Curling - Muirhead misses difficult final shot as Scotland start with defeat

Scotland's women's curling team were denied an opening day victory at the European Championships as world champions Switzerland proved too strong.

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Scotland skip Eve Muirhead

Scotland's Eve Muirhead opened the defence of her title against the Swiss, led by Mirjam Ott, but despite a strong start the Scots were eventually edged out in Karlstad, Sweden.

After taking a 1-0 lead following the second end in the Group A clash, Scotland were 3-2 up past the half-way stage but failed to score in the final four ends.

The Swiss won 2-0 in the eighth to go 4-3 ahead leaving Muirhead needing to spin out a Swiss stone and score two to win in the tenth. But she ended giving a single steal to lose the match 5-3.

"It was a tough shot for the two," she admitted afterwards. "It's always difficult to settle for just the one when you have got a chance of a win.

"Looking at the way it spun, now I'm not so sure it was on."

Scotland's men, led by Tom Brewster, also opened with defeat as the World Championship runners-up were beaten 6-5 by the Czech Republic in Group A.

The Scots won the penultimate end 2-0 to draw level at 5-5 only to lose 1-0 in the tenth.

Later, they bounced back with a 7-2 win over Germany to get their campaign up and running.

Meanwhile, in Group B England's men were beaten 7-5 by Italy despite a brave attempt at a comeback.

Italy roared into a 4-0 lead by the fourth end, but England responded and were back to 6-3 behind at the end of the sixth.

England won the last two ends 1-0 but required more having fallen further behind in the seventh.

The English women's team, led by Fiona Hawker, started Group B in fine fashion with a 6-4 win over Estonia, only to be beaten 11-4 by Austria in their second outing.

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