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Curling: First-day defeats

The Scottish men's and women's teams both lost their opening games at this year's Le Gruyere European Curling Championships, which got under way yesterday in Karlstad, Sweden.

Tom Brewster's men lost 6-5 to the Czech Republic, while, in another tight encounter, defending European champion Eve Muirhead and her team went down 5-3 to Switzerland's reigning world champions.

After his defeat, world silver medallist Brewster said: "That was a soft loss. We were a wee bit unfortunate but they took their chances. The ice was good but we made heavy weather of it, so we just need to take the positives and move on."

Muirhead, meanwhile, had a chance to win her game with her last stone but her strike shot pushed stones around the house the wrong way to give one shot and the game to the Swiss.

Like Brewster, though, she was far from despondent.

"It was a good kind of game to get settled in and get the hang of the ice," she said. "At the end of the day it could have gone either way."

On her last-stone loss, she added: "It was a tough shot for the two, but it was just one of those things."

The Scottish men now go on to play Germany, who also lost their opener, 10-5 to Denmark, while the Scottish women have two games today, against Italy and then Finland.

Mike Haggerty

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