Monday, 7 January 2013

The final chapter??

Two games in Prague today for England and two defeats. In the morning the boys were up against arch-rivals, the Netherlands, with coach Andy Woolston hoping for a revenge for two defeats in Sweden last month. The Dutch took an early 2-0 lead before England struck back with a 3 and then a steal of 3 to lead 6-2 after 4 ends. However the Dutch boys got stuck in, put up guards and England's lead was whittled away - a 2 followed by a steal of one and another steal of one so that it was peels at 6-6 going into the last end.

Once again the Dutch put up the guards (by the end there were 11 stones in front of the house), but England had a stone in the house and an amazing last few stones were about to be played. First of all a raised take-out by the Dutch and then a great double raise tap up by England third Oliver Kendall before an even more spectacular angled double raise take-out by Dutch skip Floyd Koelewijn left Ben Fowler the England skip with an awkward draw to the edge of the 4 foot which he failed to make - Netherlands took one and the appreciative audience could breathe again.

So this was the end of England's campaign and a record of 1 win and 4 defeats is probably a bit harsh at the end of the day. Most of the games were close throughout and the final scores of 2-6, 3-7, 7-6, 6-7, and 3-5 reflect that.

Then it was the turn of the girls and once again Hetty Garnier played a superb Last Stone Draw of 6.1 centimetres to ensure that neither Denmark nor Hungary could top them if they could beat Turkey. The game started badly and it was only a brave draw to cut Turkey down from 5 to 1 that kept the game alive, even this early. Another great draw for 1 at the second end made it 1-1 but then the wheels kind of fell off the waggon a bit and the rest of the game was a struggle for England. They lost a 3 at the third end and then fell a further 1 behind at the 5th after blanking the 4th. A score of 2 in the 6th reduced the deficit to 3-5 and hopes rose but Turkey took one at the 7th and ran England out of stones at the 8th.

So both Turkey and England finished on 3-2 and now must await the results of tonight's games involving Denmark (v Poland) and Hungary (v Latvia) to see if they will have any further part in the Championships.

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