Austria beat Scotland for first time at European level

  • Austria's Sebastian Wunderer Photo: © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Switzerland maintained their unbeaten record, beating Germany by 7-2 in Monday (21 November) morning’s fourth men’s round robin session, at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2016, to stay alone at the top of the rankings.

Meanwhile, Austria had a historical, 7-6, victory over hosts Scotland, beating them for the first time at European Curling Championships.

Peter de Cruz’s Swiss team made a strong start, scoring two in the first end and then stealing another point in the second. Germany, skipped by veteran Andy Kapp, who is also playing lead stones, got on the scoreboard with a single point in the third end and followed that up with a single steal in the fourth to close Switzerland’s lead to just 3-2. But, after blanking the fifth end, a score of three by the Swiss in the sixth end followed by a single-point steal in the eighth end were enough to give the Swiss their 7-2 win.

Behind the Swiss in second place on the table, defending champions Sweden returned to winning ways with an 8-3 win over Finland, which included a well-judged draw around front guards by skip Niklas Edin to score three in the sixth end.

Altogether three teams now share second place, including Italy, who recorded their third win, by 8-4, with a solid performance against Denmark, that saw them scores two points inn each of the second, sixth and eighth ends, before sealing their win with a steal of one point in the ninth.

When they came onto the ice for this session, both Norway and Russia were in joint second place, knowing only the winner would maintain that position – that turned out to be Norway, who had a crucial steal of two points in the fifth end to take a 5-2 lead into the half-time break. Eventually, Norway ran Russia out of stones for a 7-5 win.

The fifth game of the session, between Austria and Scotland went all the way to an extra end before Austria emerged with a 7-6 victory. The Austrians gave themselves an early boost with a score of three points in the second end, but Scotland responded with a three of their own in the fourth end. In the extra end, Austria’s skip Sebastian Wunderer broke the tie with a little nudge out of the Scottish counting stone to score the one point that gave his team their second win so far – their first-ever victory over Scotland at European level.

Broadcast coverage of the ECC 2016 will continue on Monday (21 November) afternoon, where the live game, on World Curling TV and national broadcasters (geo-blocking may apply), will be Sweden v Germany, in the women’s fourth session of play.

They said it

Sebastian Wunderer; skip, Austria (after 7-6 win over Scotland): “I can’t put this into words actually, we were the clear underdog in this game. We had a great game and I am so happy it turned out like this. Our fighting spirit [helped us win this game] because we had the upper hand in the first two ends, but we weren’t satisfied by that because we knew that wasn’t enough and we kept fighting.”

Joel Retornaz; skip, Italy (after 8-4 win over Denmark): “On the ice a win is a win, it doesn’t matter who you are beating. We need points in the ranking to make it further in this event. Team Stjerne are, of course, one of those teams you want to beat because of the confidence. But, if we win with a good performance we are happy.”

Rasmus Wrana; second, Sweden (after 8-3 win over Finland): “It’s been really amazing so far. We’ve had fantastic ice, a great atmosphere within the team and it just feels really great out there. Being the new one on the team, I’m enjoying the experience. it’s been really fun to play.”

Results men's session four: Denmark 4-8 Italy; Austria 7-6 Scotland; Russia 5-7 Norway; Switzerland 7-2 Germany; Sweden 8-3 Finland

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

Switzerland 4-0
Italy 3-1
Norway 3-1
Sweden 3-1
Austria 2-2
Russia 2-2
Scotland 2-2
Denmark 1-3
Finland 0-4
Germany 0-4

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