Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Erzurum:
CHECH MATE FOR GBR IN BRONZE MEDAL GAME
As you sit back and reflect on what has happened all week as the Czech Republic won 3-2 over GBR Men and having written from time to time on curling and that other gentleman's sport cricket before speaking to Glen after losing the Bronze Medal game, my thoughts turned to the ice conditions which have straightened dramatically in the last two days. Would it have been different if the ice had the same swing as during the round-robin? Well who knows; but in his comments after the game Glen reflected on this. A 3-2 game with five blank ends and five ends of single shots is enormously difficult to transfer to readers. So I make no apologies.
At school the head English teacher, a most likeable man called Mr Neil once said to the class, "There are some people who can do English and some people who can't."
Guess where I pitched my two pennies worth!
The first two ends were blanked by GBR before Glen was forced to take the single in the third. Another blank end in the fourth then in the fifth, goodness gracious me, there were stones in the house as the Czech Republic tried to give the game to GBR; in fact GBR lay 4 before Klima saved the day with a draw for the second single of the game. 1-1 after five ends three of which were blanked.
Sixth blanked and seven CZE make steal of one. Sorry I wasn't really with the game to really take note but in the eighth Glen went for a raise for one, if good two, shots. GBR got the single on a measure. Ninth was guess what, blanked. I had by this time spent time behind the sheet watching what was happening and could see just how straight the ice had become. With his second stone of the last end Glen tried to bury behind a guard. He took so little ice I thought he was trying a shot I could not see. The stone just slid down and drew no more than fifteen inches and stayed in the open for Klima to see who took less ice than Glen, played a hack weight, was most certainly not fully on the brush and the sweepers were able to hold the stone the whole length of the sheet, pass the guard, hit the shot rock and still finish rolling to the centre of the house.
Before any of you readers are concrned of my bias. I am Scottish first and foremost and secondly British and I am giving it to you as I see it. Right now what I am concerned with most if the conditions are the same for the two finals tomorrow.
After the game is was interesting to hear Glen's thoughts, "In the last couple of games the ice has straightened up and when your time comes you must take your opportunities. When you are given an opening you have got to take it as you are only going to get a handful during the game. We had chances but we failed to make the most of them. We were not the same as when the ice was swingy. The games are always going to be tight on straight ice as it is always nearly a defensive game."
In the Women's Bronze Medal game it was Korea who overcame Japan 8-5.
Great Britain: Glen Muirhead, Alasdair Guthrie, Kerr Drummond, Michael Goodfellow
Czech Republic: Lukas Klima, Jiri Candra, Tomas Paul, David Jirounek
Japan: Sayaka Yoshimura, Rina Ida, Risa Ujihara, Mao Ishigaki
Korea: Ji Sun Kim, Seul Bee Lee, Un Chi Gim, Hye Soo Lee
CZE 00001 01001 = 3
GBR* 00100 00100 = 2
jpn 00020 2100X = 5
kor* 10202 0021X = 8
Top: The GBR team line up before the game L-R: Gordon Muirhead (coach), Greg Drummond (alt), Michael Goodfellow (lead), Kerr Drummond (2nd), Alasdair Guthrie (3rd) and Glen Muirhead (skip). Above: Alasdair and Glen. Photos courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.