Kyle Smith’s Scotland in final after thrilling win over Switzerland

Team Scotland skip Kyle Smith.
 Picture: John Devlin
Team Scotland skip Kyle Smith. Picture: John Devlin
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Scotland’s men will face Sweden in tomorrow’s final of the Le Gruyere AOP European Curling Championships, in St Gallen, Switzerland, following their 9-8 semi-final victory over the Swiss yesterday evening.

To reach the semi-final, the Scots earlier concluded their round-robin programme with a 5-2 triumph in a must-win game against the Netherlands.

The Scots started strongly in the semi-final with a steal of three in the second end when Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz failed to get inside three well-placed Scottish stones.

However, the Scots gave up three shots in the fifth end to put the teams into the half-time break level at 5-5.

The teams swapped scores of two shots in the next two ends and, in the eighth, the Scots gave up a steal of one when skip Kyle Smith’s attempted double clear-out jammed on a back stone. The Scots blanked the ninth end to keep last stone for the tenth. Schwarz then missed a double take-out attempt, leaving Smith with a pressure draw-shot into the house for two shots and the win.

In the other semi-final, defending champions 
Sweden beat Norway 8-3.

Smith said: “We’re absolutely delighted. We got that early start and stole three which was huge but we knew they were always going to come back. We put them under a bit of pressure in the last end there and thankfully they didn’t make it.”

Earlier, Eve Muirhead’s Scottish women had concluded their round-robin programme with a 9-3 win over Hungary that consolidated their third position.

They now face hosts 
Switzerland in this morning’s semi-final, with Sweden playing Italy in the other.