rish interest at the European Mixed Curling Championships in Erzurum, Turkey ended last night in heartbreaking fashion as despite a fine win over the powerful Russians and four wins out of seven, the team exited the tournament following a 5-4 loss against one of the favourites, Sweden.
Louise Kerr sent this report from Erzurum:
” It was another heartbreaking loss here today for the Irish at the European Mixed Curling Championships in Erzurum, when the team went down by one shot to Sweden after skip Robin Gray´s last stone draw an inch too far. The team had a roller coaster road during the game from the first end when Robin had to draw against a four. Singles were exchanged for the first few ends but a big mistake by the sweepers in the sixth end meant that the team scored a one when most of the house was open.
The last end was the killer as the team only had to keep the four foot clear for Robin´s last stone but when Louise Kerr just shaved the guard moving it but leaving some cover, the Swedish skip pounced. He drew to the back of the four foot and Robin followed him in for shot. The Swede then froze against that stone leaving Robin with the same shot as his first one but, despite furious sweeping, it just drew a inch too far to the wrong side of the shot stone, rolling a fraction off the shot stone leaving the Swedish shot lying.
Skip Robin Gray said “Shattered to lose a game to the best team in the competition and a perfect freeze from the opposition skip that he would make only five per cent of the time, left us with an extremely difficult shot which with hindsight, we perhaps should have played a cold draw to the pin. Congratulations to our team though who played a fantastic game this morning.”
The team though ended the Championships on a high note with a merited 5:3 win over the strongly fancied Russians led by Roman Kutuzov though losing out to Switzerland ,for a place in the quarter finals.
The last day of Round Robin games had provided great excitement and tension as so much depended on the last game results.
In the RED GROUP Sweden and Scotland finished in 1st and 2nd place with 3rd place going to Switzerland.
In the BLUE GROUP Norway and Czech Republic finished 1st and 2nd with Slovakia in third place after a tight game with the Netherlands.
In the GREEN GROUP Germany and Finland finished in the top two spots with Austria in third place thanks to their excellent Last Stone Draw results.
The third placed teams in each group played an exciting Post Round Robin Challenge to eliminate one team and progress to the quarter finals, the two teams that scored best in the Challenge.
Switzerland and Austria won through.
The games in the quarter finals are:
Norway v Austria, Scotland v Czech Republic, Sweden v Switzerland, and
Germany v Finland.
A reminder of the week’s Irish results:
Mon 1st Oct 12:30am Slovenia (Gregor VERBINC) won 8-3,
Mon 1st Oct 7:30pm France (Sandrine LEVEQUE) won 9-4,
Tue 2nd Oct 12:30am Scotland (Ewan MACDONALD) lost 8-4,
Tue 2nd Oct 7:30pm Italy (Alessandro ZISA) won 8-2,
Wed 3rd Oct 9:00am Switzerland (Martin RIOS) lost 8-3,
Thu 4th Oct 8:30am Sweden (Rickard Hallström) lost 5-4,
Thu 4th Oct 3:30pm Russia (Roman KUTUZOV) won 5-3.