Both the men and the women played two sessions in the A-Division on the third day of round robin at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2023. After five sessions in each competition, only Switzerland women and Italy men have a perfect record of five wins and no losses.
With five sessions now completed, the women’s round robin has now passed the half-way mark at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2023 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Switzerland had two wins on Monday, beating Norway by 8-4 in their morning game and then following that up with another 8-4 win, this time over Czechia.
In the game against Czechia, the Swiss set the tone from the first end when their fourth player Alina Paetz opened the scoring with a draw for four.
These results give the Swiss a clear lead at the top of the table, unbeaten so far, on five wins.
Norway recovered from their morning loss to beat Denmark by 5-4 in the evening. The Norwegians now sit in joint second place on the rankings, along with Italy.
The Italians had two wins on Monday, following up a 9-7 victory over defending champions Denmark with an 11-7 win against Estonia.
After their morning win, Italy’s skip Stefania Constantini said, “We were in control, and we managed the game very well today. Our goal now is to do our best in every game, to try to win every game no matter the team we face, so we are working hard to do that. We can still improve. We’re improving game by game.”
Two teams—Scotland and Sweden—now share fourth place. In morning, the Swedes beat Germany by 8-5 while the Scots were 8-1 winners over Czechia.
They then faced each other in the afternoon. By the fifth end, the Scots were leading by 3-2. Scottish skip Rebecca Morrison then produced a double take-out while keeping her shooter in the house to score four and move her lead onto 7-2. The Scots then went on to win by 9-7.
Afterwards, a pleased Morrison said, “We really played brilliant there. It was a tighter game than the scoreline suggests, but we were really happy with the performance there. We said yesterday that we’re going to have to up our game and that’s exactly what we did. We came out fighting. That’s the team that we’ve been seeing the rest of the season, so we’re really pleased with ourselves, and we really want to keep that going.”
Estonia had a mixed day. They opened with a 9-7 victory over Türkiye, which they completed with a score of three in the ninth end, but then suffered a loss to Italy.
After their morning win, skip Marie Kaldvee said, “That was an important win. Every win is important. In the first half we were good, but in the middle, we got a little bit shaky for some reason, and in the end, we just knew we had to take points to win. We are looking up and we want to win every game going forward, so for even the tough opponents we have yet to come, we’re going to give our best that we can give.”
Ater their loss to Estonia, Türkiye had the consolation of recording their first win so far, with a 9-5 victory over Germany.
In the second end, with Germany leading by 1-0, Turkiye skip Dilsat Yildiz played a take-out on a German stone to score four and take a 4-1 lead. Türkiye then went on to win by 9-5, and they now hope this will kick-start their campaign to avoid relegation.
Afterwards, skip Yildiz said, “I’m happy because that was our first win. We can still stay in ‘A’, and we will do everything we can and battle to stay up.”
By the end of Monday, the men’s teams also completed five sessions of round-robin play.
Italy followed up a 7-5 win over Sweden in the early session with an 8-1 victory in six ends over Czechia in the evening. This leaves them at the top of the table, unbeaten with five wins.
In the first men’s session of the day, Italy and Sweden were tied at 5-5 after eight ends. In the ninth, Sweden’s Edin had an uncharacteristic miss, to give Italy a steal of two and a 7-5 lead. Sweden then conceded in the tenth.
After this win, Italy skip Joel Retornaz said, “I thought that was a very good game. Both teams played very well with lots of good shots from both sides and I enjoyed it even more when we got the win. It’s not the win that gives us confidence, it’s the way we’re playing. We’re performing very well. We’re in great shape out there and everyone knows what they’re supposed to do.”
Scotland are hard on the heels of the Italians. Their two wins on Monday—by 9-6 over Switzerland and then a six-end 8-2 defeat of Germany—means that they are on clear second place on a won four, lost one record.
After the win over Switzerland, Scotland skip Bruce Mouat said, “We had a really good first five ends, and it’s nice to have some momentum going forward.”
Behind these two leading teams, three others share third place, on three wins and two losses.
One of them is Germany, who had a two-loss day. Before going down in their evening game to the Scots, they had lost to Norway by 3-7.
Sweden followed their loss to Italy with a 10-5 win over Norway to take them to joint third place. The Swedes effectively sealed their win over Norway with a gentle tap-out to score four points in the eighth end.
Speaking afterwards, Sweden skip Niklas Edin said, “It was a very frustrating first half. We had a couple of breaks against us that were unbelievable. We thought we need to be patient and maybe this game wasn’t going to go our way. But we got the luck back in the second half. We’re happy we stuck in and played well.”
Switzerland are the other team in joint third place, following their 7-5 win over Finland in the evening.
Behind these teams, Czechia, Netherlands and Norway sit on two wins and three losses.
Netherlands had a successful day at the rink, as they picked up their first and second victory of the tournament. In the early game, they beat Finland by 10-3.
After this victory, their skip Wouter Goesgens said, “We’re happy with our first ‘W’. I think we’re improving every game and as long as we keep improving there will be a couple more ‘W’s. This is only game four and we’re concentrating on one game at a time, so we’ll see where we end up.”
The Dutch then picked up an extra-end 7-6 win over Türkiye in the evening.
Finland had two losses on the day. After going down to the Dutch team, their evening loss to Switzerland means they sit at the bottom of the table, still looking for a first win.
Competition in the B-Division takes place in Perth, where ten women’s and 16 men’s teams play for medals and promotion to next season’s A-Division.
In the men’s field, Denmark and England are the two undefeated teams on four wins each. In the women’s competition, there isn’t a team with a perfect record, but four of them—Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland—share top position on the standings on a won four, lost one record.
Click here for all the results from the B-Division.
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