The Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships B-Division gets underway

  • Belarus in action on their return to the B-Division © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

In Saturday morning's opening men's round-robin session of the B-Division Belarus and Denmark, both recently promoted from the C-Division, faced each other.

This match-up went all the way to an extra end, and it was Belarus who eventually had the edge, taking a vital point in that extra end for an 8-7 win over their Danish competitors.

Belarussian skip Ilya Shalamitski said after the match, “it was a very important game for us, we played Denmark in the C-Division and we lost two games against them. We wanted our revenge and to start the tournament with a good game.”

“It's the first time in six years we were promoted to group B, so it's the first goal for us to stay here and to show good games. It's an honour and it's a great experience to play here with the best ice and great teams, and it gives us a lot of pleasure - everything is great.”

In the same session, Lithuania had the upper hand over Israel in a game that was balanced from the beginning. Then, from the fourth end onwards, Lithuania took control of the game and it ended with Israel conceding with the score, 7-4 to Lithuania.

Wales came back from being 3-0 down against Slovenia after three ends to come out the eventual winners. After taking the lead for the first time in the seventh end, Wales didn't look back, taking the honours, by 9-6.

In a close game between Austria and England, the Austrians eventually came out on top, claiming a 7-6 win. A three-point score in the final end was key to Austria's success.

All of these games were in the B-Division's B Group, but there was also one A Group game in this session. In this, Czech Republic recorded their first victory of the tournament, with a 7-2 win over Latvia.

The women's sides took to the ice later the same day.

In the women's opening round-robin session of the B-Division, Norway came out 9-4 winners over Poland. The Norwegians took a 5-0 lead after three ends and carried that advantage throughout.

Spain were also winners in this session, beating Slovakia 7-3. After a close start, Spain took the momentum from the seventh end onwards and left Slovakia unable to come back.

Turkey kept control over Hungary to bring home a 7-4 win. The Turkish team took the lead in the first end and hung on to their advantage.

Slovenia edged out Lithuania in a 6-4 victory. The Slovenian team ground out a crucial three-points advantage in the eighth end in what was an even game up to that point.

Hosts Estonia faced England in their opening match. They scored a single point in the first end but were left powerless from there onwards, with England going on to win, by 6-3.

You can follow all the live scores from the B-Division games at http://eccb2018.worldcurling.org/
Results:

Men, Session 1, Group A: Czech Republic 7, Latvia 2.
Men, Session 1, Group B: Lithuania 7-4 Israel; Slovenia 6-9 Wales; Belarus 8-7 Denmark; Austria 7-6 England.

Women: Spain 7-3 Slovakia; Turkey 7-4 Hungary; Estonia 3-6 England; Slovenia 6-4 Lithuania; Norway 9-4 Poland.

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2018 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@WorldCurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #ECC2018 #curling