Muirhead's Scotland open with a victory at home European Championships

Muirhead's Scotland open with a victory at home European Championships
By Sportsbeat

19/11/2016 at 21:21Updated 19/11/2016 at 22:12

Eve Muirhead's Scottish rink opened their European Curling Championships campaign on a positive note thanks to a hard fought 6-5 victory over Italy.

The Scots made the most of home advantage in Glasgow's Braehead Arena, though it was a far from easy test against the Italians, pushed all the way in all ten regulation ends.

And it was Italy who had the lead, with single-point scores making the difference in the early stages to take a 3-2 advantage with three ends played on the ice.

But a powerful comeback helped Muirhead's side seize the initiative, taking three points in the very next end to hold a two-point lead, though Italy kept in touching distance to set up a nervy finish.

And skip Federica Apollonio came within a whisker of forcing an extra end, with her tap and roll attempt proving too heavy to claim the two points, forced to settle for one as Muirhead's rink took the win from their opening encounter.

"We played well out there but obviously, there's plenty room for improvement," said the 26-year-old.

"Italy played well too, they forced us to take our ones or saved themselves. I'm always happy to win the first game and I get to know what the ice is going to be like.

"The team's in great shape and it's all about putting it together. These major championships are always the time to test yourselves."

Scotland now have a Sunday double-header to look forward to, with Olympic silver medallists Sweden to come before they face Norway in the evening.

And it was those countries who played each other on day one, Sweden taking the spoils 9-5, with a strong first end to thank for the strength of their winning margin.

Denmark also enjoyed a good day beating Finland 8-2, with the same scoreline for Czech Republic in their success over Germany while Russia beat Switzerland 9-8.

Sportsbeat 2016