Curling: Scots suffer fresh blow at illness hits Murdoch

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The Scottish men have struggled all week at the Le Gruyere European Curling Championships in Karlstad, Sweden, and they suffered a further blow in yesterday morning’s game against Switzerland when David Murdoch – promoted into fourth position on Monday evening as they gained a crucial win over Norway – had to leave the ice unwell at the half-time break.

By this point, the Scots were already in trouble as Murdoch had missed a couple of crucial shots and, with Tom Brewster back playing skip stones, they lost a further three in the sixth when Brewster was heavy with his final shot. This all led to a 2-7 defeat that put paid to the Scots’ hopes for medals this year.

Their task now is to finish high enough up the rankings to qualify for this season’s Word Championship. “It doesn’t half feel like the curling gods are against us,” said a rueful Brewster afterwards.

The weakened Scottish side returned to the ice later and carved out a 9-7 win over France to help their cause.

Meanwhile, the Scottish women, led by Eve Muirhead, got themselves back on track yesterday afternoon with a 7-3 win over Germany in a game that was vital to keeping their medal hopes alive. The women play Denmark next.