Curling: Smith still on top despite Russia defeat

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After cruising to an emphatic 9-3 six-end win over Norway in yesterday morning’s play at the World Junior Curling Championships in Sochi, the Scottish men went down by 4-5 to their Russian hosts in a tight evening game.

Although this meant they lost their unbeaten record they still stay at the top of the pile, on five wins and one loss.

Meanwhile in their only game of the day, Scotland’s defending champion women, skipped by Lockerbie’s Hannah Fleming, also beat Norway by 9-3, and they lead their table, still undefeated, two wins ahead of their nearest rivals Japan.

Against Norway, the Scottish men had the perfect start as skip Kyle Smith played a straightforward draw to score four in the first end after Norway’s skip Eirik Mjoen was heavy with his final draw. The Norwegians didn’t get on the scoreboard until the fifth end of a comfortable match for the Scots.

The evening game against Russia was a different matter. It was tight all the way, with the lead changing hands three times. After falling behind, the Scots levelled the game in the ninth when Smith drew for two points, but Russian skip Evgeniy Arkhipov kept his nerve to score the point needed for his 5-4 win.