Category Archives: European Curling Championships

Weekend Roundup 17-19 October

I am out of the country from tomorrow so I thought I’d get in a roundup of this weekend’s action before I go.


The European Playdowns in Perth proved to be very exciting and we now know which teams will be representing Scotland in Champéry, Switzerland at the end of next month.

The women’s event was won by Eve Muirhead after she won all four round-robin games and then beat Lauren Gray twice in the final round to secure her team’s place at the Europeans.

Hannah Fleming’s team lost all their games in Perth – not something we are used to seeing from the young skip.

The men’s competition, meanwhile, went right to the wire after David Murdoch qualified from the round-robin alongside David Edwards, the latter needing a tie-breaker against Tom Brewster on Saturday afternoon.

So the best-of-three final was between David Murdoch and David Edwards and it was Edwards who won the first game 6-4 before Murdoch took the event to a deciding game with a 5-4 victory on Sunday morning. The teams met for the crucial decider in the afternoon and it was 6-6 after ten ends meaning the place in Switzerland would come down to an extra-end, Murdoch with hammer.

Sensationally, Team Edwards stole a two against Team GB’s Winter Olympic Skip from Sochi and earned themselves a well-deserved place at the upcoming European Championships – well done boys!

All the scores are here and you can read a report with pictures of the winning teams here.

The European Junior Curling Tour was in Oslo, Norway this weekend for the International Junior Bonspiel.

All four teams from the Royal Caledonian Curling Club’s Academy were in attendance – that’s rinks skipped by Cameron Bryce, Robin Brydone, Karina Aitken and Katie Murray.

Twelve junior men’s and fifteen junior women’s teams from Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Sweden were taking part alongside the Scottish representatives.

Despite Karina Aitken scoring a seven in one of her team’s games it was Katie Murray and Robin Brydone who managed to make the quarter-finals – Karina missed out in a tie-breaker.

Ultimately the quarter-finals proved to be as far as any of the Scottish teams would go but great to see them making the latter stages of these tournaments. Switzerland’s Yannick Schwaller took the junior men’s title while Isabella Wranå of Sweden won the junior women’s tournament.

Full results are here.

Finally, Kyle Smith and his team are in Canada just now for the World Curling Tour’s Canad Inns Men’s Classic in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

As I type, they are fighting to stay in the tournament against Reid Carruthers of Winnipeg – watch this space to find out how they get on.

Event scores and lineups are here.

Images are © WCF, CCT and WCT

European Qualifiers Underway In Perth

Scotland will be sending two teams to this season’s European Curling Championships in Champéry, Switzerland at the end of November – one men’s team and one women’s team.

With that in mind, the European Playdowns are currently underway at the Dewars Centre, Perth to determine which teams will become Team Scotland for the trip to Switzerland.

Play got underway on Thursday 16 and will conclude on Sunday 19.

Four men’s and three women’s teams are in attendance and expect the competition to be fierce as we have Tom Brewster, David Edwards, Ewan MacDonald and David Murdoch in the men’s draw and Hannah Fleming, Lauren Gray and Eve Muirhead in the women’s.

Full team lineups can be found here.

The format of play is a double round-robin with a best-of-three final for both men and women. Entry is free so get along to Perth if you can to catch the action.

There have been six games so far and all but one of them have been won by just one or two points – David Murdoch and Eve Muirhead are the only undefeated skips going into Day 2.

You can follow all the scores here.

Image is © WCF

Loose Ends – 6 March

I’ve been saving up plenty of wee stories from the world of curling and I think it’s about time I put them up on the blog.

First of all, the Winter Paralympics are just around the corner and I’ll have more information about that in the coming days. For now, you can find out about a team change for Team GB here.

It seems that Tom Killin fell ill last week and will not be travelling to Sochi for the Games – we all wish him a speedy recovery.

Louise Kerr pointed me in the direction of this nice story about a man from Belfast who jumped on a ferry to try curling for the first time at Stranraer – now that’s dedication!

It seems he’s pretty good too…

Sticking with ‘home’ nation news, it was the English Men’s Championship at Fenton’s in the last weekend of February.

Alan MacDougall and his team won their fifth-straight national title after beating Michael Opel 10-2 in the final.

A full report of the Championship is available here.

Fenton’s also appears in this Dyson advert. Make of it what you will…

While we are on English curling, I hope you have been following the progress of what could become only the second curling rink in England. The proposed facility just north of Bracknell, Berkshire featured in this news item, is live on the local council’s planning pages and the project website is here.

It would be great to see this rink in action in the near future – stay tuned for more information.

The World Curling Federation has announced that the 2016 World Men’s Curling Championship will be held in Basel, Switzerland.

You may recall that in August I had heard that Edinburgh’s bid for this Championship had failed and it seems that this was indeed the case.

Basel held the Europeans in 2006 and the World Men’s in 2012.

More information on the 2016 event is here.

Israel rejoined the WCF in 2013 having previously been a member association from 1999 to 2008 but not much information seems to exist about the Federation or curling in the country itself.

Recently, I came across this article which made for a really interesting read about the recruitment of Jewish curlers in North America as well as giving some more details about curling in Israel.

The piece says that Israel are hoping to compete in the European C Group in the near future – best of luck to them.

Talking about the Europeans brings me on nicely to this post from John Brown on his Toothy’s Curling blog where he reminisces about his own European Championship experiences.

I love John’s star-rating of the various European cities that have hosted the Championships.

Nominations are being sought for the 2014 Scottish Curling Awards in four categories:

  • Young Curler of the Year
  • Team of the Year
  • Grassroots Coach of the Year
  • Ice Diamond Award

For more details on the criteria and to make your nominations take a look at this page on the RCCC’s website. The awards will be presented at the RCCC AGM on Saturday 14 June in Perth.

With Sochi still fresh in our minds, another Winter Olympic cycle has begun and the selection policies for the World Class Performance programme are now available to read here.

Selection for the 2014-15 Royal Club Academy is now open as well – all you need to know is here.

Since I last pointed you in the direction of the Curling History Blog two new posts have appeared.

The first builds on Bob Cowan’s extensive research into the 1924 Winter Olympics and here we find him investigating a mystery woman…

The second piece is about one James Ritchie, an Inspector of the Ice.

While Bob no longer runs his Skip Cottage Curling blog he does have another blog which is still active – take a look here to see how one of our Olympic medallists looked when she was just twelve!

I bumped into Bob at the recent Scottish Finals in Perth where he told me about a new e-book that has come out called End Game.

This digital title was written by the author of the Curl With Math blog, Kevin Palmer, and it claims to be the essential guide for watching curling. If anyone fancies reading it and sending me a review then I would be glad to publish it here on the blog. Or send me a Kindle so I can read it, whichever you prefer…

Images are © ICA, ECA, WCF, ICF and RCCC

More Stories From Stavanger

One last post about the Europeans…

Towards the end of the week I was sent some more content by Hugh and Christine Stewart – see the first post that features their photos and words here.

This guy kept the crowd entertained

This is the car that John Brown spotted earlier in the week – car curling puns anyone?

Here’s the Team England girls who did so well to claim a bronze medal in this year’s B Group (L-R): Anna Fowler (skip), Hetty Garnier (third), Naomi Robinson (second), Lauren Pearce (lead) and Lucinda Sparks (alternate) – John Sharp was their coach in Stavanger

Faces in the crowd supporting Scotland in the 3v4 playoff (L-R): David Hardie (husband of Fiona), Fiona Hardie (RCCC Ladies’ Branch President) and Alan Durno (RCCC President)

Team Norway and Tracey Sanderson from Loudmouth (L-R): Christoffer Svae, Torger Nergård, Tracey Sanderson, Thomas Ulsrud, Håvard Vad Petersson

Now we have all seen them and over the past few years Loudmouth trousers have been the uniform for Team Norway and from that they have been adopted by many other teams.

Just in case you haven’t spotted them, they are the brightly coloured checked trousers.

Tracey Sanderson from Loudmouth was in Stavanger – she’s based in Hampshire.

Loudmouth is an American company based in San Francisco and as well as England they have offices in Australia, Canada, Japan and China.

At first the trousers were for golfers but then Christoffer Svae of Norway got the trousers for the Olympics: “The sales just took off” said Tracey. “We were sold out very quickly, we went from six to sixty-five packages of the trousers and Christoffer Svae got sponsorship for his team.”

Scotland’s Logan Gray has now got Loudmouth sponsorship as well.

Interest in the trousers is taking off, and not just for the top ranked teams – in every curling rink in the country you can see somebody sporting them.

It was a sellout crowd for the men’s final between host nation Norway and Switzerland so all vantage points were at a premium!

Now I know this picture isn’t from Stavanger – it’s from the European Mixed at Murrayfield back in September.

The man in red is Adrian Meikle and Hugh and Christine wanted to draw people’s attention to how experienced the Welsh skip is when it comes to European Championships:

Adrian Meikle, skip of Team Wales, must hold some sort of record.

He has now played in nineteen European Championships and of course has been just about everywhere in Europe for those Championships.

He won a gold medal in the European Mixed in 2007 and in 1995 he played in the World Curling Championship in Brandon, Manitoba.

At this year’s Europeans Team Wales finished in 7th place in the B group but he will be back for the Europeans next year in Champéry, Switzerland.

Congratulations in advance on the 20th appearance Adrian!

Thanks once again to Hugh and Christine for their impressions of the Europeans.

Scotland’s showing in Stavanger was reviewed here by Dave Crosbee who is the Performance Director of the Scottish and British Curling Performance Programme. The piece also discusses the men’s five-man setup and seeks to justify why players end up sat on the bench for a whole tournament.

I just hope it’s all worth it when those anthems are being played in Sochi come February next year…

Photos are © Hugh Stewart and Ted Edmunds/TVFTH 2013

Stavanger – Final Word

So the Europeans have come and gone for another year and although we can celebrate double medal success for Scotland, we are left wondering what might have been.

I’m sure by now you will be aware of who won what and who finished where in the standings so here is a simple rundown before we get on to some pictures.

Men’s A Group

Gold medal – Switzerland
Silver medal – Norway
Bronze medal – Scotland

Women’s A Group

Gold medal – Sweden
Silver medal – Scotland
Bronze medal – Switzerland

Men’s B Group

Gold medal – Germany
Silver medal – Italy
Bronze medal – Hungary

Women’s B Group

Gold medal – Finland
Silver medal – Estonia
Bronze medal – England

European Men’s Curling Champions 2013 – Switzerland (L-R): Benoît Schwarz, Sandro Trolliet, Claudio Pätz, Simon Gempeler, Sven Michel, Robert Hürlimann

Men’s Silver Medallists – Norway (L-R): Markus Høiberg, Pål Trulsen, Håvard Vad Petersson, Christoffer Svae, Torger Nergård, Thomas Ulsrud

Men’s Bronze Medallists – Scotland (L-R): Tom Brewster, Michael Goodfellow, Scott Andrews, Greg Drummond, David Murdoch, Soren Gran

European Women’s Curling Champions 2013 – Sweden (L-R): Fredrik Hallström, Agnes Knochenhauer, Maria Wennerström, Christina Bertrup, Maria Prytz, Margaretha Sigfridsson

Women’s Silver Medallists – Scotland (L-R): Lauren Gray, Claire Hamilton, David Hay, Vicki Adams, Anna Sloan, Eve Muirhead

Women’s Bronze Medallists – Switzerland (L-R): Alina Pätz, Kenneth Tralnberg, Janine Greiner, Carmen Küng, Carmen Schäfer, Mirjam Ott

Men’s B Group Champions – Germany (L-R): Martin Beiser, Peter Rickmers, Sven Goldemann, Christopher Bartsch, Felix Schulze, John Jahr

Men’s B Group Silver Medallists – Italy (L-R): Joel Retornaz, Sebastiano Arman, Roberto Arman, Daniele Ferrazza, Andrea Pilzer, Amos Mosaner

Men’s B Group Bronze Medallists – Hungary (L-R): Tamás Vaspöri, Balázs Varga, Krisztián Hall, Lajos Belleli, Gábor Ézsöl

Women’s B Group Champions – Finland (L-R): Perttu Piilo, Maija Salmiovirta, Marjo Hippi, Oona Kauste, Heidi Hossi, Sanna Puustinen

Women’s B Group Silver Medallists – Estonia (L-R): Kaja Liik-Tamm, Erkki Lill, Küllike Ustav, Helen Nummert, Kristiine Lill, Maile Mölder

Women’s B Group Bronze Medallists – England (L-R): John Sharp, Lucinda Sparks, Naomi Robinson, Lauren Pearce, Hetty Garnier, Anna Fowler

Here’s what the 2013 Europeans have meant in terms of championship qualification and promotion/relegation.

In the men’s events Switzerland, Norway, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic and Germany qualified for the 2014 World Championship.

France and Finland were relegated to the B Group while Germany and Italy have been promoted to the A Group.

Slovakia and Belgium were relegated to the C Group.

In the women’s events Sweden, Scotland, Switzerland, Denmark, Russia, Czech Republic, Latvia and Germany qualified for the 2014 World Championship.

Norway and Italy were relegated to the B Group while Finland and Estonia have been promoted to the A Group.

Slovenia and Spain were relegated to the C Group.

Of five ‘home’ nation teams competing it was great to see three of them come away with medals but I am sure we share the disappointment of the Scotland women in not winning the European title having been undefeated until the very last game – coming second with a W10 L1 record is hard to take.

It was also disappointing to see the team racing against the clock to even complete the final against Sweden and watching Eve’s final shot with seconds to go and nothing in the way of discussion was quite sad given what was at stake.

I am sure Eve and the girls will build on their excellent record in Stavanger and be back on top of a podium in the near future.

As for the men a shaky start was overcome to see them clinch a coveted playoff berth but they missed out on the chance to get the big prize after the loss to Denmark in the 3v4. A bronze medal against the same team was probably about right over the course of the week. The absence all tournament of one Tom Brewster, however, is sure to be a talking point – could he have made the difference?

For all the team except David Murdoch these were their first European medals so aside from any debate about team lineup, they should be congratulated.

I think a special mention should go to Anna Fowler and her England women’s team for picking up a bronze in Norway – a wonderful effort from this young team and hopefully a sign of things to come.

For all the scores and stats from Stavanger take a look here and the event website was here – check out the highlights video on the homepage.

The 2014 European Curling Championships will be held in Champéry, Switzerland.

Image is © WCF
Photos are © WCF/Richard Gray and WCF/Jesse Kushneryk 2013

Stavanger – Day 7 (Extra)

Just a quick update to confirm Saturday’s medal games in Stavanger at the 2013 European Curling Championships.

Gold medal game – Norway v. Switzerland – 1400 UK time
Bronze medal game – Scotland v. Denmark – 0900 UK time

Gold medal game – Scotland v. Sweden – 0900 UK time
Bronze medal game – Switzerland v. Denmark – 0900 UK time

You can watch both gold medal games here on the WCF’s YouTube channel.

Stavanger – Day 7

For the second time in a little over 24 hours, Eve Muirhead’s Scotland women’s team took on Mirjam Ott’s Switzerland at the 2013 European Curling Championships.

The first time out the result did not count for a great deal with both teams having qualified for the playoffs – this time it counted for a great deal more.

The 1v2 playoff game is where teams really want to be come the end of the round-robin and with nine wins and no losses, Scotland were top of the pile with the Swiss just behind.

It was Scotland who triumphed 13-3 early on Friday morning when the teams met in the final round of group play and I am pleased to report that Eve and her team of Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton find themselves in their third consecutive European final having beaten Mirjam Ott’s Swiss team once again – fantastic stuff!

I should point out that this is, in fact, Eve Muirhead’s fourth consecutive European final having skipped a team of Kelly Wood, Lorna Vevers and Anne Laird to silver in 2010 in Champéry – Anna Sloan was alternate though so I guess it’s her fourth final in a row too.

Back to 2013…

In Friday afternoon’s 1v2 game, play began in a tight fashion with singles being exchanged but it was in the fifth end, just before the break, that the Scots pulled ahead. Ott was heavy with her last stone gifting Scotland a steal of three and a 6-1 lead.

When the Scots picked up a four in the seventh handshakes were offered but at this stage in the competition eight ends have to be played so when the Swiss got a single in the eighth, handshakes were offered officially and Scotland had won 10-3.

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

Mike Haggerty’s report is here.

In the 3v4 game, Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson beat Denmark’s Lene Nielsen 10-2 after eight ends to advance to the semi-final with Switzerland – the Danes will play for bronze.

So Scotland’s women will play in the gold medal match at 0900 UK time Saturday – they will face either Sweden or Switzerland who play the semi-final at 1900 UK time Friday.

The World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel will be showing the game live so if you are not normally an early riser on a Saturday, set your alarm, grab a mug of tea and get behind Scotland’s girls as they go for European gold on St. Andrew’s Day.

In fact if you go on the channel at 1900 tonight (Friday) you will be able to watch the men’s semi-final between Switzerland and Denmark – the losers will play Scotland’s men for bronze.

B Group News

Friday was medals day in the men’s B Group and it was Germany skipped by John Jahr who got the gold with a 9-3 win over Italy. They now play a World Challenge series against Latvia for the remaining spot at the men’s worlds. Hungary claimed bronze with a 7-5 win against the Netherlands.

It was in the women’s B Group where the only remaining ‘home’ nation team featured and Anna Fowler’s England women’s team can be very proud of themselves indeed as they defeated Austria 7-5 to win the bronze medals – many congratulations to Anna and her team of Hetty Garnier, Naomi Robinson, Lauren Pearce and alternate Lucinda Sparks. John Sharp was their coach in Stavanger.

The gold medal game saw Estonia taking on Finland and this one went all the way to an extra-end with Sanna Puustinen’s Finns taking it 9-8. They now face Germany in a best of three showdown for the remaining spot at the women’s worlds.

So we have one ‘home’ nation medal in the bag already – Saturday will be bringing one more for sure and if the Scotland boys are firing, we should get a trio from these Championships.

Come on Scotland!

The event website is here.

Photo is © WCF/Richard Gray 2013

Stavanger – Day 6

Thursday was Day 6 of the 2013 European Curling Championships in Stavanger, Norway and things are getting serious.

With the men’s round-robin having come to an end, Scotland found themselves in a 3v4 playoff game against Denmark.

That’s Scotland’s third Greg Drummond above with Denmark’s Johnny Frederiksen and Rasmus Stjerne for company.

For Scotland the task was simple – beat the Danes to earn the semi-final spot and a chance to make the final. Losing would mean a place in the bronze medal match.

Sadly for the Scots, the latter became a reality.

Denmark under skip Rasmus Stjerne were Scotland’s first opponents in this tournament back on Saturday and it was the Danes who triumphed 10-6 then so Scotland were looking for revenge and a coveted semi-final berth.

A tight game had seen Scotland ahead 4-2 at the break but the Danes were close on their heels and picked up a two to tie things up immediately. Scotland blanked the ninth to retain hammer in the last with the scores 5-5 and it all came down to the last stone. David Murdoch elected to play a hit rather than a draw and it didn’t pay off, the Danes stealing a one and taking the game 6-5.

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

Mike Haggerty’s report is here.

In the 1v2 playoff game, Thomas Ulsrud’s Norway beat Sven Michel’s Swiss team 7-4 after nine ends to go straight to Saturday’s gold medal match.

Norway will face the winners of the Switzerland v. Denmark semi-final and Scotland will play the losers for bronze.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the only team to have beaten Norway all week was Scotland and we won’t get to see them go head-to-head again.

Still no Tom Brewster for the Scots – could things have gone differently if he had been playing?

So 0900 UK time on Saturday, Scotland will be playing either Switzerland or Denmark for a European bronze medal – let’s get behind them as their play in the latter stages of the round-robin surely merited at least a bronze.

For Eve Muirhead and her women’s team, they can seemingly do no wrong just now.

That’s Claire Hamilton and Vicki Adams sweeping Eve’s stone above.

Thursday morning saw the final draw of women’s round-robin play in Stavanger and the undefeated Scots were playing Mirjam Ott’s Swiss team – the 2012 World Champions against the 2013 World Champions.

I think it’s fair to say that we were expecting a closer game than what transpired as Eve and the girls scored big, stealing three ends along the way and took a 13-3 victory after seven ends – a five in Scotland’s final end of round-robin play underlining how dominant this team has been so far.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7  8  9 10 Total
SUI* 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 X X X 3
2 0 3 1 2 0 5 X X X 13

Mike Haggerty’s report is here.

Thursday’s women’s results:

Sweden 7-5 Germany
Czech Republic 5-10 Denmark
Norway 6-9 Latvia
Italy 5-11 Russia
Switzerland 3-13 Scotland

Final Standings (W-L)
9-0 Scotland
7-2 Switzerland
6-3 Sweden, Russia, Denmark
4-5 Czech Republic
3-6 Latvia
2-7 Germany
1-8 Norway, Italy

This is what the final table meant.

Scotland will play Switzerland in the 1v2 game at 1200 UK time on Friday while Sweden made it to the 3v4 game – their opponents had to be decided by a tie-breaker between Russia and Denmark which the Danes won 7-3.

If Scotland win, they are straight to the gold medal game. Lose and they get a second chance in the semi-final. They’ve beaten everyone so far and just two more wins would get them European glory but the stakes are higher now. In fact, I’ve been doing a bit of maths and I make Scotland’s for and against shot count in the round-robin a formidable 91-37.

Scotland, Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Czech Republic and Latvia are all qualified for the 2014 women’s World Championship. Germany will play a best of three match series against the winners of the B Group for that final spot at the worlds. Norway and Italy have been relegated to the B Group for next season.

B Group News

With the English and Welsh men eliminated, ‘home’ nation interest was with the England women’s team skipped by Anna Fowler.

They were playing in the 3v4 playoff game on Thursday against Austria which they won 12-7 earning a semi-final place against Estonia.

Like the Scottish men, however, they will have to fight for a bronze medal after losing 7-2 to the Estonians – a rematch with Austria awaits.

Estonia and Finland will be playing for B Group gold and they will also feature in next season’s A Group.

In the men’s B Group, Germany and Italy have made it to the gold medal game and also next season’s A Group while Hungary and the Netherlands will play for bronze.

The winners of the men’s and women’s competitions will then play the eighth-placed teams from this season’s A Group (Latvia for the men and Germany for the women) in a three match series to get that last spot at the World Championships.

So to recap, Scotland’s men play the bronze medal game against either Switzerland or Denmark at 0900 on Saturday, Scotland’s women face Switzerland in the 1v2 playoff at 1200 on Friday and England’s women are going for bronze against Austria at 1100 on Friday.

We could yet see three medals for three ‘home’ nation teams.

The event website is here.

Photos are © WCF/Richard Gray 2013

Stavanger – Day 5

Wednesday was the fifth day of play at the 2013 European Curling Championships in Stavanger and it proved to be another successful one for Scotland’s teams.

In fact, the last time either the men’s or women’s team lost a game was Sunday evening.

That’s Scotland’s Anna Sloan above with Claire Hamilton and Vicki Adams the sweepers.

Eve Muirhead and her Scotland team only had one game on Wednesday and this was against Marianne Rørvik’s Norway – the host nation.

The Scotland women have been starting their last few games really strongly and they continued this trend with three straight steals against the Norwegians to go 7-0 up after three ends. The result never really looked in doubt and after the fifth-end break the Scots again stole a one which prompted the handshakes from Norway with the score 10-1.

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

Mike Haggerty’s reports are here.

Wednesday’s women’s results:

Russia 6-4 Switzerland
Sweden 8-1 Latvia
Czech Republic 7-4 Germany
Scotland 10-1 Norway
Denmark 7-2 Italy

Scotland are now the only undefeated team and their final game will be against Switzerland early on Thursday morning. While the game is essentially only going to decide who gets the hammer in the 1v2 playoff game, it is still an opportunity for Eve and her team to go undefeated through the group stage – a very impressive feat that is definitely within their capabilities.

Current Standings (W-L)
8-0 Scotland
7-1 Switzerland
5-3 Denmark, Russia, Sweden
4-4 Czech Republic
2-6 Germany, Latvia
1-7 Italy, Norway

Scotland’s men also enjoyed an undefeated day on Wednesday as they completed their round-robin campaign.

David Murdoch (above with French skip Joffrey Vincent) has now skipped his team to five straight wins and a place in the 3v4 game on Thursday evening against Denmark – all of this without Tom Brewster featuring once.

The morning game was against Joffrey Vincent’s France and it was plain sailing for the Scots as they outscored the French and picked up a big steal of three in the fifth to set up a comfortable 9-2 victory after six ends.

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

The second game of the day for Scotland was always going to be a tougher test in the shape of Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud.

Norway were enjoying an unbeaten record before this game but David Murdoch and the boys took this away from them with an impressive performance. A couple of early steals put Scotland 4-1 ahead halfway and while the Norwegians picked up their twos it was a final stone draw from Murdoch in the last that got the win 6-5.

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

Mike Haggerty’s reports are here.

Wednesday’s men’s results:

Switzerland 8-3 Russia
Czech Republic 4-6 Norway
Sweden 7-3 Latvia
France 2-9 Scotland
Finland 5-8 Denmark

Czech Republic 8-4 Latvia
Sweden 8-5 Finland
Scotland 6-5 Norway
Denmark 4-5 Switzerland
Russia 10-2 France

So that’s the men’s round-robin over and we know who has made the playoffs as no tie-breakers were required. The big story is that Niklas Edin’s Sweden, reigning European and World Champions, are not going to feature in the latter stages.

Final Standings (W-L)
8-1 Norway
7-2 Denmark, Scotland, Switzerland
5-4 Sweden
4-5 Russia
3-6 Czech Republic
2-7 Latvia
1-8 France, Finland

Here’s what that final table means.

Norway will play Switzerland in the 1v2 playoff game – winners go straight to the final, losers to a semi-final. Denmark play Scotland in the 3v4 game – winners to the semi-final, losers to the bronze game. Winners of the semi-final go the final, losers go to the bronze match. Simple eh? Scotland’s men next play at 1900 UK time on Thursday – three more wins and they are European champions…

Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Scotland, Sweden, Russia and Czech Republic have all safely qualified for the 2014 men’s World Championship while Latvia will play the winners of the B Group in a best of three matches for that final spot at the Worlds. For France and Finland, they are relegated to the B Group.

And speaking of the B Group…

B Group News

The round-robin stages of the men’s and women’s competitions in the B Group came to an end on Wednesday along with various tie-breakers – I’ll try and keep it simple.

England’s men got themselves a tie-breaker game against Estonia which, unfortunately, they lost 5-4 after an extra-end. They finish on a won five, lost three record.

The Welsh men beat Austria in their final game 7-6 to end their week with four wins and three losses – not enough for a playoff berth.

The English women, however, have progressed to the 3v4 playoff game against either Turkey or Austria on Thursday afternoon. Anna Fowler and her team finished with six wins and three losses in their group.

A relegation tie-breaker was also needed in the men’s blue group which saw Lithuania beat Belgium 9-6 to send the Belgians down to the C Group.

Final Standings – Men, Yellow (W-L)
7-0 Germany
5-2 Italy, Estonia, England
3-4 Turkey
2-5 Spain
1-6 Romania
0-7 Slovakia

Final Standings – Men, Blue (W-L)
7-0 Hungary
5-2 Netherlands, Poland
4-3 Wales
3-4 Austria
2-5 Croatia
1-6 Lithuania, Belgium

Final Standings – Women (W-L)
7-2 Estonia, Finland
6-3 England
5-4 Austria, Turkey, Hungary
3-6 Belarus, Poland
2-7 Slovenia, Spain

So in the men’s event Slovakia and Belgium drop to the C Group and in the women’s it’s Slovenia and Spain who have gone down.

At the top end, Germany play Hungary in the men’s 1v2 game and they will both feature in next season’s A Group. Netherlands play the winner of the Italy v. Estonia tie-breaker in the 3v4.

Estonia v. Finland is the women’s 1v2 and England face the winners of Turkey v. Austria in the 3v4.

The respective playoff winners in both the men’s and women’s get a best of three challenge series against the eighth-place A Group teams for a place at the Worlds.

All will become simpler in a few days…

The event website is here.

Three ‘home’ nation teams to follow in the final stages – be sure to follow their playoff progress on Thursday and, hopefully, beyond.

Photos are © WCF/Richard Gray 2013