Trail-Nelson rink captures Kootenay playdowns

The Senior Womens Kootenay Playdowns came down to a thrilling finish last weekend at the Grand Forks Curling Club

The Senior Womens Kootenay Playdowns came down to a thrilling finish last weekend at the Grand Forks Curling Club, with Marnie Matthews’ Trail-Nelson rink taking top spot.

The BC senior women’s qualifiers are a new rink that combines skip Marnie Matthews and third Rose Beauchamp from Trail and Nelson curlers Carol Bennett as second and Cathy McLeod lead.

Matthews and Beauchamp play in the Kootenay Savings Super League together, and teamed up with Bennett and McLeod for the playdowns.

“We put this team together just a few months ago, and went to the competition and won it,” said Beauchamp.

The Matthews rink completed a stunning eighth end comeback in the final, Sunday, to beat the Heather Nichol rink from Castlegar, 7-5, and win the Kootenay playdowns and a berth to the Senior Womens BC Curling championship next month.

Down 4-0 after two ends, Matthews counted one in the third end, and stole in the fourth.

Nichol made it 5-2 in the fifth, but Matthews made an unbelievable run scoring one in the sixth, and stealing a single in the seventh to make it 5-4 heading into the eighth and final end. With Nichol holding hammer, the Trail-Nelson foursome stole for a third time, scoring three for the 7-5 victory.

“We didn’t have much practice or play many games but we were able to pull it off in the end.”

The Matthews rink stumbled out of the gate dropping its first match against Creston’s Cherie Baker rink, before rebounding with a convincing 11-3 victory over the Nichol rink. Matthews broke open a tight 3-3 game, by counting three in the fifth, then stole two in the sixth and another three in the seventh for the victory.

However, Nichol went on to beat Baker in her second match by scoring three in the final end to steal a 9-8 victory, and leave all three teams tied with identical 1-1 records.

“All three teams ended up with one win so they did the draw to the button to see who got the bye into the final, and we got the bye into the final,” said Beauchamp.

In the semifinal, Nichol beat Baker 8-2 to advance to the final against Matthews.

The Matthews rink will have a little more time to practice before traveling to Richmond Feb. 15-21 for the B.C. Senior Womens Curling championship.

“We’re hoping to do as best we can,” added Beauchamp.

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