Sochi 2014: GB curlers claim victory of USA

DAVID Murdoch believes his British rink are starting to become a nuisance at the Winter Olympics in Sochi with American skip John Shuster feeling the full force of it yesterday.

David Murdoch: Momentum. Picture: AP

Skip Murdoch led Britain to a third-successive victory on the fourth day of the curling tournament in Russia, American Shuster this time on the receiving end of their rapidly improving play.

The British men’s rink are getting better as each sun-drenched day goes by in Sochi and they annoyed their American opponents yesterday to claim a 5-3 win. Murdoch was 3-0 ahead after three ends before eventually shaking hands with American Shuster six later in the ninth as they took their tally to four wins and one loss.

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Next up are Denmark, who boast a record of two wins and three losses, and skip Murdoch admits his rink are starting to get into a groove that will be hard to stop.

“It was just a commanding performance and I think we really dominated them from start to finish. We were aggressive in the first five ends, got our lead and we were clinical after that,” he said.

“We are drawing really well and we are getting our rocks in perfect spots and causing them all sorts of trouble. You are always striving to do better and that is just the desire within you.

“I think we are actually getting stronger, but we need to be, with a lot of tough games still to come. It is all about momentum and if we can keep going with that we will be in a good place.

“We are very comfortable with the situation right now. We are up there near the top with 4-1 and if you had said that at the start of the week I would have been very happy with that.”

Meanwhile, British women’s skip Eve Muirhead admitted she did her confidence the world of good – whether it was affected by Wednesday’s controversial miss or not – after landing the winning score against China.

British women’s rink skip Muirhead went for three points and the win in their third match of the Games against Canada when two would have taken the contest to an extra end, albeit without the hammer.

She missed as Canadian skip Jennifer Jones claimed a 9-6 win and Muirhead found herself in a vital position again yesterday as they quickly turned around to face Olympic bronze medallists China.

With the score at 7-7, Muirhead once again picked up the final stone but, unlike the day before where she failed to get it right, she got it spot on to hand Britain an important 8-7 win.

That now gives them an equal record of two wins and two defeats and, with the 2009 world champion skip Wang Bingyu out of the way, Muirhead feels better about herself.

“There wasn’t any pressure or nerves on that last shot, that’s why we practice day in, day out. That is why we practice twice a day for a few hours to make that one shot, you don’t get any second chances at an Olympic Games,” she said.

“You have got to make sure you take full advantage of it and, I guess at the start of the game, if I got asked if I would have liked to have been all square against China with the hammer you would take it all day long – you would grab it.

“That is what a skip has to do. I have to make the decisions and come up with the final decisions, I wouldn’t have gone for the shot if it wasn’t there. I know a lot of people have different opinions.

“Some people think I should have took the two and gone to the extra. I am really glad we came back with a strong performance there and I am really glad I managed to play a great shot to finish off that game.”

Japan are next up and Muirhead insists it is essential that they break their run of lose-win, lose-win at the Games and start to string a series of victories together.

“Confidence is building and a little bit of momentum as well,” she added. “It is essential that we keep this solid performance going and get better and better.”