PORT McNEILL — Connie Cote’s rink was the fastest draw to the button and outdueled Debbie Balcke for the A title in the shootout at the Broughton Curling Corral — also known as the Ladies Open Bonspiel.
The annual spiel boasted a “Country Strong” theme, and players from the 10 local rinks who attended sported an array of representative costumes, from Cote’s basic cowboy hat-and-bandana ensemble to Michelle Beaulieu’s holster and tin star to Nicole Townsend’s “cow girl” outfit of a cow costume, complete with jutting udders.
Cote and her rink of Townsend, Mary Mills and Naomi Garrity rustled up their A final win in impressive fashion, netting two points in the second end, three more in the fifth and four in the seventh to force handshakes with Balcke, Mitchell, Beaulieu and Karen Cessford, who managed just single points in the third and sixth ends.
“We’ve had enough torment,” joked Mitchell.
“We have a new third this year, who’s back after a few years away,” Cote said of Townsend. “We’ve done well this season.”
The B final went to the rink of veteran Lori Richards, who built a 6-2 lead before earning handshakes from Shelley Frost on a pickup in the sixth end.
Richards’ rink included first-time bonspiel participant Tina Scott at lead, fill-in Wanda LeBlanc at second and Nancy Stephenson, curling for the first time in third position.
Frost’s rink included Marcia Soper, Val Doucette and Tanya Friman.
In the C Final, Brenda Drummond’s rink of Mel Wilson, Jen Barolet and Eileen Lovestrom downed Maggie Loland’s rink, including Shirley Williams, Denise Blid and Stephanie Manke, forcing handshakes with a sixth-end pickup on top of a 6-4 lead.
When the competition was completed and the gear stowed in their saddlebags, there was just one thing remaining.
“I’ll meet you at the watering hole,” Stephenson said.