Beijing – Day 6 (Thursday)

Thursday was the final day of round-robin play at the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship and Scotland were trying to end a disappointing campaign on a high.

Unfortunately, no wins were forthcoming for Ewan MacDonald (above) and his team as they faced Canada and Germany in their final two games.

First up was Kevin Koe’s Canada in the featured live game on the WCF’s YouTube channel – I thought Scotland played pretty well and kept things tight against a strong outfit.

It was all very close to begin with with singles exchanged either side of a blank end but it was Canada’s two in the sixth end that opened the first gap. Ewan responded in seven with a nice double takeout which enabled him to draw in for two with hammer.

Ewan was then short in eight which gave the Canadians the chance for another two which they duly took – when the Scots could only respond with a one, the odds were against them going down the last.

Scotland set things up well but Canada had the answers and a last stone promote from Koe gave Canada a single point and the win.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total
SCO 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 5
1 0 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 1 7

Thursday’s early results:

USA 4-6 Norway
Germany 5-11 Canada
Denmark 5-6 Russia
Sweden 11-4 Japan

Scotland 5-7 Canada
Norway 7-6 Switzerland (EE)
Japan 4-6 China
Czech Republic 8-7 Denmark

Scotland’s final game of the Championship came against John Jahr’s German team and this was one to forget for the Scotland boys as they tried to finish with a flourish – Glen Muirhead was playing lead throughout this game.

The German team, incidentally, has announced that it will disband after this tournament with veteran skip John Jahr set to retire from the sport.

The game started well enough with Scotland cancelling out a first-end German steal to level things at 1-1 going into the third but this is where it all went wrong. Ewan wrecked with both of his stones (the first was a pickup) and this allowed Germany to score a big five and essentially kill the game.

Scotland did get a two back to make it 6-3 at the break but a German two in six followed by a steal of the same number in seven convinced Scotland to call it a day.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7  8  9 10 Total
SCO* 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 X X X 3
1 0 5 0 0 2 2 X X X 10

Thursday’s late results:

Russia 6-10 Czech Republic
China 5-6 Sweden
Switzerland 8-5 USA
Scotland 3-10 Germany

Final Round-Robin Standings (W-L)
1. Norway 10-1
2. Canada 8-3
3. Switzerland 7-4
4. Sweden 7-4
4. Japan 7-4
6. China 6-5
7. Czech Republic 6-5
8. Germany 5-6
9. Scotland 3-8
10. USA 3-8
11. Russia 2-9
12. Denmark 2-9

Let’s get the bad stuff out the way first before I explain the top of the table.

This is the first time since 2007 that Scotland have not made the playoffs and every time they did they got a medal. I know I perhaps talked up Scotland’s chances in my event preview but I genuinely believed they had the ability to beat some big teams and get into those latter stages. They certainly ran the Canadians very close but at this level we are talking about such fine margins and sadly for Scotland they end on a 3-8 record.

Underachievers of the week must surely be Denmark. Fourth place in 2013 but propping up the table a year later? They will be hugely disappointed with that I’ve no doubt.

Big end of the day on Thursday was that five that Germany scored against Scotland.

So let’s decipher that final table.

Sweden and Japan will play a tiebreaker for fourth place at 0200 on Friday to determine who will play Switzerland in the 3v4 game at 1200, also on Friday.

Norway and Canada, meanwhile, play the 1v2 game at 0400 on Saturday.

Losers of 1v2 play winners of 3v4 in a semi-final at 0900 on Saturday.

Loser of semi-final play losers of 3v4 in the bronze medal game at 0300 on Sunday.

Winners of the 1v2 play winners of the semi-final in the gold medal game at 0800 on Sunday.

All clear?

To keep up with the final stages over the weekend check out the event website here or watch those crucial games live here.

Photo is © WCF/Richard Gray 2014