Russian Women Curling Team, Great Britain’s women’s curling team assured themselves of a tie-breaker at least with a tension-filled 9-6 win over host nation Russia in the Winter Olympics in Sochi. With Canada and Sweden already qualified for the semi-finals, Eve Muirhead’s all-Scottish rink are battling for one of the remaining two slots, and have now won five and lost three ahead of their final round-robin clash with Denmark on Monday night.
It looked to be cut and dried when GB took four to go 7-3 ahead in a terrific eighth end, but the host nation responded with three shots in the ninth, leaving the final end nervy.
However, Muirhead – with the hammer – executed a double take-out on her final shot to ensure victory.
With one match remaining, GB moved into third place in the table with China, Japan and Switzerland all on four wins.
Muirhead declared herself to be “really pleased” with the victory, while pointing out that the excitable home fans inside Ice Cube Curling Center made things difficult at times for her and her team-mates.
She said: “We have some great fans, but half the time we couldn’t hear ourselves think and that was because of the Russians.
“Near the latter stages of the game they got a bit noisier, and when I was ready to play my last shot I actually couldn’t hear myself think.
“You just hoped it wasn’t a really important line call where they had to hear you scream, as there was absolutely no way the sweepers would have heard you.
“So we used a lot of hand signals, that worked well.
“We always knew it was going to be a tough game against Russia, they are one of our big European rivals.
“We had a turning point in the eighth end, getting that four but it was always going to be a game of patience and that is how we played.
“A two would have been good but taking four is a bonus and that gave us the lead we needed.”