Day 4: w6 and M6 Roundup

Denmark skip, Rasmus Stjerne, led his team to victory over France this morning Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Sweden's Niklas Edin, playing in his home-town at the Le Gruyere European Curling Championships in Karlstad, Sweden, continued his winning ways, beating Russia by 8-2 in Tuesday morning's sixth session of round-robin play to keep his unbeaten record intact.

Scoring three in the second end, Edin found himself 7-1 up at the half-time break, and eventually cruised to an 8-2 win in just seven ends.

Afterwards, he said: "That was a very straightforward win. I think we’re slowly reaching the level we should be at. With a couple more games now, and a couple more tougher opponents on the ice, we will be at that level."

Defending champions Norway are in second place, following their 8-5 win over the Czech Republic. In this game, the Czechs opened the scoring with a single steal of one point in the first end, but Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud took control in the second end, scoring three points.

Although the Czechs battled all the way, Norway stayed strong in the second half, scoring in each of the last three ends to seal their win. This loss dropped the Czechs into joint third spot, alongside Denmark and Switzerland, who both had wins in this session.

Denmark beat France by 8-4, but the game was closer than the score-line suggests. France's Thomas Dufour and his team battled all the way while Danish skip, Rasmus Stjern, was thankful that his team had carved out a score of three in the seventh end to give them a lead to defend.

Germany and Hungary are both at the bottom of the rankings and trying to avoid relegation. In the face-off between them, German skip Andreas Lang struck a blow when he had a draw for two points in the sixth end to take a 5-1 lead. But Hungary fought back after this and the game was decided in the tenth end when Hungarian fourth, Krisztian Hall, failed with a raise double take-out attempt to hand Germany a score of one point and a 6-5 win.

After this first win of the week for Germany, skip Andreas Lang, said: “This was a tough win but much-needed, because we have to get eighth place. The beginning of this championship really was not good. The team didn’t play well and we lost the first five games. Daniel (Herberg - normally third player) is ill which makes it even tougher for us, but we are happy to get this win."

The illness that had already struck the German men seems to have affected the Scots too. In their game against Switzerland, fourth player David Murdoch had to go off unwell at the fifth end break. Before that, Swiss skip Sven Michel played a terrific triple take-out to blank the third end. Then, after a Scottish miss, Michel had a simple draw to take three points and open the scoring in the fourth end. Switzerland went on to beat an out-of-sorts Scotland by 7-2.

Afterwards, Scottish skip Tom Brewster said, "We've got one guy being sick and another looking like he's coming down with flu, so it's a war of attrition. It's horrible. It doesn't half feel like the curling gods are against us."

Meanwhile, Swiss skip, Sven Michel, said: “We had a really good start to the game. We kept it simple from then on and that was the key to winning. We knew that this was Scotland’s last chance to be alive – we knew we had to keep it simple and easy."

Men's standings* (after 6 sessions):

Sweden 6-0
Norway 5-1
Switzerland 4-2
Czech Republic 4-2
Denmark 4-2
Russia 3-3
Scotland 2-4
Germany 1-5
France 1-5
Hungary 0-6

In the women's sixth session, defending champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland showed she is still a real contender to retain this title in their game against Germany.

Opening the game with a nice tap-up to score three points in the first end she made another hit to take two points in the fifth end for a 7-1 half-time lead that eventually turned into a final result of 7-3. This was in sharp contrast to the heavy defeat Scotland suffered at the hands of Sweden in their previous game.

Afterwards, Muirhead said: "We got off to a good start there. We got the hammer, took a three in the first end and that's the best you can do - score high in the first end and then hit for home. I think we're back on track now. Last night's game wasn't all wrong, it was just little bits here and there. The scoreboard definitely made it look worse than what it felt like."

Last year's beaten finalists, Sweden, also seem to be coming into good form at the right time. They were up against Italy and their fourth player, Maria Prytz, had a nice draw for two points to set them on their way in the second end.

When Italian skip Diana Gaspari crashed her stone on its way into the house in the fourth end, Sweden stole a further three points. Given this contrast in form, it was no surprise that Sweden won 11-2 in just seven ends.

Later, Prytz said: “They were quiet and didn’t really go for a lot of points. Of course we can improve on everything. We have some details to work on, but not that much. I think if we keep on playing like this we will be ok.”

Denmark are also still on track for a place in the medal games. Skip Lene Nielsen moved them closer by executing a nice double take-out to score one point in the sixth end and hitting for two points in the eighth end as they beat the Czech Republic by 6-3.

Despite this victory that keeps them in joint top position, Danish skip Lene Nielsen said: "It was a difficult game, a tough one. Very close but I felt we had the upper hand. We just didn’t really get the pressure on at the right moments. There’s a lot of things we’ve been working on - staying together, being there for each other and being happy - and it’s really working for us."

Russia are still in joint top place with Sweden and Denmark, and they stayed there with an 8-4 win over Finland, helped by a draw for three points in the fourth end by skip Anna Sidorova.

The fifth game in this section was between Hungary, newcomers to the A division, and current world champions Switzerland. Despite their best efforts, Hungary simply could not cope with a Swiss team that is also coming into form at the right time after a slow start, and went down by 1-8 in just seven ends.

Women's standings* (after 6 sessions):

Sweden 5-1
Denmark 5-1
Russia 5-1
Switzerland 4-2
Scotland 4-2
Czech Republic 2-4
Germany 2-4
Italy 1-5
Finland 1-5
Hungary 1-5

*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:

Event website: for further information, schedules of play, full team line ups and results from Group A and Group B.
Event Facebook:
Twitter Hashtags: #ecc2012 #curling
European Curling Federation:

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