On the bonspiel trail

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As an avid curling fan I’m very excited by what’s happening at the Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials all this week in Winnipeg.

As I’m writing this article I’m watching the second Women’s draw on Monday morning and already we have seen some interesting developments. In the opening draw the two teams that were last to qualify out of the Road to the Roar, Sweeting and Sonnenberg, took down two of the favoured teams Homan and Nedohin.

From the curling blogs I read online and listening to the knowledgeable commentators, that first game win is very important especially when they only have the seven-game round robin and no weak teams to play. Homan and Nedohin have to re-group for this game and get back on track as more than two losses may leave them out of the playoffs.

In the Men’s opening draw we saw the same scenario as the last two teams to qualify out of the Road to the Rings, Morris-Cotter and Jacobs knocked off Howard and Stoughton respectively. The Epping team also put Koe on the losing side of the scoreboard with an amazing draw to the side of the button, so three of the ‘stronger’ teams already have a loss to worry about. It keeps things interesting and shows that the younger teams are coming in to their own and we may see a changing of the ‘guard.’

In our own Tillsonburg Curling Club, the Monday Mixed has finished their first five-week draw with Greg and Wendy Manson, Terry Mattan and Betty Patterson taking first place on points. The Monday nighters have switched up teams and moved into the second draw which will finish just before Christmas. In the Tuesday afternoon Mixed, I understand that the Mixed curlers issued a game challenge to the Senior Men’s curlers. One team of Senior men showed up, but the Afternoon Mixed team wasn’t very friendly as they took the first game of what they hope will be an on-going competition. The Tuesday curling begins at 1 p.m. and they are still looking for more people to join them.

We’ve had a few teams out on the bonspiel trail. Ken and Olga Patterson with Brian and Dorell Clark headed to Oakville to curl in a Mixed Spiel where their children, Aaron and Christina, are active curlers. They did well, enjoyed the club and being recognized as the ‘parents team’!

The ladies team of Tina Vanderwallen-Howey along with Fern Taggart (Aylmer CC), Tracy Beattie and Sandy Buchner travelled to Niagara Falls for a Ladies two-day spiel. The ladies were in first place going in to their final game but came up against a very competitive local team and finished in fifth overall. The foursome enjoyed their time away from home – good curling, shopping, casinos etc!

A team from Tillsonburg also headed to Ingersoll Curling Club to participate in their Team Trivia Night and came home with top honours as the No. 1 team of trivia knowledge. Brian and Carole Stephenson, Olga and Ken Patterson, Brian and Dorell Clark and Aaron and Christina Clark were all members of the winning team. Perhaps they’ll organize one of those nights for our club - it sounded like lots of fun.

The club will host a Men’s Tier 55 Bonspiel on Friday, Dec. 13 with several local teams competing in the 16-team, two-draw, two-game spiel. Kitchen help is needed over the noon hour so sign in if you are available. Also coming up on Thursday, Dec. 19 is the Ladies Yuletide Bonspiel with our new sponsor Geartrain. This six-end fun spiel includes lots of Christmas cheer, morning goodies, lunch and is open to all ladies of the club. This will be the final Ladies curling until the new year. Sign-in sheet is on the bulletin board in the Ladies locker room. Check out gifts for Christmas in our Plan B Shop.

See you on the ice!

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