World Men's Curling Championship 2012 - Draw 11

New Zealand won their fourth game of the championship this evening Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Denmark disappointed what was the biggest crowd of the week so far when they beat the home favourites Switzerland by 9-4 in Tuesday evening’s 11th session of round-robin play at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland. The result all but puts to an end Switzerland’s slim hopes of reaching the weekend’s medal stages.

Switzerland controlled the first half of the game. They moved ahead in the second end when their fourth player Benoit Schwarz put up a raised angled take-out for two points, but Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne matched that in the very next end, when he drew to score two points and re-take the lead.

The Danes then dominated the second half and ran out winners. Afterwards, Stjerne said: “We’ve had a really bad streak, with three losses, so we really needed this win to bounce back. I feel as a whole team we’ve played really well this week. We’ve just been struggling to put the perfect last ends in, but that happened tonight and I’m happy now.”

Before they met Scotland in this session, China had only suffered one loss in the week, and again they became involved in a tight game. But the turning point came in the sixth end when, after two good freezes Scottish skip Tom Brewster was able to draw for three points and a lead he was never to lose, as the Scots eventually won by 7-6.

After this game, Brewster said: “They’re a good team. They missed nothing in the first two ends and I really thought we were on a sticky wicket.” Referring back to his morning defeat, he added: “I was disappointed this morning, I couldn’t get draw-weight, but we’re right back in the mix now.”

Because of their result against China, Scotland now join them in second place, alongside Sweden, who were pegged back when Norway beat them by 8-3. Sweden stayed competitive in the first half of this game, with skip Sebastian Kraupp playing an outstanding long raised double take-out to score one point in the fourth end.

But, in the sixth end, Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud scored three points with a controlled draw to lead by 4-1, and the Norwegians stretched that lead to 8-3 by the end of the game.
A pleased Ulsrud said after the game: “This is typical Norway – we start terrible and then we pick it up through the week – I hope we haven’t left it too late. This was a big game for us. We pretty much controlled the game - against Sweden, who are a great team.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand continued to play with smiles on their faces as they carved out an 8-5 win over the Czech Republic, a result that keeps them right in the mix for play-off places.
But the Czechs were no push-over, with skip Jiri Snitil scoring two points in the second end with a nice draw before New Zealand skip Peter de Boer hit in the seventh end to score three points and finally establish his team’s strong position.

Afterwards, skip de Boer joked: “If only it was as easy as that. That was a good game and they played well. We just managed to set up a good end in the seventh and that changed the game when we managed to get our three. It’s great to be here playing, we’re just enjoying every minute and it’s great fun.”

Session 11: Denmark 9, Switzerland 4; Scotland 7, China 6; Norway 8, Sweden 3; New Zealand 8, Czech Republic 5.

Standings after 11 sessions:

1. Canada 7-0
2. China 5-2
2. Scotland 5-2
2. Sweden 5-2
5. Norway 4-3
5. New Zealand 4-3
7. Denmark 3-4
7. France 3-4
9. Germany 2-5
9. USA 2-5
11. Czech Republic 1-6
11. Switzerland 1-6

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