I got over to the finals of the Dominion Curling Club Championship yesterday and witnessed a couple of very good games, one with a rather strange conclusion.
First, the event. By all accounts – and I mean all accounts – this was a rip-roaring success. Every player I talked to simply gushed about the event, praising Dominion for its hospitality. There was wine tasting, beer tasting, a wings-and-beer night, dancing, carrying-on to the wee hours and more. It also looked as if Dominion gave every player a new broom too. Wow.
Also, host site St. George’s was done up to the hilt. They had the time clocks from the OCA above all six sheets and the rocks all had the hog line lights on the handles.
It was big time, all the way.
The finals were interesting. At first you forget these aren’t elite players as you’d expect in a national final. They’re talented club curlers and so there were some misses and some strange calls, but overall, the games were exciting.
The men’s final went to an extra end and Ontario’s Bob Stafford took the win in a close match.
The women’s was a wild affair. Ontario’s Kelly Cochrane got up 4-1, then surrendered a three when she decided not to peel off a corner guard (as I was saying about strategy). It ended up in an extra end and it was bizarre. One centre guard in play, that’s it. Cochrane throws her last rock, it looks a little hot, but it picks just as it goes over the hog line. All Manitoba’s Jackie Komyshyn has to do is find the paint.
She throws her rock and the red lights indicating hog line violation go off – even though it appeared she clearly let the stone go before the hog line (I was about 25 feet from her at the time).
In the second extra, Cochrane tries to go behind a corner with her last one but it hangs out. Komyshyn has an open hit and stick. She comes wide, it hangs and I’m thinking a hit and roll out and a third extra, but she hits it too thin and fails to remove it, rolling out her own. Ontario wins.
I suspect when all these teams head home this event will blossom. When news gets out about how well everyone was treated and great an event it was, there will be a scramble to try and get in it.
Good for Dominion for moving into the grass roots of the sport. There’s so much attention at the upper levels but this type of sponsorship is much more important these days in my opinion. A good event all around.