Curling: Leaders Scotland one game away from final

Scotland beat China by 7-4 in their second-last round-robin game to guarantee a place in the weekend’s Page 1-2 Play-off game and thus give themselves two chances to reach Sunday’s final at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship here in Victoria, Canada.

This victory followed a key 8-7 win over Sweden, and together these wins put Scotland at the top of the rankings.

In the game against China, Scotland opened with a score of 2 in the first end and never looked back.

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They did suffer a minor slip when China stole a single in the fifth end, but bounced back straightaway with 2s in the sixth and eighth ends.

Tight Scottish play restricted the Chinese in the second half, and the Scots eventually ran them out of stones to record their eighth win of the week.

This win, allied to Denmark’s loss to Sweden, means that the Scots now go into the top Page Play-off game, with the winner of that going straight to the final and the loser having a second chance by way of curling’s sole semi-final.

After this performance, David Murdoch said: “That was a solid game, nice and steady. We played with a nice calmness today, we didn’t need to get over-excited about anything – just play our game and make 
our shots.

“That’s us definitely 1-2 so that feels great. What we need to do now is take that form into the Page weekend. That’s our next objective.”

Earlier, against Sweden, Scotland opened with a score of 2, only for Sweden to do the same in the second end.

The game was tight all the way and Sweden levelled the game again in the ninth end, with a nose-hit for 2.

In the tenth, Murdoch eventually drew into the four-foot ring, helped in no small part by muscular sweeping from his front end to score the one point needed for his win.

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Speaking after the win over Sweden, Murdoch said: “We’re very happy.

“We have the one-two game in our own hands, and that’s great. That’s what we’ve really tried to achieve all week.”

The Scots now play Finland in their last round-robin game.

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