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GB crush Slovakia as wheelchair curlers thrive in Sochi

on 10-03-2014 15:27

The ParalympicsGB wheelchair curlers made light work of the Slovakian opposition in their fourth match of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, forcing a previously unbeaten team to a heavy 12-2 defeat.

Slovakia, who sit below Great Britain in the world rankings, had a fantastic start to the round robin in Sochi, beating experienced teams from China, Finland and the USA to position themselves alongside double Paralympic and World Champions Canada at the top of the standings. 

Bolstered by two wins yesterday against Sweden and Korea, GB looked relaxed and confident heading onto the ice, clapping and singing along as the traditional pipers and drummers signalled the start of play.

GB chose to deliver the first stone and the first end was dominated with take-outs. With the advantage of the hammer, Slovakia made a positive start to score two points and take an early lead. GB responded by landing two stones in the house in the 2nd end to draw the game level.

The two teams continued to spar. In end 3, Slovakia used the hammer to take-out a GB stone which had landed neatly on the button, but with one stone left on the house GB edged ahead by one point. The positive run continued in end 4 and GB assumed a three point lead by the half-way stage.

In end 5, GB stole another point without the hammer to their advantage, as Neilson delivered her final stones with accuracy. Her poise contrasted to the Slovakian’s performance, which started to dip as GB applied the pressure.

Under Neilson’s leadership the GB curlers dominated end 6. They delivered their stones with precision, stealing 4 points against the hammer and further extending their lead with a score of 10-2. Another two points in end 7 closed the game and confirmed victory for ParalympicsGB.

"We had a lot of confidence from yesterday, so we came from that and started really strong." Aileen Neilson

Neilson, who delivered 93% accuracy in the game, said: “They’ve obviously been playing well but we had a lot of confidence from yesterday, so we came from that and started really strong and continued that throughout the whole game. In the other games we have maybe scored first, but it’s about being patient and as long as we can score in the next end, that’s always our goal.

"We’ll have a good night’s rest and get up in the morning in a really good positive frame of mind and look forward to it.” Aileen Neilson 

“In our next games with Finland and Norway we’ll take a lot of confidence from today. We’ll have a good night’s rest and get up in the morning in a really good positive frame of mind and look forward to it.”

With Canada suffering a narrow defeat to Norway this afternoon, no team remains unbeaten in the round robin with GB among the nations aiming to secure qualification through to the next stage of competition.

Play resumes in at the Ice Cube Curling Centre tomorrow at 09:30 local time when the team take on Finland. In their second match of the day (starting at 15:30 local time) they will play Norway.

The action also kicks off once more in Alpine Skiing from 09:30 local time, with Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans, Jade Etherington and guide Caroline Powell and Anna Turney back to compete in the women’s Super Combined, while Mick Brennan will be representing ParalympicsGB in the men’s competition. 

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