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Tuesday, 12 February, 2002, 21:03 GMT

GB fall short against Sweden

By BBC Sport Online's Mike Haggerty in Salt Lake City

Click here for women's draw two results

Although it was a much better team performance than in their opening win against Norway, Rhona Martin's curlers went down to a 4-7 defeat at the hands of Sweden in their second round-robin game at Ogden.

This was the first win for the Swedish team, led by four times world champion Elisabet Gustafsen, as they lost their opener against Canada, but the British quartet matched them throughout the game.

The loss came down to two cruel British mistakes in the third and ninth ends.

Sweden started with the crucial last stone advantage and opted to blank the first end.

However, with the same option open to them, they opted to draw for a single in the second.

The first of the two British mistakes came in the third end when a take-out attempt by Fiona MacDonald, Britain's second player, missed, and this eventually led to a single steal for Sweden and a 2-0 lead.

But Martin bounced back to score two in the fourth end with a solid hit and stay for one shot, and a successful umpire's measure for the second.

Sweden then scored a single in the fifth to go into the break 3-2 up.

The teams swapped singles in the next two ends and then Martin levelled again at 4-4l with another good hit and stay for one shot.

Until this stage, British had bee doing all the attacking, but the ninth end proved their undoing.

Martin's second shot - an attempt to freeze onto a Swedish counter - was too heavy and went through the house, leaving Gustafsen with a straightforward draw to anywhere in the house to score two.

This put the game beyond Britain, especially when, in the 10th end, they could not get sufficient cover behind guards to yield the two shots needed to put the game into an extra end.

Britain eventually ran out of stones with one Sweden shot in the house and a final score of 4-7.

After the game, while acknowledging her team's improvement, Martin said: "It was better than yesterday, but not good enough".

"The ice straightened up," she said of her crucial mistake in the ninth end

"I thought I'd taken the right ice to play the right shot, but it just straightened up - it's annoying".

Trying to be positive, team coach Russell Keiller said: "We were competitive against a very good team and that's the main thing".


  • Women's draw two results:

    United States 8-7 Japan
    Switzerland 7-6 Russia
    Sweden 7-4 Britain
    Canada 6-5 Norway

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