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Monday, 18 February, 2002, 05:23 GMT

No wooden spoon for GB men

By BBC Sport Online's Mike Haggerty

Britain's men curlers avoided the infamy of finishing last in the round-robin group when they beat France by 7-3 in their eighth game for only their second win of the tournament in what was in effect a wooden spoon decider.

For this game, the British team reverted to the same line-up that they had used in the previous two games - Warwick Smith at skip, Hammy McMillan playing at third, second Ewan MacDonald and lead Peter Loudon, with alternate Norman Brown on the bench.

The British quartet took a two from the first end and were never headed after that.

France did respond with a two of their own to level in the third end but Britain scored a single in the fourth end and then a further two in the seventh to keep their opponents at bay.

While France scored another single point in the eighth end, Britain took singles in each of the last two ends for their victory.

They now conclude their programme against USA, who lost in the same session by 4-6 to Finalnd in a semi-final survival battle. While Finland still have a slender chance of qualifying this result ended the American campaign.

With only one session of play now left in the men's round-robin, three of the teams in the semi-finals have been decided.

Table topping Canada, sitting on seven wins and just one loss will be joined by Norway, Sweden and one other, although final placings will be determined by the results of the last session of play, with Switzerland, Germany and Finland still in the reckoning.

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