Session 9: Scotland gain first win while Swiss success continues

  • Scotland picked up their first win of the Championship so far, against Russia Photo: WCF/CC/Michael Burns

Switzerland beat Finland by 8-7 to move into a clear second place on the standings, behind leaders Canada, in Tuesday morning's ninth session of round robin play of the Ford World Men's Curling Championship in Halifax, Canada.

At the same time, Japan moved into fourth place with an 8-1 win over Italy while Scotland recorded their first win, beating Russia by 8-6.

In the game between Switzerland and Finland, Switzerland's skip Marc Pfister opened with a draw for three points in the first end.

He then consolidated his team's position when he played a double take-out in the third end to score three more points and take a 6-2 lead.

Finland then scored two points in the fourth end when their skip Aku Kauste played an angle raise double take-out that reduced the Swiss lead to 6-4.

This started a come-back that saw the Finns draw level at 7-7 after nine ends.

Switzerland kept their nerve however and Pfister drew his last stone of the tenth end onto the button to score one point and win the game by 8-7.

Afterwards, Pfister said: "I'm really excited, it’s unbelievable. It was so close, so close. We're five (wins) and one (loss) - that's amazing for such a young team on our first time at the World Championships. I think it’s a great performance from our whole team."
Japan beat Italy by 8-1 in just six ends, thanks to opening with five successive steals. In fact, Japan never had last stone throughout the game.

Speaking about this win, their lead player Kosuke Morozumi said: "We're fourth now. We just need to keep the quality up there and we will have a chance to qualify for the play-offs. We threw really good this morning - on the whole we are playing very well."

The Scottish team faced Russia still looking for their first victory of the week.

Russia opened with a score of three points in the first end but the Scots scored two points in the second end, stole two points in the third end and had a single-point steal in the fourth end for a 5-3 lead.

In the fifth end, Russia's skip Evgeny Arkhipov drew his last stone into the house to score one point and reduce the Scottish lead to 5-4.

In the ninth end, Scotland's skip Ewan MacDonald also played a draw-shot for one point to move his lead to 7-6.

The Scots then got their first win, by 8-6, when a Russian promote effort went wrong in the tenth end, giving Scotland a steal of one point to settle the game.

Afterwards, a relieved MacDonald said: "It's nice to get a win on the board. We were a bit sharper there and managed to make a nice run of ends around the middle and that got us some momentum."

The Czech Republic played Sweden and in the fourth end Czech skip Jiri Snitil scored one point with a raise double take-out to reduce Sweden's lead to 3-1.

In the sixth end Sweden's skip Niklas Edin drew his last stone into the house to score two points and move on to a 5-1 lead.

Eventually, the Czechs conceded the game after nine ends when the Swedes scored one point, giving Sweden a 7-3 victory.

Speaking about a return to winning ways for his team, Sweden's Edin said: "That was very important. If we didn’t win this one we knew we were going to be almost out of it already. And we needed to play good as well. Not just win the game, we needed to feel good, get the confidence back and feel we can win the rest of the games here."

RESULTS
Session 9:
Scotland 8, Russia 6; Czech Republic 3, Sweden 7; Switzerland 8, Finland 7; Japan 8, Italy 1.

STANDINGS
After 9 sessions of play (W-L):

1. Canada 5-0
2. Switzerland 5-1
3. Norway 4-1
4. Japan 4-2
5. Czech Republic 3-3
5. Finland 3-3
5. Sweden 3-3
8. USA 2-3
9. Italy 2-4
10. China 1-4
11. Russia 1-5
11. Scotland 1-5

During the round robin portion of a competition, teams with the same win-loss record will be listed alphabetically, by their three letter code, and ranked equal.

Video Highlights: Highlights from games throughout the Championship will be available to watch courtesy of World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation.

WCTV will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world from Halifax. The full broadcast schedule is here: http://www.worldcurling.org/wmcc2015/schedule

In addition, curling fans around the world will be able to follow selected live coverage of the 2015 World Championship events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

The 2016 Ford World Men's Curling Championship will be staged in Basel, Switzerland starting on Saturday 2nd April.