

Russia played Germany in this session and took control early on. In the fourth end, their skip Alina Kovaleva drew her final stone into the house to score five points and take an 8-2 lead. Russia went on to win by 12-5.

In the fifth game of the session, Finland faced Latvia and in the fifth end, the Finnish skip, Oona Kauste played a raise double take-out for five points and an 8-2 lead. Finland went on to win by 11-8.

Speaking about that score later, Kauste said, “It wasn’t the easiest shot. I had to play a run-back and it just went the way we wanted. Now we want to qualify for the Worlds and hopefully make it to the medal games, but, first of all, back to the Worlds.”

Session one results: Denmark 4-7 Scotland; Italy 3-8 Switzerland; Russia 12-5 Germany; Czech Republic 5-6 Sweden; Latvia 8-11 Finland

Standings after session one:

Finland 1-0
Russia 1-0
Scotland 1-0
Sweden 1-0
Switzerland 1-0
Czech Republic 0-1
Denmark 0-1
Germany 0-1
Italy 0-1
Latvia 0-1

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