While bronze proved to be a bridge too far for Scotland’s women at the World Curling Championships, skip Eve Muirhead knows it is still early days for her team.
The Scots went up against Russia in the bronze-medal play-off game in Sapporo but were up against it from the start and were always chasing the coattails of Anna Sidorova’s troops who finished 13-4 winners.
The Russian skip played a double take-out in her first effort of the opening end before tapping back another Scottish stone with her second to score five points.
From then on it was always going to be a battle for Muirhead but she got her team on the board in the second end with a hit and stay.
But that was a momentary reprieve for the Scots who saw Russia take a 7-1 lead by the end of the fourth.
It was more of the same in the fifth as Muirhead had a complete miss with her second stone to give up three and hand the Russians a 10-1 advantage.
By then the match was gone and the Russians marched on to reclaim the bronze they won last year.
But Muirhead put the result into perspective and believes the season has been positive for her team.
“It wasn’t even a bad first end, the five came out of nowhere and as soon as it happened we were chasing the game,” she said.
“It’s just not been our week. We haven’t been consistent enough, and that’s been the story of our year.
“We’ve got to remember it’s a new team and this comes on the back of having a good Olympic Games – it was always going to be tough.
“It’s still not been a bad season – we’ve won two Grand Slams out in Canada. Yes, the world championship is the competition that you build your season round and unfortunately this year it just wasn’t to be.”
© Sportsbeat 2015