Muirhead's curling rink make positive start to European campaign

Eve Muirhead's Scottish rink opened their European Curling Championships campaign on a positive note thanks to a hard fought 6-5 victory over Italy.

The Scots made the most of home advantage in Glasgow's Braehead Arena, though it was a far from easy test against the Italians, pushed all the way in all ten regulation ends.

And it was Italy who had the lead, with single-point scores making the difference in the early stages to take a 3-2 advantage with three ends played on the ice.

But a powerful comeback helped Muirhead's side seize the initiative, taking three points in the very next end to hold a two-point lead, though Italy kept in touching distance to set up a nervy finish.

Skip Federica Apollonio came within a whisker of forcing an extra end, with her tap and roll attempt proving too heavy to claim the two points, forced to settle for one as Muirhead's rink took the win from their opening encounter.

"We played well out there but obviously, there's plenty room for improvement," said the 26-year-old.

"Italy played well too, they forced us to take our ones or saved themselves. I'm always happy to win the first game and I get to know what the ice is going to be like.

"The team's in great shape and it's all about putting it together. These major championships are always the time to test yourselves."

Scotland now have a Sunday double-header to look forward to, with Olympic silver medallists Sweden to come before they face Norway in the evening. Meanwhile the men's team, led by Tom Brewster, ended the day on a high after beating Norway 8-7 after an extra end. Scotland, who had lost their first encounter to Denmark 8-3 in the opening session of the Championships, battled hard in the evening session in a close contest with the Norwegians. And after good work by his team, including a double take out by third player Glen Muirhead, Brewster was left with a nose-hit to score the one point in the extra end for the win. Brewster said: "That was an Important win, they’re a great team. I was frustrated when we gave away a three in the fourth end but we stuck in there. We’re a good team too and I think we’re in good shape now.”

Scotland play defending champions Sweden in their only game on Sunday.

Sportsbeat 2016