The final group game was against Sweden. A win for Wales would ensure a playoff game for 3rd place. A good draw shot challenge gave Wales the hammer in the first end. A drawing game left a busy head with Wales sitting two with each skip yet to play their last stones. Sweden nominated to guard with their last stone to ensure Wales couldn’t add to their tally (2 – 0). Sweden built a strong position in the second end, but a jammed Welsh stone on the last shot meant Sweden only took a one (2 – 1). Sweden built another strong head in the third end and sole a two to go into the lead (2 – 3). The fourth end was a similar story and Adrian was facing 5 when playing his last shot but managed to reduced the Swedish tally to two (2 – 5). Wales came out strongly in the second half and were unlucky not get more than just 1 in the fifth end (3 – 5). Wales kept pushing hard and forced Sweden to take a one in the sixth end (3 – 6). Again the seventh end was built up really well by Wales but tricky takeout in the wings jammed and again gave a Wales a frustrating 1 (4 – 6). A valiant effort to steal a 2 in the final end wasn’t successful and gave Sweden the win. Unfortunately that was Wales out of the tournament – just 1 win short. It was a great team performance throughout the week with many of the games being very close. The tournament continues on Friday with the quarter finals followed by the semi final and final on Saturday. Live scores can be followed on http://emcc2013.curlingevents.com/livescores
The penultimate game of the round robin was against Switzerland. Wales need to win one of the next two games to be in contention for the quarter finals. Two close draw shot challenges saw Switzerland take the hammer in the first end. A great hit and roll behind the guard in the first end from Adrian Meikle was unreachable and Wales took an early lead (1 – 0). Switzerland fought back strongly and took a two in the second end (1 – 2). An open third end gave Wales the opportunity to hit and take a two back (3-2). A drawing fourth end saw Switzerland set up well. A great sweep from Andrew Tanner and Laura Beever on Adrian’s last stone cut the score to one, but Switzerland’s last stone was drawn to the 4 foot to take another two (3 – 4). The fifth end was blanked. The sixth end was nearly blanked but the last stone clung to the house for a one to Wales to tie the scores (4 – 4). The seventh end was blanked. Wales pushed hard for the steal in the eighth but a good end from Switzerland saw them take a 3 to finish the game (4 – 7). Final game is against Sweden at 14:30 Thursday.
Today was the big home nation game against England. Two very good draw shot challenges saw Adrian Meikle just outscoring England to take the hammer for the first end. Wales took advantage and a great draw behind the guard from Dawn Watson ensured Wales started well with a two (2 – 0). England fought back but English skip, John Sharp, had to hit with his last shot to take a one (2 – 1). An open third end saw takeouts being exchanged and was blanked (2 – 1). Wales pushed hard having got the hammer and were lying 3 with 2 shots to go. A good hit and stay from John forced Adrian to takeout his shot for Wales to get another two (4 – 1). At the half time break Wales had a good 4 – 1 lead.
The half time tea and biscuits invigorated England and they were lying 3 with two shots to play in the fifth end but a superb raise promotion double takeout and stay from Adrian’s last shot left Wales sitting. A difficult hit for John wasn’t successful and left Wales with a steal of 2 (6 -1). Wales started the sixth end with an amazing shot from Laura Beever to split into the house her own shot and roll behind the guard. Pressure built on England throughout the end but a great double and then a perfect draw from John gave England a one (6 – 2). With the hammer, Wales pressured England throughout the seventh end and took 4 in what turned out to be the final end. A great team performance from team Wales – Adrian Meikle, Dawn Watson, Andrew Tanner & Laura Beever to win 10 – 2. Wales are now on 3 wins and 2 losses. Switzerland next at 20:30 tonight!
Tonight’s game saw Wales looking to increase their winning run against Estonia. Estonia won the hammer and a hitting first end was blanked. An open second end saw Estonia take a two. A drawing third end finished with Adrian Meikle drawing the 4 foot for a two to tie the game. A strong fourth end from Estonia saw the Estonian skip, Erkki Lill, hitting for a two. At the half time break Estonia were leading 4 – 2. Wales pushed in the fifth end but Adrian had to draw against 2 to take the end, 4 – 3. A tense sixth end finished with Adrian making a superb hit and roll behind the guards. Erkki had a run back to take the end but just drew too much leaving Wales sitting to take a 1, 4 – 4. Wales were keen to force the one in the seventh end, but an open end saw Estonia blanking and taking the hammer into the last end. Wales set the end up with two great guards from Wales lead Laura Beever. Andrew Tanner and Dawn Watson continued with well placed guards and left Adrian with one guard for his two shots. Adrian’s initial draw was left in the open and Erkki pinged the shot out. This left Adrian a ‘mulligan’ shot and, sure enough, it was buried behind the guard. Estonia attempted to hit it out but narrowly missed giving Wales a one and the match. Final score 5 – 4 to Wales. Next game England!
Wales need to put a win on the board at the next opponents are Russia. Russia were coming off a good win against Switzerland. Wales, having won the hammer in the first end, quickly opened up a 3 – 0 lead taking 1 in each off the first 3 ends. Russia were forced to take a 1 in the final end before the break giving Wales a 3-1 lead at half time. A Russian steal of 1 in the 5th end wasn’t enough to prevent Wales’ first win of the competition with a 4-3 win! Hooray! Estonia next at 20:30 tonight.
After the disappointment of a close loss to Norway, Wales hoped for their first win against Spain. However a disappointing start saw Wales trailing 8 – 5 at the half time interval. A big push for a steal from Wales in the 5th to tie the match was dashed by a tap in from Spain for 1 and extending their lead to 4 points. Wales were unable to close the gap and eventually finished at 10-7 to Spain.
The issues with the cooling plant now fixed, the games have started. With a compressed schedule there are two games for each team over the next few days.
Wales’ first game against Norway was a tight affair. Wales up 3 – 2 at the half time break. A tense 5th end saw Norway under pressure but a good draw from the Norwegian skip, Hans Roger Tømmervold, saved a big steal from Wales. At 3 – 3 Norway stole a one and, although Wales pushed hard in the last end, the Norwegian’s won 5 – 4 with the last sone of the game. A good performance and start to the competition and hopefully this can be continued with the next game – Spain.
Group A: Belarus; Czech Republic; France; Germany; Hungary; Latvia; Poland; Romania and Scotland.