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Last Updated: Monday, 13 February 2006, 20:44 GMT
GB men's curlers claim second win
GB men's skip David Murdoch
Skip Murdoch led Britain to the opening win
Britain's men's curlers made a winning start to their Olympic campaign with two victories on the opening day.

After beating inexperienced Italy 7-5 in the morning, skip David Murdoch's team held off a New Zealand fightback to win their second game 10-5.

Britain had raced to a 5-1 lead against their Kiwi opponents after rattling off four points in the third end.

The gap was reduced to 5-4 before Britain pulled clear again with three in the seventh before sealing the win.

Earlier, the medal hopefuls comfortably eased past rank outsiders, Italy, who only qualified as Games hosts.

They were always in control and Murdoch sacrificed the eighth and ninth ends to retain the last stone for the 10th and final end.

But a mistake by Italian skip Joel Retornaz before then handed the match to Britain.

"There are definitely a lot of things we can improve upon, and we had a few slack shots out there," Murdoch said after the first game.

"It is important to get a good start whenever you go to a championship, because it makes a big difference.

"The boys were up for it and a little nervous - which helps their game. Our game-plan worked, and we really had the game by the scruff of its neck."

In other action the US men trounced defending Olympic champions Norway 11-5.

The Americans scored a whopping five points in the eighth end and forced Norway to concede with two to go.


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