European Junior Curling Tour - Oslo October 24-26
12 men’s and 8 women’s teams signed up for the first ever EJCT event.
The men played a Round Robin in 2 groups of 6 teams where the group winners qualified directly for the semi finals, and the second and third ranked teams had to play quarter finals for the two remaining spots.
The format for the women should have been the same, but this time they played in two groups of four teams, and all of them eventually qualified for the quarter finals; may be not too exciting but this way all teams got at least four matches.
After some informal discussions a short brake after four ends and one time out were introduced. The Swedes and Norwegians are used to that, and I think this should be allowed in the events to come. In my experience many time outs are called a rock or two too late when the mess is complete, but the coaches on junior level are there to help develop the tactical skills and should get these opportunities to guide their teams when the going gets tough.
The Scotch turned up in numbers and 5 teams with coaches arriving and leaving at the same time, 04.00 a.m. Monday morning to be exact, turned out to be a huge problem for the shuttle service. To feed 100 youngsters was another challenge. An elderly couple actually complained to the hotel that they emptied the breakfast buffet, but still they could eat 46 breads with cold cut at the arena in addition to 250 hot dogs, 150 hamburgers and generous helpings of taco Saturday evening. Wow! I hope food is cheap in Inverness and Hamburg…
None of the above Scotch’s made it to the final, so you still have some work to do, Rhona.
Glen Muirhead’s rink disappeared before the play off partly thanks to an unfortunate last rock against Mario Freiberger from Switzerland, peeling out the shot in addition to his own second shot leaving a Swiss counter at the edge of the 12 foot to loose the tied match.
Mario still needed the only tie breaker of this tournament to get to the quarter final, where they eliminated the last remaining Scottish men’s team, Graeme Black, to get to the final.
The biggest Norwegian hope, Kristian Rolvsjord, went undefeated through the Round Robin, but got their second defeat against the Swedish favourites Kristian Lindström in two weeks, and had to settle for third spot in the tournament after a tight match against Graeme’s rink.
In the final Kristian Lindström recorded his second win against Mario Freiberger this week end and is currently topping the EJCT standings. Well done Sweden!
The Swedish team Emma Berg and the only German hope Frederike Templin defeated one Scottish team each in the women’s semi finals, leaving them to battle it out in the bronze final where Claire Hamilton won the tight match against Hannah Flemming for third spot.
The two Norwegian teams, without any wins in this tournament, was seated at the stands watching one of their opponents in the European Junior Challenge in January, Frederike Templin, win the final by 5-2. She will be tough to beat, but luckily we play for two spots!
Andrew Ferguson-Smith, Vice President of ECF, had taken the trip from Andorra to witness this very first EJCT-event, and expressed a strong support of this initiative from WTC-E.
He presented the prizes, and made his first, of hopefully many, attempt to pronounce the name Rolvsjord. Don’t worry, Andrew, I cannot pronounce it properly either. It goes something like “Ræschjo’n” I’ve been told. It’s easier after a couple of G&T’s…