Olympic bronze medallist Eve Muirhead has vowed not to read too much into her Scottish rink’s opening defeat at the European Curling Championships in Switzerland.
Muirhead went perfect through the round-robin stages at last year’s Europeans before settling for silver but couldn’t get the better of Denmark’s Lene Nielsen in the first match of the 2014 edition.
The Scottish rink of Muirhead, fellow Olympic bronze medallists Anna Sloan and Vicki Adams and newcomer Sarah Reid went down 7-6 to Nielsen after a tight affair in Champery.
Nielsen scored two in the second before Muirhead played a controlled draw In the fourth to score three for a 3-2 lead, although the Dane was back ahead at 4-3 after the fifth.
Muirhead retook the lead 5-4 in the sixth but, once relinquished again in the seventh with a single score, the Scottish rink were never in front again and Denmark would open up with a 7-6 victory.
Having won all nine round-robin matches last year, Muirhead settled for silver after losing to Sweden in the final, but she isn’t too concerned by their early defeat in Switzerland.
She said: “We had a shot to win the game and we had another attempt in the ninth, so we know if we miss those simple shots and we’re still in the game then we’re not far away.”
Scotland face a double header on Sunday with Latvia and the Czech Republic on the schedule and Danish skip Nielsen admitted that luck was on her side in their opening match.
“There were difficult conditions out there and both teams struggled,” she said. “Fortunately we came out on top so right now I’m just very happy.
“I got a few breaks where she didn’t. We were just lucky that we were the ones that won.”
In contrast, Scotland’s men – skipped by David Edwards, who beat Olympic silver medallist David Murdoch and his rink to earn the right to play at the Europeans – started with a bang.
They beat current world champions Norway 8-6 and international debutant Edwards couldn’t hide his delight with getting the better of Thomas Ulsrud in Switzerland.
“That was fantastic. We knew when we came here it was going to be a tough start against Norway,” he said.
“I don’t think a lot of people expected us to win that game so to come out with a win is fantastic. It was nice to settle the nerves and get a win on the board.”
© Sportsbeat 2014