Curling: Scotland bounce back against Czechs

THE Scottish men enjoyed mixed fortunes at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship as their round-robin campaign continued.

On Sunday they beat Denmark by 5-4 after an extra end in their second game, but lost to hosts Canada by 9-4 in their third before bouncing back with a 7-3 win over the Czech Republic yesterday.

The game against Denmark was tight all the way and the main Scottish breakthrough came in the ninth end when Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne rolled out his last stone to give Scotland a steal of one and the lead – by 4-3, for the first time in the game. In the tenth, Stjerne kept his nerve to score one and push the game into an extra end. The 11th eventually came down to a hit and stay by Scottish skip David Murdoch for the one shot needed for the win.

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The Scots then faced Canada in front of a packed house.

Canada stole a single in the first end but the Scots then took the initiative in the second end, when, after clearing out some trouble with his first stone, Murdoch was able to draw for two.

The turning point against Scotland came in the seventh end, when Murdoch came up short with his draw to give Canada a 7-3 lead on their way to a 9-4 win. By their own admission the Scots were slightly off in this game. Murdoch said: “That was a little bit sluggish. I think coming out after the extra end in the previous game against Denmark and then a 45-minute turnaround, we just weren’t sharp there and we didn’t come out the way we wanted to. Losing to Canada at this stage is not a disaster”.

Against the Czecs the Scots dominated from the start, opening with a single in the first end and then scoring twos in the third and sixth ends before sealing their win with a steal of one in the ninth.

Murdoch said: “The most important thing for us was really firing from the start like we did in the first two games. Certainly in that first end we were on fire and just really bossed the game from start to finish.”