It turns out that third time is not the charm for a team of local curlers.
After winning the B.C. Mens Masters championship for the last two years, a local rink had their luck run out, losing to the eventual champion in the semi final matchup at a tournament in Abbostford.
The team, comprised of Ralph Will, Gerry Kent, Peter Sweetman and Laddie Pavlis, curled their way through round robin with a hot start, winning their first three games before suffering a few close loses.
Winning their last round-robin game put them into the playoff bracket, where they took the first qualifier, but fell in a close 7-6 score to a rink out of the host curling club led by Keith Switzer.
“We got off to a good start, we won our first three games, but then we lost three close games in a row after that,” said Kent. “Those games could’ve gone either way, but after that, we managed to get into the playoffs by winning our last game against Keith Switzer.
“The semifinal was close, it went to an extra end, and Ketih Switzer made a nice rock to win.”
Switzer, an old curling teammate of Kent’s many years ago in Vancouver, went on to the finals where he needed another extra end to win 8-7 to clinch the championship.
“Keith has a strong team, so I think they’ll do well at the nationals,” Kent added.
Kent’s team has won provincials the last two years running, and have gone on to the national championship, finishing fourth in both tournaments.
“We were hoping for a three-peat, which hadn’t been done before in the men’s masters, just fell a bit short. We had good games, every game we lost was close, so we felt that we were a contender and we enjoyed our week, apart from the losing,” Kent joked.
The Will Rink opened with three wins at scores of 5-3, 6-2 and 7-1 before experiencing some tough losses. The next two matches were close, as the Will Rink fell 4-3 and 9-8, while also suffering a 10-6 loss. They won their next two games, including a match against the Switzer rink, to get into playoffs.
Running alongside the men’s masters championship in Abbotsford was the women’s masters, which also featured a team from Cranbrook.
However, the ladies, including Joan Fiedler, Joy Walker, Christine Knight and Ruth Persson, had a tough go, with a record of two wins and five losses.
After going on a tough run of five losses, the ladies were able to finish strong by winning their final two games at 6-5 and 9-5.