sport

Curlers fight back for victory

Great Britain's men's curling team produced an impressive 8-6 win over Denmark to keep their winning run at the Sochi Winter Olympics going.

GB's round-robin campaign had been gaining considerable momentum prior to the clash, with David Murdoch's all-Scottish rink having triumphed in four of their five games and last three in a row, but they made a slow start against the Danes, who had the hammer first and were 5-1 up after the fifth end.

GB bounced back with three points in the sixth and two in the eighth that levelled the score at 6-6, before a steal in the ninth took them 7-6 ahead.

And Denmark then once again failed to take advantage of the hammer in the 10th, with skip Rasmus Stjerne Hansen's final shot handing Murdoch's men another stolen point and victory.

Giving his reaction afterwards to what had unfolded at the Ice Cube Curling Center, skip Murdoch said: "It was an incredible game.

"I don't think I've come out with an adrenaline rush like that from a game of curling in a long, long time - not since winning the World Championship (with a Scotland rink) in 2009.

"It was just outrageous out there tonight, with the noise in the stadium from Russian fans, the ice conditions changing a little bit and the way the game was.

"There was a huge momentum swing after that sixth end.''

Although, with several Danish stones in the house at the time, Stjerne Hansen's final delivery was ultimately a misjudged effort that would have won his team the match if it had come off, Murdoch was in no doubt that it had been a case of GB simply making life too difficult for their opponents.

"When you see the amount of pressure we forced at the end there, there was no luck in it,'' the 35-year-old three-time Olympian said.

"We got off to a bad start, but there was no luck in those last five ends.

"That was just sheer determination that I've never seen before from a team like that. It was great to be a part of, and I'm really proud of the guys.

"We really believe in ourselves. The confidence is sky-high with this team and it is just a great feeling. If we can just keep that confidence and keep sharp, we are dangerous.''

Asked about the opening five ends, Murdoch said: "We weren't actually doing much wrong.

"Some of our stones were tracking, the ice was just a little different tonight and we were just getting caught out.

"But we need to smarten up - we can't play like that tomorrow.''

Saturday's action sees GB, now joint-first in the round robin standings along with China and Sweden, take on fourth-placed Canada, the Vancouver 2010 gold medallists.

The top four rinks after all 10 teams have played each other once will progress to the semi-finals.