sport

GB curlers through to semis

GB's inconsistent wheelchair curlers booked their place in the semi-finals of the Winter Paralympics - but they needed help from Russia.

Aileen Neilson's rink could scarcely have made harder work of their progression, going down 6-3 to China in their final round-robin game and needing Russia's 7-4 success over Slovakia to secure their last-four spot.

Britain will now take on Russia, to whom they lost 11-2 on Wednesday, in Saturday's semi-final, with Canada and China contesting the other.

They will need to reverse their recent form, though, having lost three of their last five matches, including a British Paralympic record 13-4 defeat to Finland. Their pool record was won five, lost four.

Plenty of fighting spirit will be required to silence the home fans in the Ice Cube Curling Centre, but Britain have proved that is one quality they have in abundance.

They switched their line-up on Thursday, with Angie Malone, the only veteran from the silver medal-winning rink in Turin in 2006, coming in for Bob McPherson.

And, trailing 6-2 to the United States in their first game of the day, they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a sudden-death success.

A five-stone end for Britain in the seventh, from the hand of the skip, turned the match on its head.

The US levelled at 7-7 to force an extra end, but it was the British quartet who held their nerve to clinch an 8-7 victory.

The Chinese swiftly took the wind out of their sails by racing into a 6-1 lead in the next match and it looked like Britain would be heading for a tie-breaker when Slovakia led Russia 4-2.

But Neilson and her troops could breathe a sigh of relief when a three-stone end for Russia in the seventh turned that contest back in the hosts' - and in Britain's - favour.