Bronze medal games Roundup

Scotland women won the bronze medals after defeating Denmark Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Scotland women and Switzerland men have won bronze medals at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2014 being held in the Palladium de Champéry in Champéry, Switzerland.

The Scottish women, led by skip Eve Muirhead, with third Anna Sloan, second Vicki Adams, lead Sarah Reid and supported by alternate Lauren Gray and coach David Hay, beat Denmark by 8-4 in just eight ends.

The Danes started with last stone advantage and scored one point in the first end, but after that, it was virtually all Scotland.

Muirhead's team scored two points in the second end to take the early lead and then, in the fourth end, Muirhead played a good hit and stay to score another two points and take a 4-2 lead.

The Danes could only score a single point in the fifth end, meaning that Scotland went into the break with a 4-3 lead.

The Scots split the house early in the sixth end to eventually leave Muirhead with a straightforward open hit and stay for two more points.

The Scots then stole a further two points in the seventh end for an 8-3 lead.

When Danish skip Lene Nielsen came to play her final draw in the eighth end, she was facing four Scottish counters and although she made the draw to score one point, she immediately conceded, with the score at 8-4 to Scotland.

After the game Scotland skip Eve Muirhead said: "Why could we have not played like that all week? That was our best game by a long, long way. We were solid out there and we didn't do a lot wrong - that's more like Team Muirhead."

She added: "We didn't want to come back without a medal, but you can't win them all. We seem to put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we've done well at several major championships, and we maybe came in with just a bit too much pressure on ourselves. It was just one of those weeks - we always seemed to be on the back foot and always struggling, but in that last game the girls were fantastic and everyone stuck together really well. It's a pleasure to play when it's like that."

Meanwhile, a disappointed Denmark skip, Lene Nielsen, said: "We just didn’t make enough shots and they did. We tried to hang on and get our points when we had the hammer but we only got ones. It wasn’t enough against a team that just played better.”

She continued: “It’s definitely positive that we got this far. We are a new team with two players just out from the juniors and it’s a brand new experience playing with the seniors. We got a lot from this week, it’s just too bad that we didn’t get the medal."

In the men's bronze game, Switzerland stole a single point in the first end and never really looked back.

Italy scored one point in the second end, but the Swiss extended their lead with two points in the third end.

Italy then fought back, scoring one point in the fourth end and stealing another point in the fifth end to go into the break at 3-3.

The teams then swapped two points in the sixth and seventh ends, but Switzerland made another break-through in the eighth end, scoring two points for a 7-5 lead.

Once again, Italy could only score one point in the ninth end and Swiss skip Sven Michel went on to play a hit and stay with his last stone of the tenth end to seal an 8-6 victory.

Although Michel won this Championship last year, these were the first medals for his new look team which consisted of third Florian Meister, second Simon Gempeler, lead Stefan Meienberg and they were supported by alternate Marc Pfister and coach Robert Huerlimann.

Afterwards, Michel said: "It feels awesome. All the pressure is gone now. We played a really good game. We started to get nervous at the end but we finally managed to get the win. With the crowd cheering us on, it was just perfect, just amazing."

Meanwhile, Italy skip Joel Retornaz said: "We had three chances to win a medal today and we didn’t take them. We’re pretty disappointed about that."

And speaking about his team's overall performance, he said: "We had some good performances and good shots. We’re very consistent and we put pressure on all of the teams here. We’ve played pretty well throughout the week. Our positives outweigh our negatives throughout the tournament. Right now, going to the Worlds is not my first thought, but it was one of our goals here. We achieved it and we’re very happy about that."

In the women’s World Challenge, Estonia take a 1-0 lead into their second game of the series as they defeated Norway 12-4 after eight ends of play.

In the men’s World Challenge, it’s Finland who have a 1-0 series advantage as they defeated Germany 8-5 after nine ends of play.

The A Division women’s gold medal game begins at 10:00 on Saturday morning followed by the men’s gold medal game at 15:00 (CET).

The second of the three World Challenge series games begins at 09:00 and if a third game is required this will begin at 14:00. The remaining World Challenge games will take place in Monthey Skating Rink.

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