Curling: winning start for both Scotland teams at European Championships

Scotland skip Eve Muirhead enjoyed at winning start in Helsingborg at the Le Gruy�re AOP European Curling Championships. Picture: Richard Gray/� WCF
Scotland skip Eve Muirhead enjoyed at winning start in Helsingborg at the Le Gruy�re AOP European Curling Championships. Picture: Richard Gray/� WCF
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Scotland’s curlers posted back-to-back victories over Norway at the European Championships in Helsingborg, but while Ross Paterson’s men’s team won easily, Eve Muirhead and her rink required a stirring second-half fightback.

Paterson enjoyed an 88 per cent success rate – lead Michael Goodfellow was up at 97 – as he seized control from the outset against Oslo’s former world champion Thomas Ulsrud. The Scots counted three stones at the first end and soon led 5-1. Ulsrud cut the gap to 6-4, but Paterson and company picked up twos at the seventh and eighth ends to win 10-4.

“That was a good start,” said Paterson. “We had a good read of the ice and executed our shots pretty well. We got an early lead and saw the game out in the eighth end.”

Muirhead, by contrast, was always playing catch-up against Marianne Roervik’s team, and the two-time European champion trailed 4-2 when Kristin Skaslien pulled off a sensational shot at the sixth end.

Despite continuing problems with an old hip injury, Muirhead, pictured, dug deep and used all her experience to draw level with a two at the seventh. The momentum was switching and the Scots stole singles at the last three ends to wrap up a deceptively clear 7-4 win. The Scots women face a double-header today against Denmark and the Czech Republic, while Paterson’s team play Italy.