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Festa-Bianchet Wins Coldwell Banker Bonspiel

Nugget Column #23 – Tuesday March 10th, 2015

A gang of Ottawa curlers flooded the Coldwell Banker Bonspiel with conviction that strength in numbers would aid their probability of winning a long-standing title at the North Bay Granite Club.

With five teams all hailing from the University and College league of the Ottawa Curling Club, they put their plan into action and it worked.

The Simon Festa-Bianchet team, who was beat out of the “A” draw by a fellow Ottawan, rebounded with five straight wins to qualify out of the loser’s bracket in a double knockout draw and run the table in the playoffs. Festa-Bianchet defeated Connor Lawes and Bonnie Tweedle to set up a final they would win against the Rick Miller squadron who had overcome Bob MacLeod and Bobby Ray in order to be playing the last draw on Sunday.

Another Ottawa rink skipped by Alex Porter captured the Consolation prize with a win over a North Bay team led by Jann Costante.

A number of thanks are owed to the contributors who made this event possible again this season. To Jeff Brown for convening; to Coldwell Banker Peter Minogue Real Estate Inc. for providing title sponsorship; to Miller and Urso Surveying Inc. for sponsorship; to our volunteers on the bar; to the Cornerstone Café for food services; and to a pair of great bands who kept the curlers entertained all night. Check out We-R-3 and Plaid Apples for your next special event.

After a couple of long days and late nights at the Coldwell Banker it was fitting to spend Sunday night plopped on the couch for the 2015 Tim Horton’s Brier final.

Had it not been for the exciting gameplay between Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs and the first-ever Team Canada many a curler would have rather enjoyed watching the back of their eyelids. An excellent championship game was pushed to an extra end and completed by a dream draw to the button win for Pat Simmons, John Morris, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Thiessen.

It was an unexpected turn of events considering Team Canada, with their automatic berth to the Brier, had taken a more relaxed approach to this season than others. Having started the week with a 2-3 record only validated the opinion of many who figured their chances were slimmer than what appeared on paper. It was this early struggle that led the team to shuffle the deck and put Pat Simmons in at skip with John Morris moving down to vice. The team claims they didn’t have the right lineup for most of the season and it took them until mid-Brier to figure it out. Fortunately for them it wasn’t a day later very much requiring the seven wins that earned them a sport in 1 vs. 2 game.

Congratulations to Granite Club teams skipped by Mark Brown and Cheryl Vainio on a tremendous showing at the Traveler’s Curling Club regionals this past weekend in Sturgeon Falls. Both teams finished in second place, while unfortunately on the first place teams will move on to the provincial championship.

Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club


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