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Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 20:04 GMT

GB men fight back

Click here for men's draw four results

It took a bold selection decision, and they had to endure the scare of conceding a three in the first end, but Britain's curling men finally recorded their first win when they beat table-topping Germany by 7-6.

Following their third successive defeat in an extra end to Norway's Pal Trulsen, the British team remains just one defeat away from losing out on a semi-final place.

In the team de-brief after that game, British skip Hammy McMilan suggested he should sit out the crucial game against Germany.

After some reluctance, coach Mike Hay agreed and promoted normal third player Warwick Smith to skip and brought in alternate Norman Brown at three for his first game.

Hay must have wondered what he had done when, after Smith missed a double-take out, German skip Sebastian Stock executed a straightforward draw to score three in the first end.

However, the British foursome dug in, scoring a two in the second end when Smith made a good hit and stay, and then stealing singles in the next two ends to give themselves a 4-3 lead.

German skip Stock pulled off a high-risk promote shot on one of his own stones lying outside the house to score two in the fifth end for a 5-4 halftime lead.

However, he wrecked his last stone in the sixth end on a front guard, allowing Smith the luxury of an open draw for three and a 7-5 lead.

After this, Stock made a pressure shot in the seventh end to draw for one, inside five British stones lying in the house.

From this point on, and with last stone advantage, the British stayed in control, blanking end after end, thanks to some excellent clearance work by third Norman Brown in particular.

Eventually, Smith cleared the final German stone in the tenth end to claim a welcome first victory.

Afterwards, McMillan said: "I'm very happy that we've got our first win under our belts. It was me who was struggling in the first three games, so the decision had to be made".

The British men now have a bye in the next round before facing Finland and then Denmark - two more games that they simply must win.

  • Men's draw four results:

    Norway 7-6 Great Britain
    Sweden 9-5 Denmark
    Finland 6-5 Switzerland
    Germany 9-8 US

    Men's draw five results: Canada 8-1 France
    Britain 7-6 Germany
    Sweden 7-6 Switzerland
    Norway 6-5 United States

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