Eve Muirhead delivers decisive blow as Scots defeat Russia

Eve Muirhead and her Scottish women's team completed their round-robin programme with a confident 8-4 win over Russia yesterday at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships at the Braehead Arena, and can now concentrate on today's semi-final game, when they will face the Russians again.
Eve Muirhead was in winning form as Scotland defeated Russia. Picture: SNS.Eve Muirhead was in winning form as Scotland defeated Russia. Picture: SNS.
Eve Muirhead was in winning form as Scotland defeated Russia. Picture: SNS.

Following their defeat at the hands of Russia, Tom Brewster’s Scottish men are now out of medal contention and have finished sixth overall.

In the women’s game, the Russians started with last stone, and opened the scoring with a single shot in the second end. After this the Scots took control, scoring two in the third and then stealing one in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.

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Russia did manage to level the game at 3-3 with a score of two in the fifth end, but a well-played sixth end, completed by a controlled draw by Muirhead gave the Scots a score of three and a 6-3 lead from which they never looked back.

After blanking the seventh end, Muirhead drew her last in the eighth, scoring two this time for 8-4 after which the Russians conceded.

Afterwards, Muirhead said, “I think it was very important (to keep winning). I guess you can always take your foot off the pedal in that last round-robin game when you know you’ve secured that number one spot, but we didn’t do that, and it was crucial that we didn’t, so we’re really looking forward to the play-off stages now.”

Speaking about her returning third player Anna Sloan she added: “It’s great to have Anna back after injury. It’s been a roller-coaster end of last season and beginning of this season. Now she’s back and fighting fit. She’s worked really hard to get into the position she’s in and she’s playing great.”

Looking forward she said: “There’s a whole lot of time before the semi-final, I like keeping busy but our family and friends are here, so I’m looking forward to that.”

These results now set up a semi-final re-match between Scotland and Russia, while Sweden will face the Czech Republic.

At the other end of the table, Finland and Norway are now relegated while eighth-placed Italy will face a challenge from the eventual “B” Division winners for the last European place at the 2017 World Championship in Beijing.