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As the first 10 weeks of curling wind down to the Christmas break, the Tillsonburg Curling Club is already looking to the new year with plans to welcome more new curlers to the club and run another Curling Clinic which will include Game Strategy as well as Curling Skills.

If there are people who would like to begin curling in January memberships are available for the last three months of curling.

The club phonebooks and calendar are out so pick up your copy. Be sure to thank our sponsors for supporting this booklet. As you can see by the January calendar there are lots of events coming up which will need kitchen help, so get your names entered for a volunteer stint in the kitchen.

If you’re still looking for Christmas gifts for the curler in your life Jim Allen has ideas for you in the Plan B shop so check those out too. Don’t forget to purchase your New Year’s Eve tickets this week as the club is closed over Christmas.

The second draw of mixed curling finished with the team of Bill and Wendy Young pairing up with Lorna Law and Daryl Malcolm to win the draw with Randy DeClercq, Tracy and Larry Beattie and Lindee DeClercq finishing a close second in the league.

On Dec. 17, the Mixed league had a Fun Night with different ways of scoring each end which forced the skips to change their strategy in order to score. It was a fun night – thanks to the Mixed committee for the goodies at the end of the night. The Mixed committee is looking for a few more curlers to get the new draw started in January.

A men’s team went out to the Exmoor Curling Club Continental Bonspiel in Chicago a week ago. Actually it wasn’t a full team as Ken Patterson and Les Peter hooked up with Bill Wright of London and Mark Cretella of Chicago. The team got off to a rough start on Thursday losing both their games first to a team from Milwaukee and then one from Chicago. Friday, the guys regrouped and defeated a team from Cleveland. Saturday they continued their winning ways this time taking a game from one of the home club teams. This win put them into semifinals Sunday where they played in a really close game against the Fischer team from Ingersoll. The lead went back and forth until the 6th end where team Tillsonburg pulled ahead to take the win.

The win put them into finals of the C Event and they were up against a good team (Dave Gravell) from Pentanguishene. They must have blown all their good shots in semifinals as they ended up conceding the game in six ends. Though they ended the day in the loss column they were happy to return home with some “jewellery” as runners-up in the C event. They thought that was a pretty good placing with 46 teams in the 4-day event. This is the 8th year that Les has taken a team to the Continental where he continues to enjoy the other curlers he has met and the good times at the spiel.

Did you watch the Canadian Open Curling from Kelowna on the weekend? If you did, you know that the Glenn Howard team emerged as the winner running through all his competition winning eight straight games. Howard defeated another Ontario team in the semifinals, the Mike Kean rink from Annandale CC in TO. This rink has a local connection as Travis Fanset, the son of our iceman Dale, plays vice for Mike Kean. This team has been doing well on the circuit and this was the first time they have made it to a semifinal. Look for them in the Ontario playdowns. Of course with the way Howard is playing right now the Kean, Epping, and Corner rinks will have to be on the top of their game to get past him at Provincials.

The Recreational League is having their annual Food Drive for the Helping Hand Food Bank over these two weeks, so try to remember your cans when you come. The league will take a short break over the Christmas/New Year’s week, but Daryl and Lorna are hoping everyone will join them New Year’s Eve at the club. Tickets are going fast for this fun night, bring your friend’s.

According to the standings after seven games we seem to have a fight for first place between three teams who keep showing up week to week. Those are Mixed Bags, Rock U and Mighty Stone Chuckers, with Sheet Disturbers sneaking in there. Who’s in first seems to depend on which team had the best game that week.

Also sitting in the Top 8 are On the Rocks, Grumpy Old Men, Rolling Rocks, and Rock On. Some of these teams saw a big leap up the standings this week - like Grumpy because they had make-up games that have been finished and entered into the scoring. Sheet Disturbers, last year’s champs, are still hanging on to a Top 8 position despite a frustrating loss to T-Liners.

T-Liners sit in the middle of the next tier of eight teams holding on to 12th spot. In this tier Bandits, T-Liners and Odds and Ends have seen a good jump up the standings while Misfits and Wipe-Out and Rolling Stones have slipped well down from last week. Hot Rocks is sitting 9th at the top of the tier, slowly making a move upward and Housebroken are holding in 16th place. In the third tier of teams Barn Flies, Sweep This, and Burning the House Down have slipped from Tier 2 to 3. Rockbusters are holding in 19th with Chuggernauts and Flintstones exchanging positions. Chuggernauts posted a big win over T-Liners so should see a move up the scoresheet this week. Just think eight more games and we’ll be looking at playoffs!

Have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday with friends and family. See you on the ice in the new year.

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