SILVER FOR SCOTLAND'S TEAM SMITH AT THEIR FIRST EURO FINAL
Scotland’s Team Smith challenged defending champions Team Edin from Sweden to the last end of the final of the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships, before the Swedish rink prevailed to claim the crown for a fourth year in a row.
It was a sterling performance from the Scots who finished fifth when they last competed in the European Championships in 2015 and it was also a reversal of fortunes for Team Smith who beat Edin’s quartet the last time they met in a final at this arena, when the Scots claimed the European Masters title.
Skip Kyle Smith said after winning silver at his first European final: “It’s been a good week and obviously this is a good stepping stone to PyeongChang but just now it feels a bit raw as I really felt that we could have taken that crown and title.
“The boys played tremendously and I want to thank all of them and the coaching staff for everything during this week. I am just very disappointed with the result to be honest. With my last stone I was trying to focus on the weight the boys wanted me to play and I was just too heavy and that could have taken the game to an extra end,” he said.
“Missing that draw at the last was tough and Team Edin are a great team but I really thought we had them tonight. I am delighted with the boys, they really couldn’t have played better. Now I need to reset and re-focus and this has made me even more determined heading towards PyeongChang.”
Team Smith’s Coach Viktor Kjell - who was a former member of Team Edin - said after the match, “I really thought the boys had them. We had a shaky start at the first end but after that we settled and we forced Niklas Edin to start making mistakes which is really something given his calibre and experience. The boys showed a lot of spirit and tenacity and I thought we were the much better team over the last six ends.
“But when you are playing a team like Edin they are always going to be tough to eliminate and they played a strong tenth end and we were a little heavy with that last draw.
“It is disappointing but the boys have had a great tournament and have showed what they are capable of under pressure, they have handled their first European final with a lot of class and I think that is great for PyeongChang and beyond that too. They will be very disappointed tonight but in a few days time they will see the many positives and realise how much they have learnt from this process and that will be hugely beneficial for South Korea next year,” said Kjell.
Team Edin Skip Niklas Edin was delighted to retain his title but noted that Team Smith are very much on his radar for the Winter Olympics next year.
Edin said: “They are a great team and always tough to play. The first end obviously didn’t go to plan, it was a weird situation as they then had to start playing more offensively to make the shots and we had to try and keep our lead whereas we had intended to keep it a close, simple game. They completely outplayed us in the middle of the game and we had to fight to stay in it. It was not a great way to end that game that team is always capable of making those last draws, but it was not to be today.
“It was amazing last year to win three titles in a row, so there was more pressure on us last year to achieve that. This year was fun, we were more relaxed and obviously it is great to win it four times and do something that no other team has achieved but last year was the special one.
“Now our focus is on the Olympics and we know we will meet Team Smith and they are good enough and smart enough to beat anyone at the Olympics, so we know they are going to be tough to beat,” added Edin.
the men’s bronze medal match Switzerland beat Norway to keep the home crowds happy in St Gallen. Earlier in the day in the women’s tournament Scotland’s Team Muirhead claimed gold, Sweden had to settle for silver and Italy beat Switzerland for the bronze.
Please click here for more information and results from the European Championships in St Gallen, Switzerland (17-25 November).
(W)Scotland v Sweden 6-3
(M)Scotland v Sweden 10-5
(M)Scotland v Switzerland 9-8
(W)Scotland v Switzerland 7-5
Round Robin Overall results:
(M)Scotland 6 wins 3 losses
(W)Scotland 7 wins 2 losses
Day 6 Results:
(M)Scotland v Netherlands 5-2
(W)Scotland v Hungary 9-3
Day 5 Results:
(W)Scotland v Czech Republic 8-4
(M)Scotland v Switzerland 4-9
(W)Scotland v Switzerland 7-9
Day 4 Results:
(M)Scotland v Sweden 4-5
(W)Scotland v Turkey 8-3
(M)Scotland v Norway 8-7
Day 3 Results:
(M)Scotland v Germany 4-6
(W)Scotland v Italy 8-1
(M)Scotland v Slovakia 8-1
(W)Scotland v Germany 8-5
Day 2 Results:
(W)Scotland v Russia 8-7
(M)Scotland v Russia 5-3
(W)Scotland v Denmark 6-1
Day 1 Results:
(M)Scotland v Austria 7-2
(W)Scotland v Sweden 2-5
(M)Scotland v Italy 7-3
PHOTO: WCF / Richard Gray, Celine Stucki and Eakin Howard.