Monday, January 16, 2012

WYOG: GB v Japan

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Austria:

"GBR played Japan this morning in a game Duncan Menzies, Angharad Ward, Thomas Muirhead and Rachel Hannen knew they had to win if they were to retain any interest in these Winter Youth Olympic Games here in Innsbruck. It all started well with Duncan outdrawing Japanese skip Shingo Usui for the last stone advantage in the first end.

In the opening end it was Japan who looked they might steal as Duncan came up short with his draw and Usui hit to lie two shots, but with last stone Duncan made the perfect tee draw for one. Japan replied with a draw for a single in the second. Great Britain blanked the third and fourth retaining the hammer into the break, with the score at 1-1.

In the fifth they came out playing strongly dominating the end and with last stone, again, Duncan came up with the perfect draw for two and GBR led 3-1. Sixth and an error by Duncan removing his own shot when trying to take out the Japanese second shot left Usui with a straight draw for two. But GBR were showing their bottle and at the seventh it was Duncan who again made his last stone count with a perfect hit for two, and a 5-3 lead into the final end.

GBR was in a bit of trouble as Japan lay the two for a tie with skips' last stones to come. Duncan went for the takeout and removed one stone meaning an extra end at the worst if Japan made the draw. It was made.

Into an extra end. Whereas earlier in the game, shots were simple, now they seemed that bit harder. The front of the house was covered and Japan lay two shots as Duncan threw his first stone which was a thin takeout which opened up the four foot for a last stone draw if necessary.

Japan went to draw the top of the four on the right handers out turn but finished just behind the tee. Duncan had to draw for the win but instead of following the Japanese stone he went for his inturn draw, slipped past the Japaneses stones on the INSIDE and it was another defeat for GBR.

After the game on talking about the extra end Duncan said, " You can't predict a miss. It just happens." And with his last stone draw on reflection, "I just didn't take enough ice."

Canada, Japan and Sweden lead the Group on three wins and one loss. This afternoon GBR play Italy who defeated Germany this morning to stand on two wins."

JPN 0100 0202 2 = 7
GBR * 1000 2020 0 = 5

SCORES: Canada 7 Russia 1, Italy 9 Germany 3, Sweden 7 Austria 5, Japan 7 Great Britain 5 (Extra end).

Top photo: Duncan Menzies © Leslie Ingram-Brown.

British Olympic Association director of sport Sir Clive Woodward, Gordon Muirhead (Thomas's father) and Mike Hay (BOA's performance manager for winter sports) watch the game. I wonder what they were thinking! Photo © Leslie Ingram-Brown.