Finland upset hosts and steal first 2016 European win

  • Aku Kauste delivers a stone against Scotland Photo: © WCF / Jeffrey Au

A dramatic sixth session of men’s round-robin play on Tuesday (22 November) morning threw up some unexpected results, with Finland gaining their first win, courtesy of a last stone steal against Scotland and Germany defeating Norway in the extra end of a game that saw the lead change hands five times.

In the game between Finland and Scotland at the intu Braehead Arena, in Renfrewshire, Scotland, with the score at 5-5 and holding last stone, the Scottish men had set up the final end of their game well for the win.

But, Scotland skip Tom Brewster’s last stone – an attempted hit and stay for one shot and victory – hit but rolled and, to add further problems, jammed on the way out. This left the umpire to measure two other stones sitting in the 12-foot ring before eventually pointing to the Finnish stone to award them a steal of one and their first victory of the week, by 6-5.

Switzerland played Italy in this session and, in the fourth end of this game, the Swiss fourth player Benoit Schwarz hit out an Italian stone to score two points and take a 3-2 lead and in the eighth, a well-placed draw Schwarz produced a score of four points to give his team a 7-3 lead on the way to an eventual 8-5 victory.

Norway faced Germany and, in the sixth end of a tight game, Norway’s fourth player Thomas Ulsrud played a double takeout to score two points and take a 4-3 lead. This game went all the way to an extra end and in this end, Germany’s skip Alexander Baumann drew his final stone into position to score one and win the game by 7-6.

To be playing in the A-Division, both Austria and Denmark had gained promotion last season and they faced each other in this session. In the sixth end, Austria’s skip Sebastian Wunderer hit out a Danish stone to score one and build his lead to 7-2 and, in the eighth end another hit, this time for two points, was enough to make the Danes concede the game and give Austria a 9-3 win.

Sweden are the defending European champions and in the fourth end of their game against Russia, their skip Niklas Edin hit out a Russian stone to score three points and take a 5-2 lead on the way to a 7-3 overall win.

The next live broadcast on WCTV (geo-blocking may apply) and national broadcasters will be Germany v Scotland, in the sixth session of women’s round robin play at 14.00 on Tuesday afternoon.

They said it

Aku Kauste; skip, Finland (after 6-5 win over Scotland): “It is really good to finally get our first win. Our games have been a struggle after struggle so far. This game could have gone either way, but Thomas [Brewster, Scotland skip] seemed to be struggling with his takeouts and we got a luck break at the end. We still have three games left and we must win all of them to stay in the hunt for a world championship place.”

Daniel Herberg; second, Germany (after 7-6 win over Norway): “We started the week not good, but after getting the win against Denmark yesterday it gets better for us. Today, it was a big win for us playing against Thomas Ulsrud, who always plays good curling. Wining in the extra end makes it even better.”

Sebastian Wunderer; skip, Austria (after 9-3 win over Denmark): That feels pretty great – we now look pretty good for staying in the A-Division and that would be our target achieved. It feels good to achieve what others at home expect from us and hope for. One more victory would be nice, we’ll try to make the games close and we’ll be fighting all the way. Niklas Edin [Sweden’s defending champion] will not have it easy, I hope!”

Results men's session six: Italy 5-8 Switzerland; Norway 6-7 Germany; Scotland 5-6 Finland; Denmark 3-9 Austria; Russia 3-7 Sweden

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

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

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