BY IAN THORPE
This past weekend, the final Grand Slam of Curling event officially brought another curling season to its end. On the men’s side of the competition, Brad Gushue’s team from Newfoundland and Labrador ended their season as they began it – with a Grand Slam win. Gushue’s squad had notable successes this season, including winning the Brier. But also some disappointments, as when they lost the final of the world men’s competition to Sweden. Still, things ended well for them as they claimed the tour’s Champions Cup.
With local curling, an awards night was held at the Nanaimo Curling Centre recently to recognize top teams from men’s leagues. One of the organizers was Kyle Sedola, coordinator of the Tuesday night league this past season. He reports that the league had 22 teams split into three squares of competition during the year, with top teams determined for each square.
Winning the A square trophy was Sedola as skip, along with his team of third Kyle Don, second Steve Anderson and lead Colton Angell. Tops in B square was the team of skip Rick Ringma, third Mike Gallo, second Scott Maclean, lead Don Lutes and fifth man Colin Morgan. From C square the top team was skipped by Mac Pawliuk, who teamed with third Russ Pawliuk, second Todd Belton and lead Dylan McKinlay. Based on total points accumulated throughout the year, the overall Tuesday league aggregate champions were Sedola and his team.
The Thursday night men’s league featured a 16-team round-robin prior to teams being split into A and B squares for the final portion of the season. Skip Tim Cullen was a triple winner. Cullen and his team of third Mike Chahley, second Murray Norby, lead Greg Norby and fifth man Tony Wright, not only captured first place in the round-robin, but also the A square plaque and the league aggregate title.
Runner-up team in the round-robin section was that of skip Garry Smith, third Brian Cocks, second Patrick Belanger, lead Glyn Doyle and fifth man Tom Stromar. Second in the A square competition was skip Louie Papp and his team of third Paul Konyer, second Brendon Plamondon, lead Dave Bandy and fifth man Nick Mangano.
Going undefeated to win top honours in B square was the foursome of skip Kevin Franklin, third Bob Bryans, second Blair Franklin and lead Steven Franklin. Second place in B square went to skip Ian Cook and his teammates Gerry Roy, Ross Barnard and Lee Venables.
This year’s men’s club championship playoffs involved top teams from the Tuesday and Thursday leagues. The final came down to the Cullen team from Thursday league against the Dan Bailey foursome from Tuesday league. In an entertaining matchup the Cullen team emerged with a 6-3 win. Others on the club championship team were Mike Chahley, Murray Norby, Greg Norby and Tony Wright. Teamed with Bailey on the runner-up side were Aaron Kirkbride, Adam Coronica and Kevin Turner.
In a future column we’ll wrap up other curling award winners from other leagues.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.