Eve, Kelly, Lorna and Annie played Liudmila Privivkova's Russians in the Page 1-2 Playoff in Champery tonight. The winning team would gain a place in Saturday's Championship Final.
I had been down watching some of the B Division playoffs in Monthey (more of which in a separate post) and arrived back at the Palladium just in time to see the Scots score well in the fifth. Lucy rolled out with her last, and Eve drew for a two. Then, in the sixth, the Scots were well set up and the Russian skip was just too long with her last stone draw to the tee. The stolen single gave Eve a 5-2 lead.
That should have been it. The Russians though stole one back in the eighth and coming down the ninth the Scottish lead had been narrowed to a single shot.
Then disaster struck! Kelly's barrier weight takeout on two Russian counters looked good, the sweepers were called off, the stone picked up and wrecked. When Eve came to play her last, she faced three stones clustered together. The position can be gleaned from my photo above. The Russians are bringing Lucy's last stone in to face the two reds they already have cutting the tee. I was behind the head and thought that getting rid of a couple was the best that could be hoped for.
Eve thought different. She played the triple takeout - was it a quadruple - leaving four Scots stones counting, and the Russians offered handshakes immediately.
What a shot! I feel privileged to have been here to see it. I still don't believe what I saw. I need a replay! Shot of the Championship. Brillant, brilliant, brilliant.
Scotland now are assured of at least a silver in Saturday's final. I am sure they will be looking for the gold. Playing as they have done this week, they are the team to beat!
In the women's Page 3-4, Sweden and Switzerland were tied 3-3 in the tenth. Stina Vicktorsson played a courageous raise takeout with here first to lie three guarded. Mirjam Ott tried a similar shot with her last, unsuccessfully, and the Swedes had won. They will now meet the Russians in the 'semifinal', the winner of that progressing to meet Scotland in the Final.
In the men's competition, Norway beat Switzerland in the Page 1-2 to progress to the final. Denmark defeated Germany in the Page 3-4. Switzerland will now meet Denmark in the 'semifinal', the winner going through to the Championship game.
The Czech Republic beat France in the tiebreaker for 7th and 8th position in the rankings, and so the latter country faces a challenge from the B Division winner.
The main website is here, Curlit linescores, standings and stats here, Mike Haggerty's reports here and WCF daily updates are here.
Right, study this photo carefully and explain it. Kelly is in charge of the house, and Eve and Liudmila are standing behind. How, in the normal course of a game, can this occur. Answer below.
The small (but select) band of Scottish supporters were in good voice!
Solution to the conundrum. Eve had been off the ice for a 'call of nature', and had returned just as Kelly was calling Annie's second shot. What do the Rules say about it?
Photos © Skip Cottage