Friday, February 04, 2011

GBR Men Lose Universiade Semifinal

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Erzurum:


The Swiss won the last round robin game against GBR and everyone was hoping that the result would be reversed in the semifinal but it was not to be. Pascal Hess's team was to lead over the first five ends opening the game with a hit for 3 shots in the first end. Great Britain again look suspect in the second end and as Switzerland lie 4 shots, Muirhead has to coolly play a draw for a 1. Third and Hess for a single and in the fourth against two Swiss stones Glen plays a saving draw.

In the fifth end a missed double take-out hitting a guard and Hess draws for 3 and GBR are in big trouble. A second try with a roll, ends up with GBR out of the reckoning for this end and Hess draws for 2. Switzerland lead 6-2 at the interval.

Sixth and seventh ends the teams swap singles but the more worrying is where are the GBR Men going to find the key to break the lock Switzerland have on the game.

Are things looking better as GBR suddenly have a chance for 2 shots which they make with a hit and stay with Glen's final stone. Could we be back in the game at 5-7. The answer is yes, and it was game on against Hess's students.

Ninth and GBR need to steal a shot or two but in the end it is Hess who hits for a single and an 8-5 lead before in an explosive tenth end it began to happen for GBR Men and they lie 2 when Glen throws the opposite side of the house to lie the three required with his first stone. Hess throws a take-out and hits and lies open. Glen coolly plays a strike and also hits on the nose - an extra end.

In an extraordinary extra end controlled right to the final Swiss stone GBR lay guarded and for a period of three stones it was guard - take-off guard until with three stones remaining the Swiss made a tapback with Glen attempting the draw behind the guard which reached tee but the Swiss could see part of the stone and Hess tried a take-out but wrecks on a front guard. Glen guards but Hess still has angled raise which is played at a very canny weight and gets the angle perfectly, Switzerland 9 Great Britain 8.

After the game Glen confessed, "We were slow out of the blocks and they took advantage of our mistakes and when you give up 3 shots at the first end you are toiling. We came on to a game and played a good tenth end and extra end."

Switzerland: Pascal Hess, Stefan Mewienberg, Jean-Francois Mayoraz, Bastian Brun
Great Britain: Glen Muirhead, Alasdair Guthrie, Kerr Drummond, Michael Goodfellow

SUI* 30102 01010 1 = 9
GBR 01010 10203 0 = 8

KOR * 00100 20101 = 5
CZE 00010 01020 = 4

Top photo. Alasdair Guthrie in charge of the head as Swiss skip and 3rd watch behind. Above: Glen Muirhead. Photos courtesy of Leslie Ingram-Brown.