Chirico Wins Rookie League / Brown to Headline Hometown Provincial

Nugget Column #22 – Tuesday February 21st, 2017

The North Bay Granite Club’s 2016-2017 winter session Rookie League has come and gone. Five teams of new curlers participated in a round robin, doubles tournament, and championship playoff where the rink of Rob Chirico, Liz Chirico, Ron Fennell, and Debbie Patrois finished on top.

Team Chirico finished the round robin with a 3-1 record tied with Team McCulley (Iain McCulley, Leah Currie, Carol Tremblay, and Megan Johnson). The two top teams played a competitive final that they all should be proud of. Paul and Carol Lafontaine with Kevin and Cinda Addison played against Craig Dodge, Jeff Philbert, Brett Tucker, and Cherie Wilson in the bronze medal game.

A new Rookie League session begins this Wednesday February 22nd at 6:30pm. Also, a final Adult Learn to Curl program is being offered at the same time for anyone that has an interested in learning the sport. The club is offering a special promotion where you receive a Fall 2017 membership when you pay to enroll in a spring adult instructional program. Last minute entries can be accommodated, but you must contact the club immediately.


Brown to Headline Hometown Provincial

Region 5 has a new Club Champion team with Jeff Brown, Gavan Jamieson, Steve Decary, and Bobby Ray sneaking out of an unforgettable playdown competition this past weekend in Capreol.

North Bay’s Club Champions grappled in a double round robin competition against Club Champions from the Idylwylde Golf and Country Club, the Copper Cliff Curling Club, and the Capreol Curling Club.

Bystanders said if they learnt anything from watching the regional event, it was to never give up – unless your down by seven points after two ends.

On opening night against the home crowd favourites, Brown was down 1-5 after five ends but turned the tables with a score of four points in the sixth end followed by a steal of one in end seven and eight to win 7-5 and remain the only undefeated team after day 1.

Team Brown wouldn’t hold the lead for long as they took a 7-0 thrashing in two ends on Saturday morning, followed by a sloppy performance Saturday afternoon to fall back to a 2-2 record. Fortunately, the team came to play Saturday night scoring three 3-enders to eliminate two teams from contention.

The final and deciding round robin game was, as they say, better than fiction. As fate would have it Team Brown would come back from the fourth end break down by one point with hammer and play a perfect end leaving a relatively simple shot for five points. The last rock was thrown with the exact necessary weight and line needed but curled in a spot that had not acted that way previously and sent the only opposition stone in the house flying straight to the button where it jammed and counted for a single point.

The six-point swing was depressing to say the least, and evidently clouded Team Brown into the next end when the Idylwylde Champions stole two points to go up 6-2 with two ends left to play. If you are a curler, you understand how far out of reach this game is, spectators literally up and left the building, but play continued.

They say Curling is a cruel game and anyone that witnessed the conclusion of this game can attest. It’s the age-old story about when one team has nothing to lose, and the other team has everything to lose – and they lose it. Team Brown scored three points in the seventh end, buried a cold hard draw on the button with their last rock in the eighth, and guarded for their lives in an extra end to steal single points and the victory.

Now they’ll have to do it all again at the provincial Curling Club Championship March 31st – April 2nd at the North Bay Granite Club. You should come watch!

Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club