7. 12. 2008 ÖRNSKÖLDSVIK, Sweden - by George Karrys
Sweden's curling heroines defeated Scotland 9-8 in a nailbiter to move to 3-0 at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2008.
Anette Norberg, the defending Olympic champion, three-time world champion and unprecedented seven-time Euro champion beat Kelly Wood in a rematch of last year's Euro final held in Fuessen, Germany.
It was the first challenging game for Norberg, who thumped the Netherlands 12-2 on Saturday night. And the Swedes overcame a shocking Scottish four-ender in the eighth end to score four unanswered points of their own, including two steals.
Wood's first loss drops her squad to 2-1, tied with Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
The Germans, skipped by veteran Andrea Schoepp were stunned 8-3 by England's Kristy Balfour, whose modest goal at the championship is to finish no lower than seventh, thus avoiding a return to next year's Euro B-Division.
"My coach told me before the game this is like a football match, England versus Germany," said a delighted Balfour, who climbed to 1-2.
"I'm not a footy fan myself, but he's a massive fan. And this was a massive result for us."
Italy's Diana Gaspari also pulled an upset, defeating Switerland's Mirjam Ott (1-2) by a 7-4 count.
Denmark won their first match 8-1 over Russia to put both squads at 1-2. The Czech Republic is winless at 0-3.
In men's action, Switzerland's Stefan Karnusian moved to 3-0 with an 8-3 win over Germany (2-1) following his 10-5 victory over Ireland. The Irish (1-2) then lost 7-4 to Spain's Antonio de Mollinedo (1-2) while Scotland's David Murdoch, the defending European champion, picked up two wins, a 13-1 demolition of Spain and a 9-0 drubbing over the struggling Czech Republic (0-3).
Norway's Thomas Ulsrud recovered from a wild 12-8 loss to Germany to post a 10-3 victory over France (1-2) to sit at 2-1. Denmark is the fourth team with a 2-1 record, following a win over the Czechs and a loss to Sweden, who are now at 1-2.
Action continues with a Sunday night men's draw available for viewing at the Eurosport Player, at player.eurosport.com, followed by four full draws of curling on Monday, from 08:00 to 23:00 local time.
Curling fans can see all these draws with special discounted Eurosport Player subscription codes listed at the World Curling Federation website (at www.worldcurling.org) and the event website (at www.ecc2008.se).
Live scoring can be viewed at www.cuponline.nu
Game feeds and highlight packages are also available from World Curling Television (WCTV), which will produce Monday night's SWE-CZE men's game for High-Definition broadcast on Eurosport.