Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Erzurum:
ITS GOLD FOR BIRTHDAY GIRL ANNA SLOAN AS GBR DEFEATS RUSSIA AT AN EXTRA END
A birthday present with a golden ring for GBR Women's skip Anna Sloan as she and her team of Lauren Gray, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton went to an extra end for a last stone victory over the Russian Federation 7-6 with a perfect hit by Anna to start the GBR Team celebrations here at the Milli Pyango Curling Arena.
Let me first of all pay credit to the ice technicians who were criticised, and I still feel justified in my comments, as to-day's ice was much better than yesterday evening, with a swing on both hands, more to the one side than the other, but it WAS possible to come around guards. Let's hope this continues for the Men's final this afternoon.
To the game itself the Russians opened the stronger of the two teams and stole singles at the first two ends. GBR blanked the third end and were beginning to show signs of coming into the game and the fourth end was probably the end that made the GBR team believe in themselves. Vicki, with her second drew towards the wings, Lauren makes a big triple take-out and Anna also draws but to the opposite side. Privivkova wrecks on guard with an attempted draw leaving Anna her draw for 3.
In the fifth it was Privivkova who was faced with two GBR stones in the house and successfully hits for 1. Fifth end break and the game was tied 3-3.
Sixth end and Anna comes round a long guard and taps back for 2. Seventh end and the positions are reversed with Privivkova taking an open stone strike for 2 to the Russian Federation.
Eighth end is blanked. In the ninth it is team Russian Federation who make the move and at one time lie four shots. Anna plays a double with her first and Priviovkova removes the GBR front stone to lie 3. Anna plays the saviour in drawing for 1 shot.
Tenth end and the roles are reversed with GBR lying 3 shots after Anna's first stone draw finishes in the house alongside one other GBR stone. Privivkova doubles these two front stones and rolls to the side of the house. Anna hits on the nose and Privivkova makes the draw for the extra end.
With last stone in the extra end GBR placed an early stone almost centre of the rings. Russia guards, GBR takes off, and this is the shotmaking for five stones in the row. Privivkova was short with her attempted freeze to the GBR stone and finishes as what looks like a three-quarter guard which is very quickly despatched to out of play by Sloan. Privivkova hits, fails to find cover, which comes to Anna's final stone take-out for that Gold Medal.
Afterwards Anna reflected that whilst the Russians came out and were better the first couple of ends. "We knew we were better than them and got back into the game playing the perfect extra end for our win."
Russia: Luidmilla Privivkova, Anna Sidorova, Margarita Fomina, Ekaterina Galkina (Alternate - Ekaterina Antonova, Coach - Olga Andrianova)
Great Britain: Anna Sloan, Lauren Gray, Vicki Adams, Claire Hamilton
(Alternate - Sarah MacIntyre, Coach - Brad Askew)
rus 11001 02001 0 = 6
gbr* 00030 20010 1 = 7
Above: Liudmilla Privivkova. Top: Anna Sloan, Lauren Gray, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton. Photos courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.