Curling: Victory double takes Muirhead to the top

Scotland continued their good progress at the Titlis Glacier Mountain World Women’s Curling Championship in Riga with two straight-forward victories that put them at the top of the rankings.

In their afternoon game, they beat Switzerland 11-4 and then came back on to the ice to beat hosts Latvia by 9-5 in their evening game.

Against Switzerland, the Scots started strongly, scoring two in the first end and never looked back. Eventually, in the ninth, skip Eve Muirhead had a nose-hit to score five for 11-4, at which point the Swiss conceded.

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After this game, Muirhead said: “That was really solid out there. We came out sharp and got two early. I think it’s about consistency now. All the girls are playing great and it’s going to be tough for any team to beat us.”

Certainly Latvia found the Sots too hot to handle in their evening game. They had yet to record a win in the event, and trailed immediately, with the Scots stealing a single shot in the first end.

Time and again, the Scots threatened to put together a big end, and they went into the fifth end break with a comfortable 5-2 lead. They scored three in the seventh end and another single in the ninth for 9-5 and that was enough to convince the Latvians to concede.

After this game, Muirhead added: “It’s rewarding to be able to execute like that. That’s what we came out to do today, so that’s ideal and we’re definitely going up the way now.”

Sweden beat Canada by 8-4 in their game and they now share top spot with Scotland on the same won six, lost one record.

The Scots face Denmark and the Italy today. Earlier, China had yet to record a win as yesterday’s play got under way, but, by the end of the afternoon session, they had posted two victories, including one against Sweden.

In their morning game, they played Germany and, in the tenth end, China skip Bingyu Wang hit out the only German stone in the house and kept her own within the rings to score one point. This gave her a first win of the week, by 7-5.

In the afternoon session, again at the tenth end, Swedish fourth player Maria Prytz was too strong with her final delivery, leaving China to steal one point and win the game by 6-4.

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Wang said: “I feel so great. Everything went well for us. We’ve had a tough start, losing five games, but right now it feels like we know how to play the game here.

“We’re not over-thinking the game – we’re just thinking about one rock at a time, one end at a time. I hope this is the turning point. We have five more games and we hope we can win all of them.”

In other matches, Switzerland beat USA 7-6 after an extra end. Switzerland made the first break-through in this game when their skip, Silvana Tirinzoni, drew into the house to score two points in the fourth end and take a 3-2 lead.

The Swiss then had a steal of two points in the ninth end when USA skip Erika Brown was too heavy with her draw. This gave Switzerland a 7-4 lead on their way to victory.

Russia had two wins yesterday, and both were tight. They beat Denmark by 5-4 in their morning game, before being pushed all the way by Latvia, who succumbed 9-7.

Italy suffered two losses, going down by 4-6 to Japan, and then by 6-7 to Canada.


Session 9: Switzerland 7, USA 6; Russia 5, Denmark 4; Germany 5, China 7; Italy 4, Japan 6.

Session 10: Latvia 7, Russia 9; China 6, Sweden 4; Italy 6, Canada 7; Switzerland 4, Scotland 11.

Standings after ten sessions:

1=, Scotland won 5, lost 1, Sweden 5-1; 3, Russia 5-2; 4=, Canada 4-2; Japan 4-2; 6, Switzerland 4-3; 7=, Germany 3-3; USA 3-3; 9=, Italy 2-5, China 2-5; 11, Denmark 1-5; 12, Latvia 0-6