Day 3: w4 and M5 Roundup

Germany skip, Andrea Schöpp, celebrated her 500th international appearance with a win Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Germany's Andrea Schöpp made the 500th international appearance of her title-strewn career in Monday's fifth session of round-robin play at the Le Gruyere European Curling Championships in Karlstad, Sweden.

She celebrated in style with her team's first victory of the week. Showing she still has what it takes, in the seventh end Schöpp made a nice angled raised take-out for three points on her way to Germany's 9-2 win over Hungary. She said: “I didn’t know [it was her 500th game] because I only count the things I have won. You go out there because you have fun, that’s why I do it – not to have the most appearances or anything. That’s my goal, to play as long as I can and have fun when doing so."

Elsewhere in this session, high-flying Russia were brought down with a bump when they suffered their first loss - a 12-2 six-end defeat at the hands of Sweden. Swedish fourth player, Maria Prytz, had an open hit in the first end to score three and then, with the Swedes not quite believing their good fortune, she had an open take-out for five points and a score of 8-1 after three ends. Not surprisingly, Russia conceded the game early, after six ends.

Afterwards, Sweden's skip, Margaretha Sigfridsson, said: "We were surprised by the score-line - we got off to a very good start and Russia didn’t play too well, but we are more satisfied with our play and our game today."

As well as Germany, Finland managed their first win of the Championship, a win that came about through a mixture of good luck and good play. The good luck came in the fourth end of their game against Italy. Finnish skip Anne Malmi got an attempted raise completely wrong but still got the three points she was looking for because of a lucky double-kiss. The good play came again in the tenth end when she delivered a perfect draw through a narrow port to score the two points she needed for their 8-7 victory.

Afterwards, Malmi said: "We are very happy to get our first win today. We have been playing better and better, game by game and I think this win helps us believe in ourselves. Our first aim here is to avoid relegation to the B Group and our second is to qualify for the Worlds."

Defending champions, Scotland, dominated their game against the Czech Republic. Skip, Eve Muirhead, finished the game off with a nose-hit for five points in the seventh end and a 10-2 score-line.

Afterwards she said: "We came out stronger than yesterday, even though we came away with two wins yesterday. We weren't bad then but we knew we were going to have to step it up today and we did...that was a solid, solid performance."

Denmark faced world champions Switzerland in the fifth game of the session. A nice draw by Danish skip Lene Nielsen inside two Swiss counters to score one point in the tenth tied the score at 6-6 and pushed the game into an extra end. The Danes got their reward as Swiss skip Mirjam Ott failed in her attempt to take out two Danish stones, wrecking on her way into the house and giving up a steal of two points and the game, with the final score 8-6 in Denmark's favour.

Women’s Standings (after 4 sessions)*:

Sweden 3-1
Denmark 3-1
Scotland 3-1
Russia 3-1
Switzerland 2-2
Czech Republic 2-2
Italy 1-3
Germany 1-3
Finland 1-3
Hungary 1-3

Later, in the men's fifth session, Sweden kept their undefeated record intact in emphatic fashion, beating Germany by 9-2 in just six ends.

On their way to victory, skip Niklas Edin had a nice draw and nudge to score three points in the third end. He produced another good draw to score two points in the fifth end and a steal of two points in the sixth end was enough to persuade Germany to concede the game.

After the game, Edin said: "I’m very pleased with the way we executed each shot. We didn’t give them much of a chance. If we can keep going this way we will be strong in the play-offs. Our friends and family are here to support us, so it’s really great being able to play here, in our home city".

Defending champions Norway went down to their first loss of the week, by 7-6 to a re-cast Scotland line-up that saw David Murdoch play fourth stones and skip Tom Brewster playing third. This was a must-win game for Scotland and Murdoch produced a very accurate draw through a tight port to score two points in the fifth end for a 3-2 lead. Both Murdoch and Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud made mistakes in a tense ninth end before Scotland emerged as 7-6 winners.

Afterwards, Scotland skip, Tom Brewster, said: "I think when Ulsrud was heavy in the ninth, it was a big turning point. That end could have gone either way." On the team line-up change he added: "I've been struggling to get my confidence. I played a lot better today and Dave made the right shots and got a bit of luck too."

The Czech Republic recorded their fourth victory, beating Hungary by 7-5, including the one point that Czech skip Jiri Snitil gained with a nice draw in the eighth end. After the game Snitil said: "We know them very well - they practice a lot in our club so we expected it to be a tough game. They also have our old coach Sune (Frederiksen) so we knew he was going to tell them exactly what to play against us, and it worked. We were lucky to actually get a win out of this game."

Swiss skip Sven Michel hit for four points in the third end to set up a 4-1 lead over Denmark. He followed that up with a nice draw for three points in the ninth end to seal his team's 8-5 win which saw Switzerland climb up the rankings table.

Meanwhile Russia beat France by 6-5 with a steal in an extra end when French skip Thomas Dufour wrecked with his final shot.

Men’s Standings (after 5 sessions)*:
Sweden 5-0
Czech Republic 4-1
Norway 4-1
Russia 3-2
Denmark 3-2
Switzerland 3-2
Scotland 2-3
France 1-4
Germany 0-5
Hungary 0-5

*All standings take account of win-loss record and draw shot challenge (DSC)

Extensive televised coverage of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2012 can be seen by viewers in Europe on Eurosport and in Sweden on TV4. Additional live coverage will be available via the internet on the Eurosport Player for fans in Europe and, for the first time, coverage will also be available on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV for viewers outside of the Eurosport TV/Player European Territory. Complete coverage details can be seen here: http://ecc2012.worldcurling.net/tv-broadcast-web-tv-coverage-schedule

Event Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EuropeanCurlingChampionships

Twitter Hashtags: #ecc2012 #curling
European Curling Federation website: http://europeancurling.com/

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