Edinburgh – Days 5 and 6 (Thursday and Friday)

Days 5 and 6 at the 2013 European Mixed Curling Championship have come and gone and we now know the four teams who will play in the semi-finals on Saturday morning.

Ewan MacDonald (above) and his Scotland team were the only ‘home’ nation to make Friday’s knockout stages.

Here’s how the last two days of the competition have gone…

Thursday was the last day of group play and featured some cracking games – here are the results grouped by session:

Austria 6-7 Slovakia
Turkey 6-4 Slovenia
Belarus 6-5 Poland
Latvia 4-2 Romania
France 4-2 Czech Republic
Hungary 6-3 Germany

Wales 4-6 Sweden
Estonia 4-3 Russia
Spain 4-3 Norway
England 3-9 Switzerland
Finland 5-3 Italy
Denmark 1-9 Ireland

Czech Republic 6-8 Germany (EE)
Scotland 8-2 Hungary
Slovakia 8-10 Italy
Romania 3-6 Poland
Slovenia 2-9 Denmark
France 5-8 Belarus

Special mention to Spanish skip Antonio Vez who, at just 19, played in his 100th international game on Thursday – ¡Felicidades!

Scotland finished their group campaign with an impressive W7 L1 record while the other ‘home’ nations all ended on W3 L4, missing out on the later stages.

I went along to Murrayfield for the evening session and the action didn’t disappoint.

Czech Republic v. Germany was nearest the viewing area and what a game it was. After five ends the Czechs led 5-1 and looked set to inflict the Germans’ second defeat of the day and, indeed, the tournament.

Germany were resilient, however, and clawed their way back into the game.

6-3 down going into the last end, German skip Andy Kapp was left with a near impossible shot to score three and take it to an extra end – a split raise that required the shooter to end up in the house and for a Czech counter to be pushed out.

Kapp drew on his nearly 30 years of international experience and nailed the shot. I think the applause lasted into the extra end.

But the excitement wasn’t over yet as Germany now needed to steal in the extra to take the game that had seemed beyond them. Czech ticks failed and Germany ultimately stole two to win the game. The Czechs will no doubt have been very disappointed.

So the final group standings looked like this:

Group A (W-L)
7-1 Germany, Scotland
6-2 Hungary
4-4 Czech Republic, Latvia
3-5 Belarus, France
2-6 Poland
0-8 Romania

Group B (W-L)
6-1 Switzerland
5-2 Sweden
4-3 Spain
3-4 Norway, Wales, England, Russia
1-6 Estonia

Group C (W-L)
7-0 Finland
5-2 Denmark
4-3 Slovakia, Austria, Italy
3-4 Ireland
1-6 Turkey
0-7 Slovenia

Big end of the day went to Slovakia (x2), Turkey, Scotland and Italy who all got fours.

There was just one tie-breaker required on Friday morning between Slovakia and Italy who had played the night before. On that occasion Italy had prevailed 10-8 but in the tie-breaker it was Slovakia who took it 7-2.

The qualification game for the remaining quarter-final spot was between Hungary and Spain and in a one-sided affair the Hungarians took it 8-1.

This all meant that Friday’s quarter-finals were:

Germany v. Slovakia
Finland v. Sweden
Scotland v. Denmark
Switzerland v. Hungary

Before I tell you how those games went, here are some pictures from Thursday evening.

Szymom Molski and Karolina Florek of Poland

Hungary’s Ágnes Szentannai

Germany’s Holger Höhne in the Czech clash

The two skips who battled it out on Sheet A – Germany’s Andy Kapp and Miloš Hoferka of Czech Republic

Hungary’s Ágnes Szentannai again – the lighter side of international curling

I think this is the first time I have featured Team Romania – here’s their third Cristina-Teodora Adumitroaei

Andy Kapp showed why Germany are a force to be reckoned with in this tournament

Holger Höhne was as shocked as we were that the Czechs let their lead slip

Italy skip Federica Apollonio instructing her sweepers

Alina Pavliuchyk and George Kirillov of Belarus

Hélène Grieshaber and Lionel Roux of France discuss the angles

Great to see more people in the stands than on previous days

Poland skip Aneta Lipinska

Calm down, calm down – Belarus skip Alina Pavliuchyk

Team Slovakia – arguably the surprise quarter-finalists. Daniela Matulova and Zuzana Axamitova sweep Frantisek Pitonak’s stone

Team Poland taking a break

Andy Kapp roars on the incredible stone that I described – fantastic stuff

Germany discuss their final move in the extra end

Nice to see the front-end getting some recognition – Pia-Lisa Schöll taking her skip’s plaudits after a hard-fought win

Friday’s quarter-finals went like this:

Germany 9-4 Slovakia
Finland 7-3 Sweden
Scotland 6-4 Denmark
Switzerland 4-6 Hungary

So Saturday’s semi-finals at 1000 will be:

Scotland v. Hungary
Finland v. Germany

Hungary are the only semi-finalists to have never won this competition before – Scotland have beaten them once already in this tournament 8-2 so it looks like Scotland have a great chance to retain their title from last year.

Gold and Bronze games will be at 1500 so get down to Murrayfield – Scotland will definitely be playing for a medal now but what colour?

The event website is here.

Photos are © Ted Edmunds/TVFTH 2013