The British team beat the United States to secure a medal and a place in the curling final
Great Britain is poised for a medal in curling and will have a shot at winning gold against Sweden after beating the United States 8-4 in the men’s semifinal on Thursday.
Bruce Mouat and his team waited for the final shots in what was a very close encounter that went 6-4 until the last rock, but captain John Shuster couldn’t find any magic with his final attempt and the reigning champions are out.
With Sweden beating Canada 5-3 in the other semi-final, it means another intriguing match between the two nations in the final at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing on Saturday.
The British team will also face Sweden in the women’s curling semi-final, which is due to take place a day earlier.
As for the men’s final, Mouat and his team will have every confidence in success after beating their Scandinavian rivals 7-6 in the round robin earlier this week.
The game started in a tactical battle with neither team giving much, before USA stole two in the second end, Mouat’s final shot barely preventing three on the board in place. A quick turnaround ensued, with Shuster passing one in the third and giving GB a simple finish with the hammer to rack up three points themselves.
Shuster still made up for it in the fourth end, clipping GB’s stone with his last shot to turn a one-point deficit into a two-point advantage and reclaim the overall lead, 4-3.
Almost a mirror image played out in the fifth as play remained tense and close, with Mouat’s hammer cutting the United States rock to go up 5-4 at the halfway point and there were no more points in the next three ends, with both teams exchanging shots. and make sure they stayed in the tie.
A pair of errors by Chris Plys in the ninth end proved decisive, sending GB ahead by two points. After another tactical battle in the final end, with the USA having the hammer, Shuster’s final throw had too much power, cut his own stone and left two yellows to seal victory for Mouat and Great Britain – making the score look too flattering in the process. .
It’s now on to the weekend final for Mouat and company, where they know they’ll pick up at least a silver medal, but are hoping for a whole lot more.