Sunday, March 11, 2012

World Juniors: Women's Final

Hannah Fleming (above), Lauren Gray, Alice Spence and Abi Brown are the World Junior Champions! Congratulations to the girls, to Debbie Knox their coach, Jennifer Martin the alternate, and all the support staff and supporters!

Iveta Janatova (fourth), Zuzana Hajkova (skip), Eva Malkova and Klara Svatonova of the Czech Republic took the Scots all the way to the last stone of an extra end. They should be very proud of a great performance, the best ever for that country. I'm sure Karel Kubeska will be a happy man. I met the team when they came over to get some experience at the Glynhill Ladies International at Braehead in January, see here.

I watched the final on the YouTube webcast, courtesy of the World Curling Federation and Sweden's Livechannel. Excellent too. Commentators Sara Carlsson and Logan Gray have done a great job all week. Logan, his sister one of the winning team, was speechless with emotion when the last Scottish stone had done its job. Not every day that Logan is lost for words! Having followed and supported Hannah and her teams all these years, I too shed a wee tear this morning.

Russia beat Sweden for the bronze.

Leslie Ingram-Brown reports:

"Hannah Fleming, Lauren Gray, Alice Spence, Abil Brown, alternate Jennifer Martin and coaches Debbie Knox and Cate Brewster fly home tomorrow as the newly crowned World Junior Champions 2012 here in Ostersund, Sweden having beaten the Czech Republic's Iveta Janatova, Zuzana Hajkova (skip), Eva Malkova, Klara Svatonova, and Petra Vinsova the alternate, in a very tense, close and exciting final, 6-5 at an extra end.

Scotland held the hammer in the first end which was blanked and the Czech Republic stole a single in the second when Hannah's last stone raise take-out failed. Third end and Scotland hit for two and gave up a single in the fourth when Janatova, throwing last stones, drew for a single and the Scots blanked the fifth for a 2-2 score at the break.

In the sixth, with last stone, Hannah went for a double to count two but rolled out to count only one. This score was reversed by the Czech Republic with a hit and lie in the seventh. For the third time in the game the Scots blanked the next end, the eighth. Ninth and a little element of luck gave Scotland a two. When going to remove a short guard the shooter ran towards the wing and pushed another Scottish stone into the house to lie shot, and partially guarded. This was unfortunate for the cause of the Czech Republic who were faced by a very tricky draw to the outer twelve. The draw was good but left about nine inches of space and Hannah confidently tapped the shot at the angle to count two shots and a lead of two going down the last end.

As she threw her first stone draw in the last end Janatova split the house to lie two after Hannah had wrecked on the guard in front of the house. Hananh hit and lay as did the fourth for the Czech Republic and at 5-5 the gold medal would be won at an extra end. With skips' last stones to come the Czech Republic lie one. Janatova goes for the draw and guard but leaves the shot open. Hannah plays the takeout and hit and rolled to first shot by holding on to another Scottish stone.

Scotland had won the WJCC gold medal 6-5.

In the Bronze Medal game, it was to be a repeat of last year when Russia won 9-3. Russia once again were to claim the Bronze Medals, defeating Sweden 7-4 after nine ends. The turning point was the sixth end when Russian skip Anna Sidorova hit for three shots to lead 5-3 and then stole a single in the seventh. The teams exchanged singles over the next two ends and with a 7-4 lead Russia (Anna Sidorova, Victoria Moiseeva, Alexandra Saitova, Galina Arsenkina with alternate Olga Zjablikova) ran Sweden's Sara McManus, Anna Huhta, Marina Stener and Sofia Mabergs (with alternate Rosalie Egli) out of stones."

cze 01010 01002 0 = 5
sco* 00200 10020 1 = 6

swe* 00102 0010X = 4
rus 00020 3101X = 7

The event website is here.

Hannah delivers, Abi and Alice the sweepers.

Czech fourth Iveta Janatova delivers. Klara Svatonova and Eva Malkova are the sweepers.

Czech support.

After the final. L-R: Jennifer Martin, Abi Brown, Alice Spence, Lauren Gray and Hannah Fleming.

Photos © Leslie Ingram-Brown