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Monday, 18 February, 2002, 00:17 GMT

GB semis hope on hold

Click here for women's draw ten results

BBC Sport Online's Mike Haggerty sees the GB women throw away their chance to secure a semi-final berth.

Rhona Martin's women's team remain one final step away from clinching a semi-final slot, following a tense extra end 5-6 defeat by hosts USA at Ogden's Ice Sheet.

The British women have five wins, alongside Switzerland and USA, and now face Germany in their final round-robin game, a match they have to win to make sure they qualify.

Britain opened the game by scoring a single in the first end and USA responded with their own single in the second.

Martin then blanked the third end, but had to settle for just another single in the fourth when her final shot rolled out of the house.

Once again USA levelled with a single in the fifth, but Britain moved ahead in the sixth when Martin delivered an accurate draw with her second shot.

USA took another single in the seventh end to cut the British lead to 4-3, and in the eighth, Martin deliberately hit and rolled out to blank again and retain last stone advantage.

She used this to score one in the ninth, although she was a bit fortunate.

"These are the toughest games to lose. We lost control in the tenth and should never have let them score two "
Rhona Martin, GB skip

Although Martin's first stone wrecked on front guards, Britain were still lying one when Martin came to play her second stone.

She then decided to deliberately throw that one through the back of the house rather than risk disrupting a finely-poised situation and accidentally give away some shots.

However, the British quartet got themselves into trouble in the tenth end while American skip Kari Erickson kept her nerve to draw her last stone into the house for two, to level the game and force an extra end.

No option

By this stage, the capacity audience was on its feet, rooting for the home team, and the tension mounted throughout the extra play.

When she came to play her last stone, once again US skip Erickson showed nerves of steel and delivered it into the four-foot ring, covered inside three British counters.

This left Martin with no option but to attempt to promote one of her own stones to take out the American shot.

She got the angles wrong and just missed, giving USA a 6-5 win that keeps their slim qualification hopes alive.

Afterwards, Martin said, "these are the toughest games to lose. We lost control in the tenth and should never have let them score two. Having said that, the US skip played very well".

Speaking about her winning shot, American skip Kari Erickson said, I got lucky by having a second chance at the shot I took on the first time and this time I was able to make it perfect."

Looking forward to her crunch game against Germany, Rhona Martin said,"it's another day, but we still have every chance of making it. I need to play well and win against Germany".

  • Women's draw ten results:

    USA 6-5 Great Britain
    Japan 7-6 Russia
    Norway 9-4 Denmark

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