David Murdoch insists conditions took him and the rest of the Scottish team by surprise as they opened up their 2013 European Curling Championships with a defeat.
Scottish skip Murdoch was up against Denmark and Rasmus Stjerne in their opener in Stavanger, Norway, as the 35-year-old – already chosen to represent Team GB at the 2014 Winter Olympics – looked to lay down a marker ahead of Sochi with this the last major championships before the Games.
However Murdoch and Scotland got off to a poor start after allowing the Danes to steal three in the first end.
From here on out Scotland were playing catch-up and although they managed to level the scores at 3-3 by scoring singles in each of the next three ends, Denmark got their noses back in front after scoring two in the fifth.
Scotland pegged them back with a single in the sixth end but Denmark replied by scoring four in the seventh.
Murdoch again fought back and scored two in the eighth but after Stjerne grabbed another for Denmark in the ninth the Scots conceded the match, losing 10-6.
And Murdoch admitted that an aggressive approach in the first end had left Scotland with a mountain to climb with the ice much different to what they expected.
“The ice is really new and it really caught us out in the first end,” Murdoch said, whose Scotland team face off against Russia in their next match.
“We like to be fairly aggressive but in hindsight we probably could have done with an open end in the first just to get a feel for the ice.
“It took a bit of working out and it certainly favoured the team that was ahead, that’s for sure.
“It was very difficult to find a place for the broom, but we just need to sharpen up.
“That wasn’t good enough but we’re not going to beat ourselves up about it. The Danes are a good team and we just need to get a grip of the ice a bit better.
“When it’s fresh like that, everyone’s guessing, but we didn’t guess well enough.”
© Sportsbeat 2013