The Royal Caledonian Curling Club

The Royal Caledonian Curling Club

National Governing Body for Curling in Scotland

Scottish Men win Bronze at World Juniors

Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 5:00pm

2012 World Junior Men podium bronze web

While Canada won the gold medals with a one-sided 10-4 win over Sweden, the Scottish men’s teams was battling to bronze medals, beating Norway by 7-3 in eighth ends.

The break-through in this game came in the seventh end, when the Scots scored three for a 7-2 lead. Before that the Scots had stolen singles in the first two ends and scored successive singles in the fourth and fifth to be looking good for their win at halfway, with the score at 4-1.

Norway opened the second half with a single in the sixth and then, in the seventh, Norwegian skip Markus Hoiberg had a complete miss with his first and was facing four Scottish counters with his second. After this, Scottish skip Kyle Smith hit for three. The Norwegians could only score one in the eighth and then conceded.

Afterwards, Scottish skip Kyle Smith said, “we’re absolutely delighted to medal – that was our goal at the start of the week, so we’re happy. We’ve been playing quite well all week, we’ve just had a couple of loose games, but we knew what we had to do today and we did it. We’ve still got a few years left so, with any luck we’ll be there (in the gold medal final). We knew that the gold was gone yesterday, so we just had to focus and what we could get today, and that’s what we’ve done”.

He added, “The team has been fantastic, they’ve been brilliant. It’s been a really good competition and we’ve met a lot of really nice folk. We’ve still got a few years left so, with any luck we’ll be there (in the gold medal final)”.

The Scots were always in charge against Norway

During the medal ceremony it was announced that Norwegian skip Sander Rolvag and Canadian skip Jocelyn Peterman had won the sportsmanship awards, voted for by all the competitors.

The Men’s team arrive back in Scotland on Monday 12th March at 19:55 on BA1458 to Edinburgh Airport.

Results

Gold medal final: Canada 10, Sweden 4
Bronze final: Norway 3, Scotland 7

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Women’s Final: Czech Republic 5, Scotland 6

Scotland eventually successfully defended the women’s World junior title on Sunday morning, beating the Czech Republic by 6-5 to take gold after a tense final that went to an extra end before it was decided.

Beside them, Russia ran Sweden out of stones in the tenth end, to win their game by 7-4 and take bronze for the second year in succession.

Scotland had last stone advantage at the start of the gold final, but it was the Czechs who scored first, stealing a single point in the second end when Scottish skip Hannah Fleming wrecked on the way into the house with her last stone. However the Scots made amends in the thirds, when, after splitting the house Fleming produced a good hit and stick to score two.

In the fourth end, an umpire’s measure gave the Czech Republic one point to level the game and then, after blanking the fifth, the Scots took the lead again when Fleming hit again for one. The Czechs fourth player Iveta Janatova faced three Scottish counters when she played her last in the seventh but scored one to level the game again with a nose-hit.

The Scots blanked the eighth and Fleming produced a really delicate tap-out at the back of the house to score two in the ninth for a 5-3 lead. A missed peel by Fleming in the tenth gave the Czechs the chance to score two and force the extras end which they took when Janatova had a nose-hit. The tense eleventh end eventually came down to Fleming hitting out one Czech counter and staying inside another, which she just managed, to score one, win the game, ands take the world crown.

The Scotland team – skip Hannah Fleming, Lauren Gray, Alice Spence, lead Abigail Brown, all supported by fifth player Jennifer Martin and coach Debbie Knox – topped the rankings at the end of the round-robin and defeated the Czech team three times during the week to emerge as deserved champions.

Afterwards, Fleming said, “world champion? …It sounds very good. It’s what we’ve been working hard for all season and I’m really chuffed”.

She added, “I only finally believed we were going to win when my stone stopped on the last shot. We felt fine in the tenth, my first over-curled but we knew that we always had the chance for an extra end if we got one out, so I did that with my second”.

Speaking about the extra end, she said, “I knew the extra end was going to come down to my last one because they played really well. I wasn’t enjoying my last shot very much, but I know that I had to do it and it worked out in the end”.

She also praised her team-mates, saying, “I couldn’t have asked for more from my team, they were great for the whole week, and in the final we just didn’t put a foot wrong, so thanks to them. Our realistic target was to get to the latter stage of the competition. When we got to the 1-2, we weren’t going to be happy with bronze our silver. At the start of the competition, we’d have been happy to get through, but when we’d had such a good week, and were winning all the games, we really wanted to dig in”.

She also had a thought for her brave opponents, “the Czech girls played fantastic all week, beating some of the big teams. We were just fortunate enough to play better against them on all three occasions so I like to think we deserved our win today”.

For her part, silver medal skip Zuzana Hajkova was gracious in defeat. “I’m very disappointed but I’m so happy for Hannah, she played some amazing stones and she was great. Her team was so friendly, and the atmosphere between them was ‘how to win’, so they deserved to win”.

This silver medal represents a major break-through for Czech curling on the international stage, as Hajkova confirmed, “this medal means something big for curling in the Czech Republic. No-one else has ever done it in any world competitions, so I think they must be proud of us…I hope so”.

The bronze medal game started with Sweden playing two blank ends before their Russian opponents forced then to take a single in the third. Russia took the lead with a score of two in the fourth, but Sweden came right back with another two in the fifth for a 3-2 half-time lead.

However, Russia seized the initiative in the second half. They scored three in the sixth and stole one in the seventh. Sweden then blanked the eighth and could only take a single from the ninth. Russia then controlled the tenth end and eventually ran Sweden out of stones to claim bronze for the second year.

The victorious Scottish women

Results

Final: Czech Republic 5, Scotland 6 (extra end)

Bronze game: Sweden 4, Russia 7.

World Junior Champion skip Hannah Fleming in action

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Semi-finals

Sweden won the men’s semi-final, beating Norway by 8-4, to now face Canada in Sunday afternoon’s final of the World Junior Curling Championships, but the Swedish women failed to make it a host nation double, as they went down by 5-6 to the Czech Republic in a semi-final that went all the way to the last stone.

The Czech Republic now faces Hannah Fleming’s Scottish team in Sunday morning’s women’s final, while the Swedish men are up against Canada later – both matches being repeats of the Page 1 v 2 Play-offs.

In the men’s bronze games, Scotland will face Norway for the third time this week, while Russia and Sweden will play for the women’s bronze medals.

The women’s gold medal game (Scotland v Czech Republic) and the bronze medal game (Russia v Sweden) are scheduled to start at 09.00 hrs local time.

The men’s gold medal game (Canada v Sweden) and the bronze medal game (Norway v Scotland) are scheduled to start at 13.00 hrs local time.

Both gold medal games will be streamed live via the event website and Facebook.

Report: Mike Haggerty

World Juniors: Men’s Page Games

Scotland’s men’s team’s title hopes evaporated when they lost out to Norway by 8-9 in a tight Page 3 v 4 Play-off game on Saturday morning.

They will now play the loser of the sole semi-final – either Norway or Sweden – for bronze medals on Sunday afternoon, while Canada, who beat Sweden by 9-3 in a one-sided Page 1 v 2 Play-off, will face the semi-final winners for gold.

In Saturday’s Page game, the Norwegians stole a single in the first end when the Scots attempted to score two instead of drawing to the eight-foot ring for one. Kyle Smith’s hit and roll went wrong and Norway were ahead.

The Norwegians then rode their luck when Smith just mis-judged a hit for five points in the second end and had to settle for three instead. Norway responded with two points in the third end to level the game at 3-3 and then stole a further three points in the fourth when Smith was light with his final draw.

As fortunes in the game swung from side to side, Scotland scored their second three of the day in the fifth when Smith played a steady hit and stay, to level the game at 6-6.

After the break, Norway scored two in the sixth end, after which Scotland blanked the seventh but could only take one point from the eighth. They finally got back level in the ninth end when Norwegian skip Markus Høiberg wrecked on his way in to the house to nudge out a Scottish stone. In a tense tenth end, the Scots built a strong position but Smith was light with his final stone and Norway scored the one needed to complete their win without having to play their final stone.

Afterwards, Scottish skip Smith said, “that was a mixture of us losing that and them winning it. I don’t know where lady luck was today, but she wasn’t with us. I had a pick-up in the fourth and then again in the sixth, so that’s kind of cost us five points. I had a big chance in the second end, but the last one seemed to curl more than I thought it would do. It’s gone now”.

Looking forward to the bronze game he said, “We’re still playing for a medal and that’s what we wanted at the start of the week. It’s the wrong colour but we’re going to be up for it”.

The Page Game against Norway was tense all the way

As they now face their semi-final against Sweden, Norway’s title hopes are still alive, and skip Høiberg said, “it feels very good to have won, It seems like both teams were struggling a lot and we struggled a bit less than them, so we were good enough”.

On Scotland’s missed opportunity to take five in the second end, he said: “I don’t think it was a boost for us but perhaps it made a negative difference for them. There’s a big difference between three and five”.

RESULTS

Page 1 v 2: Sweden 3, Canada 9
Page 3 v 4: Scotland 8, Norway 9

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Women’s Page 1 v 2 Play-off: Scotland 6, Czech Republic 5

Scotland’s women guaranteed themselves at least silver medals when they beat the Czech Republic by 6-5 in Friday evening’s Page 1 v 2 Play-off, to go directly to Sunday morning’s final.

After the Czech Republic stole a single in the first end, Hannah Fleming and her team carved out a quick advantage, scoring three in the second end when they split the house early and the Czech fourth player Iveta Janatova wrecked with her last stone on the way in, leaving Fleming with a simple draw for three.

After the Czechs blanked the third end, the Scots moved further ahead in the fourth, stealing a single shot when Janatova hit but rolled out of the house with her last. The Czechs closed up with two shots in the fifth to cut the Scottish lead to 4-3.

The teams swapped singles in the sixth and seventh end, and Scotland scored another single in the eighth to move to a 6-4 lead. After this, the Czechs moved closer again, scoring another single in the ninth to cut the Scottish lead to 6-5. But the Scots had last stone advantage in the tenth, and a brilliant triple take-out and lie by Scottish second player Alice Spence cleared out the house, eventually allowing Fleming to hit and roll to blank the end and claim victory.

After the game, a delighted Fleming said, “That’ll do…it was a hard game though. We were a wee bit slack here and there, but overall, pretty good. that triple saved us I think, it was looking a wee bit messy. That was the biggest pressure game we’ve ever played together, and I couldn’t ask for more from my team. It’s amazing (to be guaranteed a silver medal), we wanted to be top five at least, but now, we won’t be happy with silver”.

Meanwhile Czech skip Zuzana Hajkova was gracious in defeat. “I don’t feel too disappointed because Scotland played some very nice shots. They played a take-out which won this game that was just perfect. We had a chance but they played amazing in the last end, and really good throughout the game. I would like to wish them good luck”.

Alice Spence's triple in the tenth helped seal Scotland's win

In the Page 3 v 4 Play-off, Sweden stole a single shot in the tenth end for their 6-5 win when Russian skip Anna Sidorova’s last delicate draw came up just millimetres short. They now face the Czech Republic in the semi-final, with the winner of that game facing Scotland for gold medals, and the loser playing for bronze against Russia.

RESULTS

Page 1 v 2: Scotland 6, Czech Republic 5

Page 3 v 4: Russia 5, Sweden 6

Semi-final: Czech Republic v Sweden

Report: Mike Haggerty; Oicture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Women’s Tie-Breakers

In Friday morning’s women’s tie-break games, Russia beat Canada by 11-10 while Sweden had a 6-4 victory over Japan.

This means that Russia and Sweden now face each other in Friday evening’s Page 3 v 4 Play-off game, while Scotland and the Czech Republic play out the Page 1 v 2 Play-off. But, for Canada and Japan, it is the end of the road in this year’s Championships.

The Page Play-offs are scheduled for Friday evening at 7.00pm local Swedish time, with the WCF webcast majoring on the Russia-Sweden game.

Report: Mike Haggerty

World Juniors: Men Game 9: Czech republic 4, Scotland 9

Finishing with the flourish of a score of five in the eighth end, Kyle Smith led the Scottish men to a 9-4 win over the Czech Republic in their final round-robin game, a result which ranks them third overall and puts them into the Page 3 v 4 Play-off game, against Norway, while Canada and Sweden will contest the Page 1 v 2 game.

The Scots were always in control of this game, opening with two shots in the first end. Although the Czechs responded with a two of their own in the second end, the Scots scored a further two in the fourth for 4-2, after blanking the third end.

A nice double take-out by Smith forced the Czechs to blank the fifth end, but they came back once again in the sixth, with yet another two to level the game once more. After blanking the seventh end, good play by all his team let Smith come in off a wing stone to knock out the solitary Czech counter and score the five that sealed the Scots’ win.

Afterwards, he said, “that was a solid performance tonight and we all played really well”. Speaking about the five he said, “we got set-up really well from the word go, and he was really struggling by the time he came to throw”. Looking forward, he added, “we’re onto the next target now, beat the Norwegians”.

Elsewhere, Canada beat Norway by 10-7 to top the table, while Sweden beat Italy by 11-3. Although Scotland and Sweden both finished on seven wins, Sweden’s earlier head-to-head win over Scotland put them into second place on the table, ahead of the Scots.

The men’s Page Play-offs are scheduled for noon local time on Saturday, a game that will be broadcast live on the event website and Facebook.

The Scots finished with a five over the Czech Republic

Results

Round 9: China 10, Finland 9 (extra end); Canada 10, Norway 7; Czech Republic 4, Scotland 9; Switzerland 7, USA 8 (extra end); Sweden 11, Italy 3.

Standings: Canada won 8, lost 1; Sweden, Scotland 7-2; Norway 6-3; USA, Switzerland 5-4; China 4-5; Czech Republic 2-7; Italy 1-8; Finland 0-9.

Page Play-off 1 v 2: Canada v Sweden.

Page Play-off 3 v 4: Scotland v Norway.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Women Game 9: Scotland 8, Russia 7

Scotland’s extra end 8-7 win over Russia in Thursday afternoon’s last round-robin game and results among the other teams mean that Hannah Fleming’s team finished top of the rankings on seven wins and two losses, and go straight into the Page 1 v 2 Play-off game with last stone advantage.

There they will play the Czech Republic who, despite losing their last game by 5-6 to Japan, ranked top among the five nations in second place on six wins.

The other four teams on six wins now go into tie-breakers, with Russia and Canada playing each other to determine which will rank third, and Sweden facing Japan for fourth place. These two winners will go onto the Page 3 v 4 game, with the winner of that going to the semi-final (to face the loser of Scotland v Czech Republic) and the loser awaiting the semi-final loser to play-off for bronze medals.

Russia opened their game against Scotland with the hammer and scored a single in the first end, but the Scots took the early initiative, taking advantage of Russian mistakes to score three. However Russia responded with two shots in the third end to level the game.

Fleming produced a solid hit and stay for two shots in the fourth to re-establish a clear lead at 5-3, but the Russians scored one in the fifth and stole another in the sixth to level the game again.
After this, it was tight all the way. Fleming scored one in the seventh with a draw inside three Russian counters, and, after another Russian single in the eighth, she hit for one against two Russian stones in the ninth.

In the tenth, Russia’s Anna Sidorova wrecked on the way in with her last stone, and had to settle for a score of one with another of her stones already counting. This put the game into an extra end at 7-7. The Scots had last stone, kept everything as clear as they could, and eventually had a stone lying buried near the button. When Sidorova wrecked with her last, that stone gave Scotland the one needed for their win without having to play their final shot.

Afterwards, a delighted Fleming said. “that’s awesome. All those close games have played off. We always felt in control of that and we weren’t going to let it slip away at all”.

Speaking about her score of three in the second end, she said, “we put them under a lot of pressure in the second end and she was struggling with her hitting”, and about the extra end, she added, “we felt comfortable in the extra end. We kept it pretty clear and even if she had made that last shot, I still had almost half of the four foot anyway”.

Russia keep a close eye on Lauren Gray's stone

Fleming’s team now come back onto the ice for their Page Play-off game at 19.00hrs (local time) on Friday.

Results

Round 9: Norway 8, Switzerland 5; Scotland 8, Russia 7 (extra end); Italy 7, USA 4; Sweden 7, Canada 5; Japan 6, Czech Republic 5.

Standings after round-robin: Scotland won 7, lost 2; Czech republic, Canada, Japan, Russia, Sweden 6-3; Norway, Switzerland 3-6; Italy 2-7; USA 0-9.

Page Play-off 1 v 2: Scotland v Czech Republic

Tie-breakers: Russia v Canada; Sweden v Japan (winners go to Page 3-4 Play-off)

Report: Mike Haggerty: Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Men Game 8: China 2, Scotland 6

Despite being unhappy with how they played, the Scottish men took another step towards the weekend’s Page Play-offs with an easy 6-2 win over China on Thursday morning.

This result means that Scotland are all but assured of a place in the Page Play-offs, although they will probably miss out on the 1-2 game.

After an early blip of giving China a steal of one in the opening end, the game was as one-sided as the score-line suggests. The Scots quickly recovered with two in the second end, followed by single steals in the next two ends.

China blanked the fifth and then Scotland stole a further two in the sixth to put the result beyond question. China blanked the seventh and then rolled in a simple draw for their second single score of the game in the eighth, and then conceded.

Afterwards, skip Kyle Smith said, “we got there in the end – our poorest performance and ironically it turns out to be our easiest win. I don’t think the Chinese were at their best there, but we were just missing our shots and struggling to read the ice but a win’s a win”.

Looking forward, he added, “I think we’re struggling for the 1-2 Game, but we’re on course for the play-offs and that’s the main thing”.

With one game to go, Canada lead the rankings on seven wins and one loss, while the Scots share second place on six wins with Norway and Sweden – crucially both the Norwegians and the Swedes have beaten Scotland and would therefore rank above them should they finish on the same number of wins.

In their last round-robin games on Thursday evening, Canada will face Norway, while Sweden play an Italian team who must win to avoid relegation to the qualifying European Curling Challenge. The Scots face the Czech Republic, and, depending on results, it will be either them or Italy who will join winless Finland, so there will be no push-over games. Meanwhile, Switzerland, on five wins, face USA in their last game, and if they win that, and other results go their way, they could force a tie-breaker for fourth place.

(This relegation situation comes about because, as hosts next year, Russia will take up one of the European places in the World Juniors line-up, making it necessary for two teams to go down this year, while only one will come up to join Russia and the four other European qualifiers)

China keep a close eye on play

Results

Round 8: USA 4, Sweden 8; China 2, Scotland 6; Canada 9, Finalnd 2; Italy 5, Czech Republic 11; Norway 2, Switzerland 9.

Standings after 8 sessions: Canada won 7, lost 1; Norway, Scotland, Sweden 6-2; Switzerland 5-3; USA 4-4; China 3-5; Czech Republic 2-6; Italy 1-7; Finland 0-8.

Report: Mike Haggerty, Picture: WCF/ Richard Gray

World Juniors: Women Game 8: Scotland 5, Switzerland 7

Despite the fact that Switzerland are out of the medal reckoning, Hannah Fleming’s Scottish women came across a team that seemed inspired in the eighth session of round-robin play on Wednesday evening, to go down by 5-7.

After scoring one with the hammer in the first end, the Scots found themselves chasing the game, when the Swiss followed up a score of two in the second with a single steal in the third.

The Scots never got back level after that. The teams swapped singles for the next four ends until an umpire’s measure in the eighth confirmed that Fleming’s last draw was short to give Switzerland another steal and a 6-3 lead.

The Scots got two back in the ninth when the Swiss skip’s second shot just tickled a guard, but Fleming’s last draw in the tenth, when she was fighting for a steal to level the game, was just too strong and the teams shook hands.

Afterwards, Fleming said, “we played well – they just played outstanding and barely missed a shot in the whole game”. About her draw in the eighth that gave up the crucial steal, she confirmed, “it was just millimetres – I played short weight”.

Reflecting further she added, “it’s not a disaster and we can’t do much about it – they played better than us at the end of the day. But we still had one of the strongest games we’ve had. I just over-threw my last draw which is annoying because I had draw-weight pretty well throughout the game. Even though we lost, we improved our game from this morning, so you can’t really ask for more”.

With only one round-robin game to go in the women’s division, four teams on six wins – Canada, Czech Republic, Russia and Scotland – are tied at the top of the table, with two more – Sweden and Japan – breathing down their necks on just one win less. All six face each other in the final session. The Scots face Russia with the prize for the winner being the certainty of staying out of tie-breaker action.

Fleming’s expression said more than her words when she said, “it’ll be very big against Russia tomorrow”.

The flags tell the story

Results

Round 8: Canada 6, Japan 7; Norway 9, USA 8; Scotland 5, Switzerland 7; Czech Republic 6, Italy 5; Russia 9, Sweden 7.

Standings after 8 sessions: Canada, Czech Republic, Russia, Scotland won 6, lost 2: Japan, Sweden 5-3; Switzerland 3-5; Norway 2-6; Italy 1-7; USA 0-8.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Men Game 7: Scotland 8, Switzerland 6

Kyle Smith’s men’s team took a big step closer to the weekend Play-offs with an 8-6 win over Switzerland in their only round-robin game on Wednesday, a result that gives them their fifth win from seven starts and ties them with Sweden in third place behind joint leaders Canada and Norway.

The teams swapped twos with last stone in the first two ends before Scotland stole a single in the third when Swiss skip Dominik Marki had a complete miss at the back of the house as he attempted to hit and roll out for a blank end.

The teams then swapped twos again, to make the halftime score 5-4 to Scotland.

The sixth and seventh ends were blanked and then Switzerland drew level in the eighth when Marki produced a good draw into a house crowded with Scottish stones for one. The Scots sealed the gamein the ninth end when Smith managed to keep his first stone in the rings – just – after hitting out a Swiss counter, and then following that up with a nose-hit for three. The Scots kept the tenth end tidy, and although the Swiss scored one with the last stone, the game was effectively over after the ninth.

Afterwards, Smith said, “we were more up for this game than we were for the one last night (a loss to Norway), and we played a good game today. That puts us in a really good position. We knew what we had to do today and we did it. We played really good ends in the eighth and ninth, and we put him under pressure. He made his last shot quite a lot except for the ninth end”.

He also said, “we’re delighted, and Kerr (Drummond) is especially delighted because Switzerland beat him in the world final, so that meant a lot to him”.

With two round-robin sessions left, and six teams still in Play-off contention, the Scots are not even yet guaranteed a tie-breaker, but as coach Robin Halliday says, “our fate is in our own hands”.

Scotland's Kyle Waddell

The Scots face China and then the Czech Republic in their closing round-robin games on Thursday.

Results

Round 7: Czech Republic 5, Canada 9; Finland 4, Sweden 8; Norway 7, USA 6 (extra end); Scotland 8, Switzerland 6; Italy 7, China 8 (extra end).

Standings after 7 sessions: Canada, Norway won 6, lost 1; Scotland, Sweden 5-2; Switzerland, USA 4-3; China 3-4; Czech Republic, Italy 1-6; Finland 0-7.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Women Game 7: Italy 4, Scotland 5

It took all the way to a nose-hit for one with skip Hannah Fleming’s last stone, but the Scottish women recorded their sixth win of the week so far on Wednesday morning, when they beat Italy by 5-4.

While they are clearly hoping for more, this result means that the Scots are guaranteed at least a place in tie-breakers, should that prove necessary when the round-robin concludes on Thursday afternoon.

Italy opened the game cagily as, with hammer, they blanked the first two ends before settling for a single score in the third. As soon as the Scots had last stone, they used it well, to score three in the fourth to establish a lead which they built on in the fifth, when they stole a single for a 4-1 lead. The Scots were unfortunate not to score more then, as they had a wall of yellow Scottish stones in front of the tee-line and Italian skip Federica Apollonio did well with a hit and stay to limit the damage to just one shot.

After this, the Scots lost their way slightly. Italy scored one in the sixth and then had single steals in both the seventh and the eighth, when Fleming’s last stone hit but didn’t roll, and all of a sudden the teams were level at 4-4.

The Scots blanked the ninth, and when they finally winkled out a troublesome early Italian stone that was on the button behind cover, Fleming had a nose-hit for one shot and the game.

This result and Canada’s 10-6 win over Russia mean that these two teams share the lead, with the Czech Republic, Russia and Sweden sitting just behind them, on one win less.

Afterwards, Fleming opened by saying – with an ironic smile – “we like running things close”, adding more seriously, “the Italians played well against us, all the way through they were consistent. At the start of the game, we had the edge but as the game went on we kind of matched up. We couldn’t get the hit and rolls right. If we wanted to roll, we hit on the nose; if we wanted to nose, we were hitting and rolling, just getting that line is what did it for us”.

Speaking more generally, she added, “we always start really strong and in the middle – I don’t know what it is, we just don’t feel as strong. But we always felt in control of that game”, and speaking about her do-or-die last shot, she said, “I don’t mind the pressure, maybe I like it a wee bit – it seems to have worked so far, because I’ve had a few of them”.

Hannah delivers as Scotland defeat Italy

The Scottish women come back onto the ice on Wednesday evening against Switzerland, and then conclude their programme against Russia on Thursday afternoon, with a Page Play-off place beckoning.

RESULTS

Round 7: Italy 4, Scotland 5; Switzerland 4, Japan 10; Russia 6, Canada 10; USA 5, Sweden 11; Czech Republic 11, Norway 4.

Standings after 7 sessions: Canada, Scotland won 6, lost 1; Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden 5-2; Japan 4-3; Switzerland 2-5; Italy, Norway 1-6; USA 0-7.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Men Game 6: Scotland 3, Norway 6

In this low-scoring game Scotland opened with three blank ends before being forced to take a one in the fourth.

After each team had added another one to their scores, it finally came down to the eighth end when, after keeping everything tight throughout the game, Scottish skip Kyle Smith was wide with a guard that was trying to protect a busy house and Norwegian skip Marcus Hoiberg promoted one of his own stones, knocked out the only Scottish stone in the house, and scored five for a game-changing 6-2 lead.

This blow visibly knocked the stuffing out of the Scots, who got a single back in the ninth but were then run out of stones in the tenth to give Norway a 6-3 win.

Afterwards, Hoiberg said, “that’s another great win for us tonight. They’re a good team and I was really looking forward to this game all week, so it was good to beat them”. For his part, Scottish skip Smith simply said, “you can’t lose a five in the eighth end and expect to win the game”.

Speaking more generally, Smith added, “yes, that’s one that got away. We made that end hard for ourselves from the word go, and he made a nice shot for five. I thought the game was pretty open till then. I think we let them dictate the tempo of the game too much. We maybe should have gone a bit more aggressive earlier on”.

Norwegian skip Marcus Hoiberg - the Hammer of the Scots

This result means that Norway share top spot with Canada on five wins and one loss, and Scotland share third place with Sweden, Switzerland and USA.

The Scots now face Switzerland in their only game on Wednesday, before concluding their round-robin programme against China and then the Czech Republic on Thursday.

RESULTS

Round 6: Scotland 3, Norway 6; Switzerland 8, Italy 3; China 8, Czech Republic 3; Canada 5, Sweden 2; Finland 3, USA 7.

Standings after 6 sessions: Canada, Norway won 5, lost 1; Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, USA 4-2; China 2-4; Czech Republic, Italy 1-5; Finland 0-6.

Report: Mike Haggerty: Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Women Game 6: Scotland 7, Japan 5

Hannah Fleming’s women took a big step towards a weekend play-off slot when they beat Japan by 7-5 in their sixth round-robin game on Tuesday, to stay on top of the rankings along with Canada and Russia on five wins and one loss.

The Scottish women opened strongly, taking three in the first end for a lead they were never to lose.

Japan got on the scoreboard with a single in the second end, and then, in the third, Fleming was facing three Japanese counters when she played her final draw. Her shot was accurate enough to limit the damage to just a steal of one.

In the fourth, Fleming needed – and delivered – a nose-hit to score one, and the Scots got a further break in the fifth when Japanese skip Sayaka Yoshimura hit and then rolled out to give Scotland a steal of one for a 5-2 half-time lead.

The teams swapped singles in the sixth and seventh ends and then Japan looked set to gather a few points in the eighth, but Yoshimura rolled out again and only scored on. The Japanese were then give more hope when they stole a single in the ninth when Fleming’s final draw was short, but she made up for that mistake in the tenth when she hit and scored one for her 7-5 win.

Lauren Gary being watched closely by Japan

After the game Fleming reflected on her team’s strong position on the table. “Knowing that we’re almost there is a big comfort”, and turning specifically t the Japan game, she said, “we were in control. We just had some slack shots, but we could afford to get away with it. It’s quite hard to concentrate, especially if we’re playing a hitting game, so we just keep reminding each other to concentrate, that we’ve not won it yet”.

Speaking about the eighth end, when Japan rolled out, she said, “even if they had taken a two, we were still in control of the game. Overall, we’re still being fairly consistent. We didn’t have our best game there and there’s still some room for improvement, but we’re still up there and still getting the wins”.
The Scottish women play Italy and Switzerland on Wednesday before concluding their round-robin programme against Russia.

RESULTS

Women round 6: USA 4, Russia 6; Sweden 8, Czech Republic 9; Norway 8, Italy 4; Scotland 7, Japan 5; Switzerland 4, Canada 11.

Standings after 6 rounds: Canada, Russia, Scotland won 5, lost 1; Czech Republic, Sweden 4-2; Japan 3-3; Switzerland 2-4; Italy, Norway 1-5; USA 0-6.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Men Game 5: Scotland 11, USA 8

The Scottish men moved into joint top position on the table on Monday morning when they beat USA by 11-8 and, at the same time, Sweden lost their unbeaten record, going down by 4-7 to Switzerland.

The Scots and Swedes are joined at the top of the rankings by Canada and Norway.

The game between Kyle Smith’s men and the Americans was high-scoring, and after the Scots opened with a three, they always seemed to be in control – despite USA responding straightaway with a three of their own in the second end. The Scots looked like they had stretched a lead again in the next two ends when they scored two and stole one for a 6-3 lead, only for US skip Stephen Dropkin to produce an accurate run-back double to level the game again at half-time with another three.

The Scots finally put the game to bed in the sixth end when, after building up a collection of stones in the house, Kyle Smith was successful with a nose-hit for four.

In the seventh, Dropkin responded with a nice hit and stay for two. With USA in timing trouble, the teams rushed through a blanked eighth end, and when the Scots took a single in the ninth, USA conceded.

Afterwards, Smith said, “it was a bit up and down but we felt in control for most of it and we got there in the end, which was the main thing. It was a strange game with both teams scoring a lot of points but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I made a bad shot in the second end when we lost the three straight back and they got another three in the fifth end with a beautiful shot”.

Discussing the quick eighth end, he added: “they were running short of time, so they wanted a quick end. We weren’t in any rush either and we didn’t need to put them in the rings because we were in control of the game. We were quite happy to blank, so threw them through as well.” Reflecting his team’s overall position, he said, “we just need to keep doing what we’re doing and we’ll be fine.”

Scottish third Thomas Muirhead in action

The Scots face Norway next, on Monday evening.

RESULTS

Round 5: Sweden 4, Switzerland 7; Scotland 11, USA 8; Italy 2, Canada 8; Czech Republic 7, Finland 6 (extra end); China 5, Norway 7.

Standings after 5 rounds: Canada, Norway, Scotland, Sweden won 4, lost 1; Switzerland, USA 3-2; China, Czech Republic, Italy 1-4, Finland 0-5.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Women Game 5: Czech Republic 3, Scotland 8

The Scottish women kept themselves in joint first place on the rankings with a solid 8-3 win over the Czech Republic in the fifth round-robin session of the Championships on Monday evening.

The Scots opened with two shots and the Czechs responded with a single in the second when their fourth player Iveta Janatova drew for one inside a collection of Scottish stones. After this, the Scots blanked the third and had to settle for a single in the fourth when Hannah Fleming’s double for two stayed straight.

The Czechs stayed in touch with a single in the fifth to leave the Scots leading by 3-2 at halfway, but after this, nice stone placement around the rings eventually allowed Fleming to draw for three in the sixth for a 6-2 lead. The Scots then stole a further two in the seventh and when they could only score one in the eighth, to make the Scottish lead 8-3, the Czechs conceded.

Afterwards, Fleming said, “that was our most consistent game so far. All of us played well and it was just a good game. We’re really pleased with how we’re playing and we seem to be getting better. That game really proved it”.

She added, “our stone placement is getting better and we’re getting more used to the ice as well as handling it a lot better if there are any changes. We’re also playing a more simple game. We were making things more complicated for ourselves at the start of the week, but now we’re just playing simple curling”.

This result means that Scotland are now in a four-way tie at the top of the leader-board with Canada, Russia and Sweden.

They play Japan in their only game on Tuesday.

Abigail Brown and Alice Spence keeping an eye on the Czech play

RESULTS

Round 5: Japan 6, Sweden 7; USA 4, Canada 8; Czech Republic 3, Scotland 8; Italy 7, Switzerland 6; Norway 3, Russia 10.

Standings after 5 sessions: Canada, Russia, Scotland, Sweden won 4, lost 1; Czech Republic, Japan 3-2; Switzerland 2-3; Italy 1-4; Norway, USA 0-5.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Men Game 4: Canada 4, Scotland 8

A solid performance from every team member gave Kyle Smith’s men a deserved 8-4 win over Canada in their fourth session of round-robin play, in the process depriving the Canadians of their unbeaten record.
The Scots had the hammer at the start of the game, and blanked the first end before Smith opened the scoring in the second end with a draw for one when he was facing three Canadian counters.

Canada’s Brendan Bottcher drew for a single in the third and then, when the Scots got themselves in a bit of trouble in the fourth, Smith decided on damage limitation and drew for second shot to give up a steal of one, rather than risk anything further.

The Scots seemed to decide to blank the fifth end but Smith’s take-out nosed on its Canadian target at the back of the house and stayed put, giving Scotland a score of one instead.

In the sixth end, the Scots had some stones in the house when Smith played a freeze onto one of his own stones with his last shot. Following this, Bottcher came up light with his draw and Scotland stole three. Smith produced another good freeze in the seventh, which, again, the Canadians couldn’t move, and Scotland stole another shot for a 6-2 lead.

The teams swapped twos in the eighth and ninth, and, with the score at 8-4 to Scotland, Canada immediately conceded.

This result puts the Scots into a four-way tie for second place alongside Canada, Norway and USA, all one loss behind unbeaten leaders Sweden. The Scots now face a big day on Tuesday when they take on USA and then Norway.

Lead Kerr Drummond is playing in his second world juniors, having taken silver in Flims, 20100

After the game, Smith said, “We’re delighted with that. They were one of the targets of the week”.
Speaking about his own team’s performance he added, “We’ve played well in the last few games, and things just started to go well in that game. I don’t really know why. We’re throwing them really well this week, we’ve got a good grip of the ice, and the sweepers are making a fantastic job. We’re still right in the mix and everybody is throwing it really well, so if we just keep it up, we’ll be grand”.

RESULTS

Round 4: Canada 4, Scotland 8; Sweden 8, China 4; Finland 6, Switzerland 8; Norway 9, Italy 3; USA 10, Czech Republic 3.

Standings after 4 sessions: Sweden won 4, lost 0; Canada, Norway, Scotland, USA 1-3; Switzerland 2-2; China, Italy 1-3; Czech Republic, Finland 0-4.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Women Game 4: Scotland 8, USA 7

After two ends of their Monday morning fourth round-robin game against USA, the Scottish women were cruising at 4-0 up and looking likely to have an early finish. Two hours later, skip Hannah Fleming was having to produce a pressure draw to the button for the extra end single score that finally sealed an 8-7 win for the Scots.

This result means that the USA remain without a win, but the tenacity of the Americans as they fought back from their disastrous start drew admiration from around the arena.

They started their recovery with a single score in the third and followed that up with a single steal in the fourth. The fifth end was blanked and then USA had single steals in each of the sixth and seventh ends – all of a sudden the teams were level at 4-4 and the Scots were sharing worried looks.

In the eighth, Fleming steadied the ship with a score of two as American skip Cory Christensen rolled out with her last hit. The Scots then had a single steal of their own for a 7-4 lead going into the tenth, and looked home and dry until Fleming’s last draw in the tenth stayed open and Christensen pounced on it, hitting and staying for three to put the game into an extra end.

In this end, both Alice Spence and Lauren Gray had good double clear-outs, and eventually Fleming had an open draw for the win. This result now puts the Scottish women in a six-way tie for top spot on three wins and one loss. The Czech Republic have the same record, and these two teams meet next, on Monday evening.

Hannah Fleming calls her team on, with USA watching closely

Afterwards, skip Fleming said, “we had so many chances to get good ends. We had a good end in the eighth
to get a two and again in the ninth. But in the tenth, a few mistakes cost us the three”. She continued, “USA played very well to come back at us. With all the steals that they got, they just played one cracking shot that scuppered us. We didn’t play badly, we just didn’t take the chance that we were given. We’re all as determined as each other and that’s what got us through”.

For her part, USA skip Cory Christensen was gracious in defeat. ““It was a really close game. I think we played pretty well and I’m really happy with how we all played. Scotland are a really great team so it was really nice to have a good game with them”.

RESULTS

Women, Round 4: Scotland 8, USA 7 (extra end); Japan 9, Norway 5; Switzerland 2, Sweden 9; Russia 6, Czech Republic 7; Canada 11, Italy 3.

Standings after 4 sessions: Canada, Czech Republic, Japan, Russia, Scotland, Sweden won 3, lost 1: Switzerland 2-2; Italy, Norway, USA 0-4.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Men Game 3: Sweden 4, Scotland 3

For the second time in the day, the Scottish men were taken to an extra end on Sunday, as they played their third round-robin game, against Sweden, who, like the Scots and Canada, were unbeaten so far.

This was always a tight encounter, and featured a total of six blank ends. The Scots, with last stone advantage, blanked the first end and then scored two in the second when skip Kyle Smith had a precision pick-out of two Swedish stones sitting in a cluster. After this, good play by the Scots kept Sweden under control, and five blank ends followed as the Swedes hunted for a break-through.

By the seventh end, there finally was a collection of stones in the house as the skips came to play and eventually Swedish skip Rasmus Wrana was forced to freeze onto a group of Scottish stones and take the single shot he had been trying to avoid all evening.

Scotland took one shot from the eighth for a 3-1 lead, and then, after another blank in the ninth, Sweden carved out the two shots that forced the extra end.

Again the Scots seemed to be in control but after Sweden delivered their last stone, there was an on-ice debate about whether a Swedish player had accidentally touched the moving stone which, if true, could well have had the stone removed. However, for whatever reason, the stone stayed on, and a clearly upset Smith over-cooked his vital final draw, which was long.

This result handed Scotland their first loss, and they now share third place on the table with Norway and the USA.

Rasmus Wrana and Kyle Smith in action

RESULTS.
Round 3: Norway 10, Czech Republic 4; Italy 9, Finland 8 (extra end); USA 6, China 5; Sweden 4, Scotland 3 (extra end); Switzerland 6, Canada 7.

Standings after 3 games: Canada, Sweden won 3, lost 0; Norway, Scotland, USA 2-1; China, Italy 1-2, Switzerland 1-2: Czech Republic, Finland 0-3.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Women Game 3: Sweden 7, Scotland 8

Hannah Fleming’s women’s team showed remarkable resilience to recover from a game-turning loss of four shots in the seventh end to claw their way back to an extra end 8-7 win over Sweden in their third round-robin game.

Earlier, they had started the game well, opening with two shots in the first end. Sweden got two back in the third end with a nice draw by skip Sara McManus, and despite a classy raised triple-take out by Scottish third Lauren Gray in the fourth end, Fleming was eventually forced to hit and stay for just one shot, rather than any more.

The Scots were unlucky not to score three in the sixth end when Fleming’s hot and stay rolled just too far, to give them just two shots after an umpire’s measure.

The seventh end became a slack guddle for the Scots, and they gave up four to give Sweden an unexpected 7-5 lead.

They started their recovery in the eighth end but only scored one after another umpire’s measure, and then stole a single in the tenth to level the score. They then forced Sweden into a tap-back attempt with their last stone of the extra end which carried too far, giving Scotland their second win from three starts.

After this win, Fleming said, “although we were down we still had a chance to win it – we know not to give up. We knew we had to be on our game against Sweden, and we’ve learned our lesson. We had chances throughout the game. In the seventh, we had two short stones and wanted to keep it clear, but it was just a bit scrappy”.

She added, “we like stealing, we’re quite good at it”. Reflecting back on her only loss so far, she said, “that was a million times better than against Canada. We were definitely on the ball in that game. We wanted to be on more wins than losses, and we’ve done that”.

Lauren Gray in action

The Scottish women play winless USA and then the Czech Republic on Monday.

RESULTS.
Session 3: Russia 11, Italy 9; Czech Republic 5, Switzerland 6; Canada 10,Norway 3; Japan 7, USA4; Sweden 7, Scotland 8 (extra end).

Standings after 3 Rounds: Russia won 3,lost 0; Canada; Czech Republic, Japan, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland 2-1; Italy, Norway, USA 0-3.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Men Game 2: Scotland 6, Italy 5 (extra end)

It took all the way to an extra-end steal, but Kyle Smith and the Scottish men eventually recorded their second win of the week with a 6-5 victory over a stubborn Italy on Sunday morning.

Italy blanked the first end and scored a single in the second to take the early lead, but in the third, the Scots took the initiative, scoring two when Smith played a gentle tap-back.

The Italians blanked the fourth and then, when Smith’s take-out on the fifth jammed on the way out, Italian skip Andrea Pilzer had a tap-back attempt of his own for three. But the stones moved too far and he had to settle for just two shots and a 3-2 lead. The teams swapped twos in the sixth and seventh, and then the Scots adopted blanking tactics in the eighth and ninth, patiently looking for the two shots that would give them the win.

In the tenth, the Scots split the house early but, with stone after stone rolling out of the desired positions, could not close the door. And when the Italian skip had a complete miss with his last stone, the Scots looked like they had achieved their win, but Smith’s last draw was heavy, and they scored just one to put the game into extra time.

In the extra, the Scots eventually stole the one shot needed for victory when Italy couldn’t completely remove a Scottish counter.

All eyes on Kyle Smith's stone

Afterwards, skip Smith said, “actually, they were a very good side. They called and played a very good game, and they really took us down to the wire, but a win’s a win. They were better strategically and execution-wise than I thought they would be”.

Turning to his own team’s performance, he added, “we called quite a good game, but we’re not really firing on all cylinders. We’ve put another point on the board and that’s another team that we’ve picked off and beaten. We’ll see what we’ve learned from this and keep improving”.

A disappointed Andrea Pilser said, “yesterday we played really bad and now today we were better, but in the end we missed the shot, and that’s curling. We feel better than yesterday. We played well and we made them make some mistakes, and that’s good”.

Scotland play table-topping Sweden next, on Sunday evening.

RESULTS
Men session 2: Switzerland 6, China 7 (extra end); USA 6, Canada 9 (extra end); Scotland 6, Italy 5 (extra end); Finland 8, Norway 9; Czech republic 5, Sweden 8.

Standings after 2 Rounds: Canada, Scotland, Sweden won 2, lost 0; China, Norway, Switzerland, USA 1-1: Czech Republic, Finland, Italy 0-2.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Women Gane 2: Canada 7, Scotland 5

After starting well, scoring singles in each of the first two ends, Hannah Fleming’s women could not sustain their satrong opening against Canada, and with one or two shots going awry, eventuall lost by 5-7 to Canada in their second round-robin game on Saturday evening.

The Scottish score in the first end came after a measure showed thatb their nose-hit had just strayed insdie the rings wheil their single steal in the second came about wqhen Canada’s Jocelyn Peterman just ticked a guard on the way in.

The Canadians got level in the third with a draw for twoc and Scotland lost a bit of initiative in the fourth when Fleming’s Last shot rolled on to score one instead of staying for two. The Canadian break-through came in the seventh seventh end when they scored two and then, in the eighth, Fleming was forced to settle for second shot to give up a steal of one.

After a measure, and Fleming hogging her first stone, the Scots were judged to have only scored one in the ninth instead of two to go into the tenth one shot doewn at 5-6.

There was a fuss about the Scots’ time-clock in the tenth before Peterman got nicely round a front guard to hit for one and the game.

Despite their best efforts, the Scots girls could not match Canada

Afterwards, Fleming said, “we didn’t have the best game there – we weren’t as on form as we were this morning, and obviously you can’t play that way against Canada. The timing issue was frustrating but I thought we dealt with it pretty well”. Adding, “it’s early days yet. We’ll look at that game in the de-brief and learn from it”.

By contrast, Canadian skip Peterman said, “We were pretty consistent the whole game and got a couple of breaks with some nice shots”.

RESULTS:

W1: Czech Republic 10, Canada 3; Italy 2, Sweden 10; Japan 3, Russia 11; Norway 3, Scotland 9; USA 5, Switzerland 9.

W2: Sweden 9, Norway 4; Canada 7, Scotland 5; USA 4, Czech Republic 8; Switzerland 8, Russia 10; Italy 4, Japan 6.

Standings after 2 sessions: Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden won 2, lost 0; Canada, Japan, Scotland, Switzerland 1-1; Italy, Norway, USA 0-2.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

World Juniors: Men Game 1: SCotland 7, Finland 3

Kyle Smith and his team of Kerr Drummond, Kyle Waddell, and Thomas Muirhead continued the good work of Hannah Fleming’s women in the morning to win their opening round-robin game of the World Junior Curling Championships in Ostersund, Sweden, beating Finland by 7-3 in just eight ends on Saturday afternoon.

Finnish skip Iiro Sipola won the hammer and opened with a single, but in the second end, good set-up by his team gave Kyle Smith a straightforward draw for two to take the lead in the second end. Although Finland levelled with a single in the third, a further two shots for Scotland pressed home their advantage and they went 4-2 up, following that up with a single steal in the fifth when Finland’s attempted tap-out on their own stone went wrong, leaving the Scottish counter in position, rather than taking it out.

In the sixth, Finnish skip Sipola was facing two Scottish counters as he played his last, and was heavy with his draw to give up a steal of two. The Finns then blanked the seventh and conceded in the eighth as soon as the stone that gave them one shot from that end came to rest, with the score at 7-3 to Scotland.

Kyle Smith and Iiro Sipola

Afterwards, skip Smith said, “it was a bit of a shaky start but we played it well enough. We weren’t really sure what to expect. We knew they’d be quite a good team so we just came out and tried to stick to our usual game-plan and fortunately he missed shots at the right times for us and we did things right”.

This tournament marks a debut as Team Scotland for this outfit, and reflecting that, Smith said, “for Kyle (Waddell) and I, that’s our first game for Scotland, so it’s a good way to start”.

The Scottish men now play Italy, who lost their opener by 2-9 to USA, and then Sweden on Sunday.

The Swedes beat Norway by 9-2 in just six ends in their opening match, and other opening men’s winners were Canada, who beat China by 8-4 and Switzerland, who had a 9-4 win over the Czech Republic.

Report: Mike Haggerty, Picture: WCF/Richard Gray

Women: Game 1: Norway 3, Scotland 9

Hannah Fleming and her team gave themselves the dream start with a 9-3 cruise over Norway in just eight ends of their opening round-robin game at the World Junior Curling Championships, which opened on Saturday in Ostersund, Sweden.

The Norwegians started with the hammer and scored a single in the first end. The Scots responded by blanking the second and then, after splitting the house early in the third end, Fleming was able to draw for two and take the early advantage.

The Scots looked like they might add to that in the fourth with one stone well-hidden, but eventually Norwegian skip Kristine Davanger played a well-judged draw for one to level the game at 2-2. The Scots had a slight wobble in the fifth when they gave up a steal of one as Fleming’s final attempted double take-out missed its second target and Norway stole one.

Good early play by her team in the sixth gave Fleming a simple hit for four to establish a clear 6-3 lead, and when the Scots stole two in the seventh when Davanger wrecked on the way in, adding a further single in the eighth when she rolled out with her last, the game was over.

Hannah Fleming leads the Scots to an opening win

Afterwards, a pleased Fleming said, “that was really good. We had a slightly slow start but not because we weren’t playing well, but just because the other team were really on their game. We played really well in the sixth end to get our four. The team set it up really well for me and I didn’t have to do a lot”.

Reviewing her team’s overall performance, Fleming added, “we just wanted to play a simple game to ease us in gently, and I think we did that”.

The Scots now face Canada in their Saturday evening game, and were aware that the Canadians had a rough start in their opener, going down by 3-10 in just six ends to the Czech Republic.

Speaking about that, Fleming said, “I’m quite surprised about Canada’s result. I’m not sure whether that’s good news or bad news for us. Either way, they’re going to be upfor the game against us tonight”.

Other opening session women’s winners were: hosts Sweden who beat Italy by 10-2 in just six ends; Russia – 11-3 over Japan; and Switzerland, 9-5 over USA.

The Scottish men open their campaign against Finland next.

Report: Mike Haggerty; Picture: WCF/Richard Gray