Skip John Maday rode out the final stones in relative comfort after seven hard-fought ends with Mike McCully’s rink to claim the ‘A’ final of the Fort Rupert Curling Club’s Mixed Bonspiel last weekend.
The two finalists made it through at the head of a dozen rinks after two day’s of round-robins to go head-to-head in Sunday’s finals.
A pivotal seventh end gave Maday and his rink of Meagan Cadwallader and Mike and Naomi Stead the advantage to take into the final end.
McCulley had the hammer and what looked like one scoring in the house after some precise drawing by Laina Hunko, Brendan Brown and Jenny Mitchell. A neighbouring Maday rock made it tough to call though, and would have forced a measurement. Trailing by one, McCully’s rink debated the shot before electing to try a tap on Maday’s rock to score two. The skip was an inch off however and pushed his own rock back to leave Maday scoring one.
With a two-rock lead in the eighth, Maday was content to play take-out and sat with two in the house by the time the skips took up their rocks. McCulley was left to try a near-impossible, billiards-style carom on a well-guarded house with the hammer but couldn’t unseat Maday.
Maday had struck first in the final, scoring two in the first end and stealing one in the second to run out to an early lead.
McCulley, who skipped the winning rink in last year’s mixed bonspiel, took singles on the next three in succession to tie the scores before Maday regained a one point lead in the sixth.
Watching the McCulley rink debate doing the seventh, Maday was asked who was scoring. “It’s close,” said the skip. “I hope it’s him. I’d give up one and take the hammer.”
As it was, he didn’t need it and the two-shot lead was enough to ease through the last end.
In the ‘B’ final, Mark Hutchinson’s rink successfully defended a one shot lead in the final end from Courtenay’s Terry Anonson.
Anonson’s rink had a huge fifth end, scoring three to take a one point lead before back-to-back singles from the home rink put them back in front. Anonson’s hammer in the eighth couldn’t slip past the guard and left Hutchinson with one on the button for the win.
On the ‘C’ final sheet, a four-shot sixth and single seventh saw Brad Groening’s rink rally to even the scoring with Gene Cadwallader’s rink ahead of a deciding eighth. Cadwallader used the order to full effect to play take-out and claim the win.