ASSURED START FROM MUIRHEAD AT EUROPEAN CHAMPS
Two-time former winner Eve Muirhead eased her way into the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships as she led her rink to a solid 7-4 win over Norway’s Team Skaslien in their opening match in Helsingborg.
Muirhead, an eight time medallist at this event and this season’s new formation of Vicky Wright, Jen Dodds and Lauren Gray fell 3-1 behind early on, after their opponents stole a shot at the fourth end and they were still trailing at the halfway stage.
However, they re-grouped at that point and dominated the second half of the match.
“It was a little bit of a momentum building kind of game,” the skip said afterwards.
“We maybe started off with a few slack shots here and there. We weren’t making the bread and butter shots, but we came onto a pretty good game in the second half, so the coach’s patter at half time must have done a little bit for us, because the second half of the game was definitely a lot stronger than the first.
“We put the pressure on them to make the crucial shots and they maybe came away with a couple of half shots and we capitalised.”
Also a former world champion, the vastly experienced Muirhead knows exactly what is required to win at the highest level and, for all that it was far from a perfect performance, is satisfied with the way they opened their account.
“I think over time and championships I always find that once you get the first game under your belt, as a skip I can read the ice a little bit better now, I know what it’s going to do.”
She reckons that task should get easier as conditions in the Swedish arena improve.
“I do think the ice is still pretty slow out there, so it is tricky, but as games go on and draws keep going on it’s going to become a lot easier in that way and it’s always good to get the first one under the belt and learn from that,” Muirhead observed.
Scotland’s women take on Denmark tomorrow.
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Images: © WCF / Richard Gray / Celine Stucki