sport

Mixed day for men's curling team

Defeat on Monday evening to Sweden made it a mixed opening day for Great Britain's men's curling team at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

David Murdoch's rink of Scots had begun their round-robin fixtures at the Ice Cube Curling Center by beating hosts Russia 7-4 in the morning, but they came undone in their second match as world champions Swedes, skipped by Niklas Edin, triumphed 8-4.

GB claimed a point in the first end but conceded two in the second, and the same pattern followed for the fourth and fifth before Sweden put themselves out of sight, responding to a further point for their opponents in the seventh by scoring four in the eighth, with Murdoch's men subsequently notching a consolation in the ninth.

Murdoch tried to play down what was a comprehensive defeat by one of the competition favourites.

"We need to put that to one side, a loss to the world champions isn't the end of the world," he said.

"We are one-and-one for the day and tomorrow is a new day.

"There are a lot of tough teams here and it just shows that when you don't play your best game you are going to be chasing a lot of ends and that is not what you want to do.

"You need to take control of the ends and bossing teams around, just as we did against Russia, and we didn't quite do that.

"We didn't get the placement of our stones in the right position and that just happens. Sometimes you have a game like that."

Murdoch conceded that losing four in the eighth end to increase the points deficit to five was effectively the end of the game.

He said: "You are really gambling by the eighth end, you are one down without hammer so you are looking at a steal.

"So you have to take a lot chances. You hope they have a little bit of a miss and you have to be perfect.

"If you don't get either of those then you lose a big one."

GB's first game saw them go in front in the second end, opening up a 2-0 lead, before the Russians, roared on by a vociferous crowd, pulled a point back in the fifth.

GB responded by surging 6-1 ahead in the following end, and although their opponents reduced the deficit, they were unable to save themselves from losing a contest in which Murdoch had 100 per cent accuracy.

Murdoch led his rink on to the ice behind a group of Russian bagpipers playing Scotland the Brave - as did his GB women's team counterpart Eve Muirhead later in the day for their clash with Sweden, which they lost 6-4.

Next up for GB men is an encounter with Germany on Tuesday.