Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WYOG: GB v Russia

Team GB beat Russia at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck this morning, but the victory has come too late as they cannot now reach the quarterfinals.

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports from Austria:

"For Duncan Menzies' Team GB it was the first of possibly two vital games at the Youth Winter Olympic Games Curling here at the Messe Hall in Innsbruck. The question was, could Duncan, Angharad Ward, Thomas Muirhead and Rachel Hannen pull the rabbit out of the hat and make it to tiebreak games for qualification to the knockout stages.

Lying second and third shots at the first, Duncan tried a difficult takeout with last stone at the first on the Russia shot stone but gave up a one against the head. In the second end there were so many stones in the house and with GBR lying shot it was almost impossible to count a second, so the game was tied 1-1 after Duncan's attempted hit and roll failed.

Third end and Russian Federation skip Mikhail Vaskov had a raise hit for one and in the fourth Duncan had a free draw for a two. GBR led 3-2 at the break.

On the next sheet Austria were playing Italy. GBR needed Austria to win but the score after four ends was not encouraging as Italy led 4-1.

In the fifth Russia lay two shots as Duncan played his last stone of the end, a raise double take-out. It was perfect and GBR lay three. Vaskov attempted a raise to the GBR shot stone but was slightly heavy and by a matter of inches GBR had the first steal of the game to lead 4-2.

In the sixth, Vaskov hit on the nose trying to blank the end: 4-3.

Seventh end and Menzies had an open draw for two to lead 6-3 into the last end.

Meanwhile Italy had just defeated Austria 6-3 which means the final game for GBR against Austria this afternoon will be played for pride only.

Eighth and final end saw GBR keeping the house clear, and when Vaskov was wide and heavy with his attempted split to lie two in the hope of an extra, the gloves came off and the game conceded with GBR 6-3 winners without throwing their last stone of the end.

In the postponed opening game due to the power failure last Friday night, Italy play Russia with the winner qualifying for the quarterfinals. Sweden, Canada and Japan are now qualified. There will be no tiebreak games in the Red Section.

After the game, Duncan said on reflection on the games earlier in the competition, "We struggled with the ice, the weight and the curl as we are not used to the big finishes on the stones.""

GBR * 0102 102X = 6
RUS 1010 010X = 3

SCORES: Sweden 6 Germany 4, Canada 9 Japan 4, Italy 6 Austria 3, Great Britain 6 Russia 3.

STANDINGS: 5/1 Sweden, 4/2 Canada, Japan, 3/3 Italy, Russian Federation, 2/4 Austria, Great Britain, 1/5 Germany.

All the results can be found here.

Top photo: Skips in the house, Duncan Menzies and Mikhail Vaskov.

Royal Club President Pat Edington and Performance Director Dave Crosbee sit with Team GB supporters.

GB lead Rachel Hannen.

Photos © Leslie Ingram-Brown