It didn’t catch many Super League curlers off guard as Deane Horning’s 5N Plus rink won its fifth straight Kootenay Savings Super League title Thursday, with a 7-4 win over the Ferguson foursome.
The Rob Ferguson rink, without skip Rob, had the unenviable task of trying to stop the formidable 5N, which was also shorthanded with third Don Freschi away.
Ferguson third Brian Lemoel took over the helm and shot lights out in the early going, but a late miscue sealed his fate and brought another title to the Horning rink.
The first crack in Lemoel’s armour came in the ninth. With an open draw against two, and needing to bite the four foot, his last rock slid too far, giving Horning a steal of one and a 6-4 lead coming home without the hammer. 5N Plus then completed its great season by running Lemoel out of rocks for the steal and a 7-4 triumph.
The Horning rink begins its run for the men’s provincial title today in Parksville, and the Castlegar native attributes the Super League for the team’s ability to compete against some of Canada’s best curlers.
“Without this Super League, I don’t think it would be possible for us to play at the level we need to to get to the Brier,” said Horning, a three-time B.C. champion. “It’s some good competition, some good games, regular games, that we have to practice for. It’s essential for us, I don’t think we would probably even enter the playdowns if the Kootenay Savings Super League wasn’t there.”
After blanking the first end, Lemoel made a perfect come-around freeze in the four foot to sit second shot, forcing Horning to one in the second. Facing three Horning stones in the third, Lemoel made another perfect come around draw to the button for a single. Yet another perfect draw limited Horning to one in the fourth, and an incredible hit-and-roll behind cover in the fifth by young curling phenom Joey Ferguson put them in front 3-2.
Horning was forced into a wide come around draw to bite the four-foot tee line to try for two, but slid an inch too far, settling once more for a single point in the sixth.
Neither team could execute the hit and roll behind cover in the seventh, as Lemoel took one before Horning seized the lead for good in the eighth with a perfect straight back double take-out for two, to move ahead 5-4.
The B Final had Team Nichol, with third Rick Brown’s sons Darren and Nathan filling in for holiday relief, go against Team Fines in an entertaining, high-scoring affair. After Nichol stole two to take a commanding 10-6 lead in the seventh, the Fines rink mounted the comeback.
Fines put up three rocks around the top eight and twelve foots with Nichol throwing his last rock. With nothing in the four foot, but well guarded, Nichol attempted to hit three quarters of a Fines stone in the top twelve foot and roll to the four foot behind cover to lay two, but the rock over curled, jamming Fines rock on his second shot stone, and both of his rocks rolled out, gift wrapping Fines an open draw to the eight foot for a huge four ender to tie the game.
Nichol counted one in the ninth to make it 11-10, and Fines replied with his own single in the final end to make it an 11-11 tie. The teams were content to call it a draw and split the prize money, as pizza awaited in the clubhouse.
In the C event, Team Schmidt faced Team Albo in a close game until the sixth end. Distracted by the impending pizza feast, skip Desiree Schmidt missed a couple of open hits to leave Albo a draw for four, and a 9-3 victory, good enough for fifth spot in Super League play.
In the other C event final, Maglio Men’s team faced Maglio Ladies, with skip Russ Beauchamp suspiciously absent, third Don Bedard boldly took responsibility for a 10-5 drubbing of the Ladies team.
Both the Nichol rink with Trail’s Rick Brown as third, Terry Kryzcka second and lead Rob Babiarz, joins Maglio Ladies team with Christina Lake skip Teresa Hiram, third Rhonda Lee Bedard, second Rose Beauchamp, and lead Cindy Pettapiece a in the Senior Men’s and Women’s B.C. Championships starting Tuesday at the Trail Curling Club.
Another thank-you from all this years Super League curlers to Kootenay Savings Credit Union for their continued support of this league.